My 2020: Just a Normal Day... in the Life of a Freelance Writer

in photography •  last month  (edited)

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As a freelance writer my day might seem a little haphazard to some, like a dreamy ride of unrelated activities. But there is method to the madness.

I've done the nine to five salary job thing in the past, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this existence is preferable.

Today was fairly typical of how I structure my days. Routine is an essential part of working freelance and especially as a professional writer. If you try to do things 'fly by your pants' style it will quickly all fall apart around your ears.

I usually wake around 8.30am, starting my day with a warm ginger and turmeric tea to help wake up the digestive system.

Half way through my tea this morning I felt the call to the yoga mat, as my back was aching and legs a little stiff.

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Yoga really helps me wake up and find clarity in the absence of caffeine.

Then I made breakfas at around 9.30am.

20200123_094101.jpgKetogenic breakfast of spinach salad, tomatoes and mozzarella, avocado and smoked salmon... plus the leftover ginger/turmeric tea.

I have recently started a health challenge to try and help heal from a 6 year long chronic illness. This involves giving up all caffeine, sugar and alcohol. In addition to this, I am also following the ketogenic (very low carb) diet.

A keto, or ketogenic, diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet that puts your body into a state of ketosis. During ketosis, your bodies metabolism changes to burn fat as it's primary source of energy.

Source


To read more about this diet, and the reasons why I'm doing it check out either of my recent posts:

The Keto Chronicals - Salad, Eggs, Avocado and Fish...

Healing Holistically - Lets Get Ketogenic

After breakfast I usually fire up the computer and take a brief look at what Bitcoin is doing in regards to market movement... lol at the moment it's in accumulation mode after the recent drop.

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I don't like to focus too much on the market at this time of day as it can pull me away from creativity. I find focus is paramount in the mornings, and there are a few activities that really get my writing muscles pumped.

After making a few notes about key support/resistance breakout levels, I get out my notebook and make a tick-list of essential jobs for the day.

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Today I felt quite groggy due to a bad sleep and crazy dreams. I've been getting demented dreams ever since I started the keto diet. Not sure why, but it means I usually wake up during the night around 3 or 4 times.

To blow the cobwebs away and prime myself for a creative afternoon writing, I decided to go for a bike ride. Since the beginning of January I have been doing this 4 days/week.

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The sun was out but there was an icy nip in the air as I rode down the main rode toward the park.

As I entered Sefton park a blanket of mist descended, blown in from the river.

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The mist blocked out the sun and the cold became more intense. I decided to stop by a place I have written about before on steem called the Palm House.

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I stepped out of the freezing mist and into an 18* degree Celsius lush tropical paradise.

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The atmosphere in the palm house is so peaceful. Birds trill in the canopy of the various palms and tropical trees. The murmur of people's conversation from the cafe suffuses the stillness in gentle undercurrent.


For me, this type of meditation is food for the soul. Nourishment for the growth of creative thought!

As time was ticking on I left the palm house and jumped onto my bike to power down the river back into the city center and home.

Cycling down the banks of the river Mersey was like drifting through another world. The mist had settled over the river in a blanket.

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The river and sky merged into a blank canvas, fading from blue to grey like a seagull's wing.

The day a blank slate - an untouched page yet to be written.

20200123_123712.jpgClick pic to view full screen - Here you can see the strange effect the mist blanket had on the view of Birkenhead on the other side of river.

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I arrived home around 1pm, a little out of breath but feeling amazing and clear of mind for the afternoon. I quickly rustled up a keto friendly cheese omelet for lunch and ate it while listening to some chilled out classical guitar by Carles Tepat.

I always set aside from 1 pm to 6 pm each day for writing. If I start or end 30 minutes either side of this scheduled time I don't beat myself up, but after a few years of doing this I have discovered that the afternoon is my peak performance creatively.

Usually I would have fired up Scrivener to work on plot progression, or character development for my novel... but today I decided to dedicate at least part of the time to writing this post. It has been a while since I've taken part in a community contest like this and I wanted to give it my full attention 🙂

I usually stop writing around 5.30pm - 6pm and read a chapter of something non-fiction to pull myself out of that inner world that writing fantasy plunges you in head first.

When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day.
Quote by Ernest Hemingway


At the moment I'm reading this very interesting book about the life and work of George M Low.

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Sometimes, deadlines get the better of me and I have to dedicate a large portion of the evening catching up on a commissioned article for a websites, but I always stop to eat dinner between 7pm and 7.30pm.

These strict meal schedules are essential for me to manage my chronic gut condition. Leaving 4-5 hours between meals helps aid in proper digestion, and I also follow intermittent fasting, making sure that my evening meal is the last thing I eat until the morning. Usually, this allows for a full 14 hours between dinner and breakfast.


If my evenings aren't taken up by chasing words to fulfill deadlines, I enjoy watching Netflix and other streaming services, particularly adult animation series like Bojak Horseman or Rick & Morty. I rarely watch terrestrial television. I'm also a lover of PC gaming and will often spend a few hours playing missions on the excellent Red Dead Redemption 2.


That's about it. I tend to retire to bed at about 11.30pm. I try to read before going to sleep, and keep my hands off the smart phone at this time of day.

