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bear by san

March 2017



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writing headbang

do you feel anything?

Jeff and Toby are talking about their work schedules. I.E., "How do you get so much done?"

In the spirit of freelancer solidarity, here's what mine looks like:

(Weekday schedule, with liner notes)

0600: alarm goes off. moan, roll over.
0630: second alarm goes off. cat announces imminent death by starvation. rise, feed cat who still has food in bowl from last night, sit down at computer and check email and livejournal comments. Answer some of same while brain boots.
0700: Make tea. Futz on internet somewhat. Remember to turn on the radio and listen to NPR, reassure self that world has not ended in night. If world has ended, realize that deadlines no longer matter, and go back to bed.

If it's a weekend, figure out what the day's assigment is and get to work, dammit.

0700: really get out of bed now, Bear, or you will be late.
0730: put on pants. get ass out door for gym
0800: work out for 1 hour-90 minutes
0930: Morning errands. Possibly massage therapist appointment at 11:30, if it's Monday. Otherwise, come home and get to work on whatever the project du jour is. I'm a blitz worker, so I don't tend to work on multiple projects in a day unless I finish one. Multitasking is a tool of the man.
1300: At absolute latest, get home and get butt in front of the computer. open chatroom with writer's group. Bitch to them intermittently about how much work I have to do, and listen while they bitch back. Occasional outbursts of hilarity, interpsersed with work work work work work, with occasional breaks for email and livejournal when my brain stalls. Work may include: long fiction, short fiction, Secrit Projekt, emailing collaborators, talking to editors, nonfiction, blogging, editorial work, slush, answering email from conventions or agents or readers, research, watching David Bowie concert videos on Youtube.
1300: Remember I forgot to eat lunch. Make some  more tea while I'm up.
1830: Go to archery if it's Thursday or climbing if it's Monday. Otherwise, work. (And occasionally fuck around on the internet.) Try to remember to take a break to practice guitar or math. Usually fail. Sometimes, have a social engagement and bemoan it until I get there, then enjoy it after all.
2100: Come home if I went out. Check email. Try to get another 500 words before bed. If it's Wednesday, watch Mythbusters or Criminal Minds.
2300: Realize I'm not getting anything else done tonight, write some kind of a whiny blog post, and start screwing around on the internet in earnest.
0100: Bed. Lie staring at ceiling wondering what I forgot to do today.


I think one key is, "Don't burn yourself out on an eight-hour job before going home and trying to write."

I *envy* full-time writers. Although I know I'm probably eating better than they. ;)
Ah, but being a "full-time" writer means (unless you've got some books done and another Book Contract over your head) that you're probably also freelancing, so you have to research markets, write queries, send off tear sheets and clips, do research for whatever assignments you're lucky enough to get, set up interviews, do interviews, transcribe interviews, follow up queries, and somehow keep a clear log of everything somewhere so you remember what you did and didn't do, while also taking care of family/child/household responsibilities, because you're the one with the "flexible" schedule.

Notice I haven't actually gotten to the 'writing' bit yet?

However, as evidenced by Miss Matociquala's schedule above, there is time for all of that *plus* writing in a day unburdened by eight hours of slaving for The Man.

I know, I know, it's not peaches and cream. Just let me appreciate how green my neighbor's lawn is, okay? :)
Sorry,I should've stuck in an emoticon or two for the proper tone.

The trade-offs for writers in any kind of living circumstances are tough, and you have my empathy, too. There really isn't enough time for all of it. Something always gets left undone.
Until last August I was doing that on top of a full time job.
You get creative work done on five hours sleep *plus* an hour / hour and half workout???
I can't even manage productive office work on that much, and more exercise just adds to the need for sleep.
A lot of writers I know (including me) don't sleep much. And the ones that are smart get lots of exercise.

I just got in from my first 90 minutes of exercise today (there will be least another 90 minutes more in a similar vein)--cleaning horse corrals and literally mucking out after a big rain. Aerobic, hell, yeah.

Sometimes I wonder if writing isn't a kind of unusually productive sleep disorder.
The exercise is the only think keeping my neurochemistry from eating my soul. (I'm bipolar. It keeps my serotonin levels sanish)

So, yeah.

That's another of my theories--that many of us are to some degree bipolar. I'm subclinical but I definitely run in cycles from high to low.
Subclinical schizophrenia. The voices in my head REALLY ARE BOTHERING PEOPLE.
There are other people? I didn't just make them up?
Too soon to be really sure, I'd say.

Better bite one and see what he does.
See previous post on being a short sleeper.

Some days I crash at 11, in all honesty. And some I'm up until two or three and then sleep until 8. The above is an average.
Right there, you described the habits of the successful freelancer: either shut off the television and the Internet connection, or keep them in the background so you can get work done. The Czarina and I are terribly sick and tired of friends asking us "How do you get so much done every day?", because all we want to say is "Simple: we don't watch eight hours of television and play WoW for another five."
that's right.. "Blow up your TV..." and it's so stupid. My wife keeps in on for background noise, and i feel dumber every time i walk in that room..

Another secret; if you dont have constant imputs, your brain will think up stuff to fill the void.. Years ago i had to write ten songs in a month, and finally figures out that if i turned off the car radio, and brought a small tape recorder, i could think up a song, or hook or fragment of lyric ever half hour commute to and from work..

Most of it was useful one way or another.
I like having music on while I work, actually. It helps me free-associate, sometimes.
sure, but you are not writing songs.. I'm just saying what works for me... My best writing books stuff was when i was working at boring manual labor, submerged in white noise.. I might only have come up with a few scenes a day, but they were most amusing.
Now, as background noise, a television actually makes sense. My wife pretty much uses it as a DVD rack: since she's a professional jeweler, she uses it as a break for the eyes when restringing pearls or working on fine beading. However, she already has all of her work gear out when she turns it on, so she's not watching in lieu of working. She's watching while working, and not a lot of jobs are conducive to this.

Me, if I could find a DVD player that didn't have a screen, I'd put one in my greenhouse while I'm working on plants. I have to admit that I do the same thing as the Czarina, but for me it's completely auditory. When I'm working on plants in my office, I'll put a DVD in the computer and run that while I'm grafting or cleaning, and I'll not once look at the screen. The trick is to use that entertainment as a goad for being productive, not to use it as an excuse for not being productive.
Yeah, that's pretty much it.

Fortunately, TV is dumb.

Also, working 12 hours a day is easier when it's on your own couch.
Why does your day have 2 1 AMs in it? DO they have special days like that in New England for everyone? Because that would explain a lot about my older sister.
Hee. Because I forgot I was doing military time for a half-second?
*is deeply relieved to hear than new England time is much like that in rest of US*

*dreads going home to extremely vengeful cat*
*pats Bear on her feverish widdwe forehead*

Math ?

If I may ask, why are you practicing math ? Is it for brain health, or you just like math, or you have math education ? Also, what kind of math ? like puzzles, or calculus, or abstract algebra, or higher areas like category theory, topology etc ?
Just idle curiosity.

Re: Math ?

If you read back along the math tag, you can probably learn anything you want to know.
This entry fascinated me. I thought I would think about it from the perspective of a day job writer as well, and wrote accordingly over in my journal.

I think that being master of your own time is probably both awesome and terrible.

Thanks for making me think this morning.

*forms "sleep is for wimps" club with Bear*
Wow, you're amazing! I'd be so dead from a schedule like that.

So quit getting down on yourself,' K?