I have been asked several times over the years to describe what a typical day is like for a full-time writer, but I usually have trouble answering for the simple fact that each day of the week can be so drastically different from the next.
Some days, for example, I can knock out four or five articles, blogs, or other content projects, and on others, I may spend all my time in meetings gathering information. There are also days where I am bouncing from one networking event to the next, doing administrative work, or writing into the wee hours of the night.
One thing is for sure, I believe in being productive – and that doesn't always mean I'm hacking away on my MacBook Pro all day.
Here's a breakdown of last Friday:
6:00 a.m. to 6:45 a.m. – Helped get the kids ready for school and prepared lunches. Quickly took a shower and got dressed for the day.
6:45 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. – Paid a few bills online as the kiddos finished up their breakfast.
7:15 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. – Took the kids to school.
7:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. – Drove to Lewisville and attended an hour-long networking event to promote Edit This® and build relationships in the community.
9:15 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. – Drove back to Denton and arrived super early to an interview for an article I'm writing, so I took a power nap in a parking lot (just being honest, folks).
10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. – Had a fantastic time interviewing a doctor.
10:50 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Drove to a coffee shop in Argyle for another interview and transcribed the notes from the previous interview before the client showed up.
12:00 p.m. to 12:40 p.m. – Had another interview with a local landscaper.
12:40 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. – Drove home to eat lunch and relax for a little bit.
1:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Wrote the magazine article on the doctor mentioned above.
4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Returned a few phone calls and answered emails.
4:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. – Drove from Denton to Colleyville to cover a high school basketball game and, of course, got there super early.
5:15 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. – I edited and reformatted a resume for a client while sitting in my truck waiting for the gym to open.
6:10 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Met with coaches and completed various game prep stuff.
7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Covered the game for the newspaper and wrote the article.
9:30 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. – Drove home and got there in time to see my family before they went to bed. Yes, my kids were still wide awake – I wish I had their energy.
How to maintain your sanity on those busy days
As I said, that was just one day in the life of a full-time writer. But now you're probably asking, "how do you keep your sanity on those busy days and make it all look easy?"
Here are three tricks I've learned over the years:
1. Use a calendar – Calendars help us schedule our personal and business time. There are benefits, the biggest one being they take the guesswork out of our busy lives by telling us where we need to be.
2. Take advantage of "downtime" – If you noticed, I try not to waste small pockets of time (example: transcribing notes at the coffee shop and editing the resume before the big game) that may seem insignificant at first glance.
3. Find fun places to write – Switching things up, even if it's writing something while sitting in your car or before bedtime, can help you be more comfortable and get those creative juices flowing. Writers write in unusual places.
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*STEVE GAMEL is the President & Owner of Edit This, a writing and editing services company located in Denton, TX. Steve handles anything involving the written word. Give him a call today to help give your business a clear voice.