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.
Yoga really helps me wake up and find clarity in the absence of caffeine.
Then I made breakfas at around 9.30am.
Ketogenic 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.
To read more about this diet, and the reasons why I'm doing it check out either of my recent posts:
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.
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.
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.
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.
I stepped out of the freezing mist and into an 18* degree Celsius lush tropical paradise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.