It’s been some time since I wrote anything here. That isn’t because I’ve not been writing, but because I started a new job and have been having trouble finding time to do all the things I want to. So, here’s a little chat about the challenge of rearranging time.
After the previous job, I took a few months to mentally recover and apply for something else, then finally took on a little English teaching work when the money situation got dire. All this gave me plenty of time for writing and other bits and bobs, but in June, I got a exactly the kind of job I’d been looking for. Time-wise, it’s a standard-ish 9.30-5.30 affair, but travelling across London adds an extra hour on either side of this, and I soon found that a rush-hour journey home after a busy day at work just destroyed me: after making and eating dinner, then chilling a while with the other half and the needy cat, I had absolutely no get up and go.
My solution to this has been to try get in the habit of waking up earlier, avoiding morning rush hour with an early tuberide, then working in a cafe near the office before work starts. So, how’s that working out? Well, I’ve been working for four-ish months, and doing this early routine for about two of those, and this is the first week I’ve managed every morning (it’s also a week I’ve had far less alcohol… correlation?). Currently, my alarm is waking me at 6.30 a.m., though I’ve had to work towards that. I’m aiming for 6 a.m. at some point, but I’m happy to let it take some time.
Now, as far as writing is concerned, this isn’t ideal because it gives be only about 1.5 hours per day (and I also do my other things in that time, so it’s probably only one or two days a week at the moment), but, especially recently, I’ve been managing to utilise it well. It’s quite a driver to know that you have little other time. It’s also quite useful to work in a cafe that has a rather poor internet connection, as I often end up just switching WiFi off and not getting distracted.
There are also effects outside the writing though. On the positive side, having this early routine has made me feel like I am (suffering?) putting in effort to be more effective, and this feeling in itself has given me more drive to be even more effective, so there’s a nice little positive feedback loop in there. However, the change in routine completely killed my evenings. I’ve been falling asleep on the sofa, on the floor, on my other half and of the cat. Though it’s hard to wake up early, it’s possibly harder to go to bed early! Thursdays and Fridays I’ve been zombetic, and Saturday mornings have seen me not getting up till midday. As you can imagine, this has all affected my other half and her routine, too.
However, like I said, this week this new routine has actually felt more natural, and I am very happy with the results. So, here’s to early morning writing!