In the morning my wife gets up at 5 and leaves at 7, giving me a quick kiss before she goes. I roll over and sleep in for another hour or two, after which I get up and make myself half a cup of instant coffee. While the water comes to a boil I load the dishwasher and then check my Facebook, Twitter and Email.
Then I strip, take to the toilet for the daily business while I brush my hair. I find the two easy to match as for the one I am just sitting and idly waiting while the other relaxes me, which makes the first easier. And then I take a long hot shower of about half an hour in which I try to get my fingers into working order as I have a light onset of rheumatism and then scrub, shave and brush my teeth.
During this I usually get idea’s, lines of text like this very blog, running through my mind. These thoughts dictate what I will be doing for that day. If no text comes then something is wrong and I take the day figuring out why I am not myself. But usually the text comes to me and with a second cup of coffee I sit down to write.
Usually around 12 I get restless and depending on what day of the month it is, which often coincides with the money left in my wallet, I stay in and eat a sandwich or go out to a diner. In both cases my laptop is never far away and during this lunch new idea’s of what I was working on pop up. If not then I reread and that often triggers me. Around six I look up again and go home, or when I am home around seven my wife returns and we have dinner. Usually after dinner she collapses and goes to bed, after which I write for a couple more hours or play a game to relax and clear my head.
That is my average day. This is how I write. There are days I don’t write, but usually I do, simply because I have dedicated and sculpted my life around it. Good fortunes and misfortunes together with decent planning have created the way I live now, with time to write. We chose not to have children and due to finances and the market I chose to rent and not to buy, which meant upkeep and saving up for replacement of boilers, central heating and the like. I am not saying I am a successful writer or even a good one, but there are also unsuccessful and lousy plumbers, carpenters, stock brokers and lawyers. But what I do I do because I love doing it, which is more than some guy who just works to get paid and spends his days trying to do as little as possible.
I chose to live with a woman who had a decent job in a field she wanted as her life’s ambition. Being together just makes things easier as she balances me out, makes sure I get a decent meal in me, and we keep each other company. Plus it makes living cheaper as well. Because of all of this and because we just like being around each other, this relationship works. We are two individuals who can work well together, but also work well when separated from each other. We talk a lot, give each other space where is needed and hold no grudges. That, we believe, is love and the only way a relationship can stand the test of time.
The point of this piece is that to write I shaped my life around it and if this is what you want as well then you need to find your ideal routine and circumstances to do so. Take time to reflect, as when you are stressed or distracted inspiration rarely comes. Keep yourself decently fed with good foods, as food which doesn’t nourish will make you feel bad. Get a good seven hours of sleep and create a space you feel good in to write. And most of all: allow yourself the time to write. If you don’t have time, then through your life’s choices you have created this impossibility. Even if due to misfortunes there are circumstances you cannot write, you still have the choice to act and change these circumstances.
You are in control. If you are not then you really are doing something wrong.