Manuscript Monday #28: Drafting a Routine

Manuscript Monday is a series of blog posts which chronicle the life of my latest manuscript. It follows the journey I take to turn my week old baby story idea into a fully grown, polished novel. Take the journey with me. 🙂

Hey there everyone!

How was the weekend? Great, I hope. I hope it gave you a chance to recharge. Mine was pretty good— not recharging in a spa weekend sense, but still recharging. I spent a relaxing Friday night at home with my husband that somehow ended with a late night take-over by teenagers; a busy Saturday working out, watching my son’s hockey game, and running errands; and a fun Sunday afternoon shopping with my daughter followed by a quiet dinner with my parents. So definitely not spa-like, but sometimes a break from routine is all it takes to recharge us for the week!

And that brings us to Monday, the day routines resume. And since so many of us are in the midst of drafting manuscripts right now, I’m wondering if our daily routines are similar at all. We may live in scattered places all over the world, but drafting a manuscript probably looks the same everywhere, right? Maybe, maybe not.

I’d love to hear how you fit drafting into your day. Are you a daytime drafter, a late at night after the kids get in bed drafter, or some other type? Here’s what my days look like when I’m deep into drafting….

I wake up at 6:15am, shower, make the kids breakfast, pack their lunches ( I know, I know. They should do this themselves!) and bring them to school at 7:30am. I come home, have breakfast with my husband, do a quick clean-up of the house, and throw in load of laundry. I allow myself fifteen minutes to check emails, Twitter, and Facebook.

Then, I get to work drafting by 9:00am. Now keep in mind, if I have a work project going on (like now), my drafting is for work, but if I don’t, I get to draft my own manuscript. But the process is the same either way. I work until about 10:30am, then I change over the laundry and make a smoothie to keep me energized. (Coconut milk, banana and pineapple is my current favorite!) This 15 minute break keeps my muscles from feeling stiff too. I hate that feeling!

Then back to work around 10:45. I draft again until 12:30pm when I stop for lunch. I watch the first half hour of Young and the Restless to clear my head while I eat. Guilty pleasure, I know! Then right back to drafting until 2:45 when I pick up the kids. With spring sports starting soon, I won’t have to pick them up until 5:30pm so I’ll gain a few hours there too. Yay! I’ll draft until 4:30 (with a ten minute break for coffee probably around 3pm).

At 4:30pm, I’ll put my manuscript away. I’ll work out, pick up the kids, make dinner and then my night is free to do whatever. But at least I’ve spent a good 5 hours or more drafting. On days that my draft is for work, I’ll use my free time at night to work on my own manuscript. But some nights are too busy with family stuff and that’s not possible. That’s why drafting my personal stuff usually doesn’t happen in the weeks when I’m drafting for work. My brain can only create so much!

I make sure I get up a lot to walk around on days that are busy like this. Writing is such a sedentary activity and my body feels lethargic if I don’t move around every hour or so. I also do my best to plan out my snacks ahead of time. Apples slices are my go-to. They fill me up and recharge my brain just enough. Otherwise I end up eating left over Valentine’s Day candy all day. My brain and body fall into a sugar coma and my drafting definitely suffers from it!

What about you? What does you drafting routine look like? My routine definitely looked different seven years ago when my kids were little. Most of the magic happened when they were at gymnastics and hockey practices! I feel pretty lucky that my time has freed up a bit. And really that’s what keeps me going on days like these. I go into ninja drafting mode. I guess I still value my writing time so much. I feel like it can be taken away from me at any time!

Have a fantastic week, my friends! I can’t wait to hear about your progress. Week #28 for my personal WIP is pretty slow, but I’ll chip away at it at night when I can. I hope you will too! Please leave us all a comment. Maybe something you do will help another writer organize their time. Or maybe your word count progress will inspire the rest of us to get moving! 🙂

 

2 thoughts on “Manuscript Monday #28: Drafting a Routine

  1. Scarlett Kol says:

    Unfortunately I have a day job and a half to contend with so I usually draft on my lunch break and stay late at the office after work. I also write a lot at the rink. A LOT.

    • swirlandspark says:

      Hi Scarlett! Wow, you are busy! Some of my best writing memories happened while writing at the ice rink too! I can totally relate. I guess we all have to fit our writing in whenever we can, especially when day jobs interfere…but they do help pay the bills so it forces us to be a little more creative with our time-and more disciplined!

      Thanks for sharing and good luck with your project. 🙂

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