Freelance Fridays: Changing Up the Routine

Earlier this year, I announced lofty intentions of getting a book drafted by Valentine’s Day 2017. In part, I hoped to give myself a completely necessary kick in the tush by encouraging random Internet people to hold me accountable. As it turns out, I did start one—I’ve actually started several—but any manuscript of mine still has a long way to go. Life took a turn for the unusual this spring after I found myself battling an unexpected personal medical issue. No sooner had that been resolved than I was asked to host an exchange student for the then-upcoming academic year. I inquired whether my husband had issues with me moving a stray teenager into our basement, he said no, I found myself doing a ton of paperwork and scrubbing and decorating, and here we are, several months later, newly minted honorary high-school parents.

After a slightly bumpy start, we’ve all more or less settled into a school routine that somehow still involves a fair bit of me playing chauffeur. I have learned that what used to be fruit for a week and a half is now fruit for two days. Also, yogurt needs to start coming in gallon jars, I’m probably not supposed to speak to any teenager who isn’t mine (oops), and the Swedish letter å is pronounced “oh-ah.” Hopefully you all will forgive me for my long absence in the interim.

As you can see, the blog has been getting a facelift. My domain registration expired at the end of the summer, and I had wanted to change something for months. Getting into Google Administrator to repurchase it (seriously, I need a new, paid account just to renew a domain?) was enough of a hassle that I eventually decided against it. I’m moving in a new direction and renewing my professional focus on writing and editing; I might as well take the site with me.

My husband is up before 6 every day; my high schooler catches the bus before 7. What I have been learning these last few weeks is that, as much as I love the peace and quiet, there’s no point in this night owl’s sleeping in. Get up, get caffeine, get moving. Make sure everybody gets out the door. Check the news, but don’t get caught up in it. Put pants on. Go to work. If you’re a home-based worker, as I am, try to make writing (or editing, or designing) the first thing you do. When the phone starts ringing and the employees pull up and the partner and kids come home searching for dinner, the rest of your home may not be perfect, but at least you’ll have put in effort towards your goal.

Write every day. Or, if you truly cannot, as I recently discovered, then set a new routine that includes creative work. Snatch the extra productive time when you get it. My host daughter is sportsing it up till midnight (hello, volleyball season) and my spouse may or may not go camping. So I’m making a command decision and opting not to start the dishwasher and fold laundry and watch the Masterchef episode I’ve been dying to catch up on since last night. Not until I finish this post and get a couple more photos edited, anyway. Yes, it’s killing me! No, I don’t want spoilers.

By changing up my daily schedule this way, I’ve gotten a good start on updating an old Etsy store, cataloging my photo library, and cleaning old files that were clogging up my computer.. What could you accomplish if you set aside more writing time?

Here’s to new routines!


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