Day One, Part III
First came my very first day as a full-time writer.
Then came the first day of school for the kids, meaning I actually had my first day to myself as a full-time writer.
Today, just over four weeks since I left the day job, was the first day of my 10 hours/week job. I’d been hoping to pick this up both to provide a bit of structure to my week, and to supplement the erratic writing income.
What have I accomplished thus far? Well, I was able to turn around the revisions on Revisionary. I wrote up and submitted a pitch to DAW. And I’m up to 15,000 words on Project Bob.
There has also been a boy who was home sick for a week, followed by me getting sick. Not cool, germs. Not cool!
I remember chatting with folks about the transition. Harry Connolly wrote a guest post about apps for shutting out the internet and helping you focus on writing. A number of other writers mentioned doing the same sort of thing. And I read those posts and listened to those stories and nodded my appreciation, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I sat back all content and smug, knowing I would never need such tools. I’ve spent 15 years disciplining myself to shut out distractions and write during my lunch break…
I assume you know where this is going?
A few days ago, I was sitting down to work on Bob again. I’ve been struggling a lot with this one, and my word count reflects that. I finally forced myself to physically shut all those windows — email, social media, the works.
And damn if over the course of a single hour I didn’t double my wordcount from the previous day.
Lesson learned, thank you.
I’m also rediscovering yet again the importance of momentum. It’s so much easier to keep writing than it is to start writing. And the longer it’s been since you wrote, the harder it is to start up again.
Unfortunately, being at home during the day has led to a number of interruptions. Some are minor. Getting up to let the dogs out and back in is probably a good thing, since it periodically makes me get out of the chair and walk around a little. Constantly answering the phone last week when the entire freaking world decided it was a good time to call Casa Hines? Yeah, I’m letting at least some of those calls go to the answering machine now.
With all that said, it’s only been a month. Every week has been different. I’m hoping that as I start the part-time job, I’ll finally get closer to a stable schedule, and will be able to start strengthening some good habits and routines.
In the meantime, I’m still better-rested and generally happier than I was a month ago. Go me! 🙂
September 29, 2015 @ 6:30 pm
It’s amazing how the world conspires to eat up open ended creative time. I’ve noticed that everyone in the entire universe decides it’s a good time to call when I’m settling in for a writing session. Letting the machine get it is the way to go, but I do feel genuine guilt when it’s my mom or other family member.
September 29, 2015 @ 8:04 pm
I decided that this week was an *excellent* time to catch up on the Libriomancer series. Bought and read ebooks 2 and 3, preordered ebook 4. Hope it helps a tiny bit. Turns out that they had exactly the tone I was craving to offset the streak of interesting, but bleak books I’ve read lately.
September 29, 2015 @ 8:34 pm
I let everything go to the answering machine even when I’m not doing anything important.
September 30, 2015 @ 6:49 am
Contractors are a real challenge for anyone working at home: you’ll be the one to deal with them and it will eat into writing time.
Dogs can too, but they’re a lot more fun.
Jim C. Hines
September 30, 2015 @ 10:58 am
It absolutely helps, thank you 🙂
I’m so glad the books worked for you.
September 30, 2015 @ 11:02 am
My husband rents an office, so he doesn’t have to deal with the home phone at work, but he has a relative who will call during the day just to chat. He’s self-employed, so he must have time to sit around and talk for a while, right? Um, no. He can shift his schedule around for important things like doctor appointments, but the work still has to get done.
I feel as though I’m on a journey similar to yours. I was already home full time, but I’m trying to write professionally. You know, for actual money. I’m finding that deadlines, real or self-imposed, help. Reading blogs is great, and arguably even counts as professional development, but if I have a post or a story that needs to go out, I’d darn well better close the browser and get to it.
I love that you’re sharing your journey with us, in all its ups and downs. Thanks for that!
September 30, 2015 @ 12:45 pm
Having worked night shift, I think chatty calls were a bigger problem then. A lot of people could not remember that I didn’t get up until a little before 2 PM.