Thanks for joining me in a day of my life.

EDIT: Best viewed on @steempeak or @busy as the timelaps gif of me doing my morning yoga is not working on @steemit.

All images used in this post are my own, other than the title image that I borrowed from @anomadsoul's contest announcement post and modified using GIMP photo editing software. To join this fantastic competition, with 200 steem prize up for grabs, please check out the announcement post here. If you have enjoyed this Photography/blog post, you can check out my other work on my homepage @raj808.

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Shared on twitter as part of @ocd / @ocdb proof of share initiative

#posh

https://twitter.com/rowanj808/status/1220388125576519680?s=20

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Thank you very much for the curation. It's appreciated :)

Yes, Rowan, I see, now, how our daily schedules as writers are alike — only I think yours is healthier :)

Nice to take a peek at your day & I wish you a creative, productive remainder of the day/week!


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Cheers Yahia.

This was a fun post to write and a great challenge from anomadsoul.

A day in the life of Rowan hey? Good stuff mate, hoping to build up some bank so I can have a bit of a freer life as well. But I'm OK with the 9-5 atm... Hoping to get it 8-4 so there's a bit more time in the evenings.

I still never worked out my peak time. I think it's whenever I decide to get my head down and do something haha.

Thanks for sharing your day

hoping to build up some bank so I can have a bit of a freer life as well.

Ha ha, well that is the pay off I'm afraid. I live a pretty scarce life when it comes to luxuries... like holidays etc. I literally haven't been anywhere in nearly 2 years. It's ups and downs with freelance writing. It has been a lean 6 months but I got an opportunity which should make things easier recently. The commission hasn't started yet, but sometimes over the next few months I should be tripling my income, which is nice. I'm hoping it's enough to be able to go travelling if all these health measures I've taken pay off and result in healing my chronic gut issues.

Fingers crossed :)

Loved reading this. Thanks for sharing!

You're welcome mamrita :)

sounds like a pretty nice day, love the palm house, that must be crazy going from cold to the warmth like that.( But I guess if you have central heating it is not that crazy. I like to embrace the season I'm in. ) I imagine just sitting in their and closing my eyes and soaking it all up. It sounds like you have a nice balance there between being active and relaxing xxx

  ·  29 days ago (edited)

It sounds like you have a nice balance there between being active and relaxing.

Yeah, most days are like this... but some without the bike ride if the weather is bad. I end up with at least one day a week though where I'm pretty much on the computer all day writing for a deadline. That can be quite stressful if the creative flow isn't there, or if my condition is kicking in and fatigue is draining me.

This keto diet seems to be helping though, as the fatigue is slowly getting less and I'm finding it easier to power on through days like those 🙂👍

I imagine just sitting in their and closing my eyes and soaking it all up.

The palm house is wonderful... and that's exactly what I do. After chatting with the dude at the entrance desk, and throwing a pound in the donations tin, I just find a quiet spot and meditate. The smell, sounds and warmth takes me back to the jungles of koh sok in Thailand, or more recent travels in the jungles of belize. It's a lovely little escape in the city 😎

I do like your typical day
I think many might covert it :D

A few friends a doing this keto diet too
And they are happy with the results
But apparently it takes some time for the body to adjust
So hopefully that's what it is with the nightmares ...

Hi @kaerpediem

Sry to respond so late, my main account is completely depleted of VP due to delegation running out, which leaves me unable to comment/vote or do much of anything with the raj808 account for a few days lol

But apparently it takes some time for the body to adjust
So hopefully that's what it is with the nightmares ...

Yeah, I've just read on a forum that it can take 6-8 weeks for the metabolism to adjust to burning fat as the main source of energy. I was particularly glad to read this as my energy has plummeted over the last few day and I started to wonder if it was all worth it. I think I need to give it 2 months to really see what the benefits will be :)

Oh no need to be sorry

And glad you are going to stick with it
Apparently after that you will feel great 😊

Nice to see a day in your life :)That palm house would be awesome to have on in the area lol. I'd defo come there with a foggy brain to see if the inspiration will come back.

Btw thanks again for the food pic lol, and I now made an account on fatsecret as well, because at the moment I just try to introduce a healthier diet but don't really feel like checking if I'm still doing what I should (counting RDI lol) .. boyfriend really wants to do that as he has some health issues that need attention NOW so he will probably be even happier with this site ...

Today I made the breakfast I showed in yesterday's post for him, he loved it as well.

Have a good weekend :)

Hi @anouk.nox

Sry to respond so late, my main account is completely depleted of VP due to delegation running out, which leaves me unable to comment/vote or do much of anything with the raj808 account for a few days lol

Btw thanks again for the food pic lol, and I now made an account on fatsecret as well, because at the moment I just try to introduce a healthier diet but don't really feel like checking if I'm still doing what I should (counting RDI lol)

That's great to hear that my article actually had some real-world benefit for someone :) :)

P.s. tell your BF that the calorie counting etc, usually takes me around 30 mins of my day to complete. It might take a bit longer in the beginning as you get used to it, but after a week or two it becomes easier.

Hope you are having a nice relaxing Sunday :)