As a writer, my time and routine are basically created by my own will. In fact, since 2000, I have been self-employed in one way or the other. Over most of that time, I have found a typical Monday through Friday, 9-5 routine just doesn’t work.
I found out very early the ‘normal’ 5 day work week just didn’t cut it when it came to being self-employed. As a web and graphic designer for 15 years, I put into place an 8-day block rather than a weekly schedule. My ‘weeks’ consisted of 8 days each. I set goals for each block and I cannot tell you how much more successful I was at keeping deadlines, meeting with clients, having free time, and most of all keeping my sanity.
When I decided to take my writing seriously and write full-time back in 2015, I did so without any type of routine or schedule. I was in a position which afforded me to do as I needed when I wanted. As time has gone by, certain aspects of my life have taken over a lot of my own personal time – including the hours I would dedicate to writing. When health issues with family members, especially in a small family such as mine, arise they tend to eat up much of the waking hours every day.
Over the last 18 months, things took a very hard turn and even more of my time was being dedicated to others and not myself. I actually lost the will to write for a bit. The ideas just weren’t coming. The projects I had planed were all put to the back burners and my creativity and my happiness truly suffered because of it. This summer, I decided to put my 8-day work schedule back into place. It allows me to not look at the calendar or a clock unless there is an appointment I need to get my mother or aunt to. I have small goals for each block of days with long term goals set over two or more 8-day blocks.
I know this is very unconventional but I’ve never been one to conform to societal norms. This schedule works for me. It gives me an added 24 hours in my week. I find myself much more productive and much more at ease. Less stress has allowed the ideas to come flowing in once again. I am finally getting to the projects I have so desperately wanted to roll out and complete.
So many think being your own boss is easy, or somehow plush, or that you have endless free time to do as you wish. The truth is, being a self-employed writer, artist, entrepreneur, takes up much more of your day than one would think. You are
If you want to achieve any type of success as an artist, the effort must be there – talent doesn’t always win out. Never allow hard work to be the reason you deny yourself the opportunity to explore your passion. This is how I function at my highest creatively and personally. As individuals, we need to find what works best for each of us.