This Works For Me

wireless-shower-systemDo you find balancing the writing life with your day job challenging? I do. Most writers trying to move from the day job to supporting themselves writing do as well.

There is no wrong or right way to work full time and pursue a goal of paying your bills by your writing. Regardless of your approach, you have to write on a regular basic. I don’t know what you do but I do know what I do. I’ll share today as an example.

The day began as many others. I woke up at 4:40 AM. I turned off my alarm before it rang. It had been set to wake me up at 5:00 AM.

I made my way from my bedroom/office to the restroom to do the morning personal hygiene routine. I tried being quiet where I won’t wake up my wife of forty-one years.

After my bathroom time I went to the kitchen where I took my morning prescriptions. I am a sixty-two years old white male with most of the common health issues of a man my age.

I next retired to my room where I refreshed my iPod downloads making sure I downloaded the latest podcasts. With it being Monday morning I knew there should be a new episode of Joanna Penn’s “The Creative Penn” podcast. I download it each Monday morning and listen to it either going to or coming from work.

This week’s was titled, “Successful Book Marketing Using Facebook Ads With Adam Croft.” The podcast summary is if you write a great book, it will not fly off the virtual shelves unless people can actually find it. In this week’s interview, UK crime author Adam Croft describes how he used Facebook Ads to drive his book into the Amazon Top 100 and stay there. I get a great education listening to podcasts.

While it downloaded and synced, I got dressed. I then returned to the restroom to comb my hair which was nearly dry after my shower.

Next, I grabbed my iPod, headed to the kitchen grabbing a breakfast bar and Dr. Pepper. I picked up my backpack with laptop and headed out the door for my car.

As I sat in the car I tuned in the local news radio station. The time was 5:35 AM. About three miles from home I realized I had forgotten my cell phone. I thought about turning around to get it but decided not to. I headed for Starbucks. I have been going to the same one almost every morning for over fifteen years. I arrive there at 6:00 AM as the coffee house opened.

My usual table was empty. I sat down my backpack, removed my laptop, and booted it up. While it was booting up I went to order my tall blonde roast coffee. Destiny, that’s the barista’s name, had it ready quickly.

I returned to my table, logged on the computer, connected to my day job’s network via VPN. I then ran the morning system checks. This took about 30 minutes.

At 6:30 AM I log off the VPN. I launch the file with my book one on my current series. I look at some of the suggested edits. They won’t be that hard to do. Next I open the file for book two in the series. I have sixty-five pages written.

For the next hour I write. I am a plotter, not a panser. That means I know what I will write. I just follow the outline. When I write I do not edit. I do not reread what I wrote yesterday. I simply pickup at the point I  was last at.

I don’t worry about writing a bad first draft. I’ll fix it in the rewrites and edits. I write at the same place at the same time each day. That way the muse knows where to find me. At 7:30 AM I pack up and head on to the day job where I arrive at 8:00 AM.

I try to give my best part of the day to my writing. This works for me. I allows me to write a book a year. Yes, it takes discipline, but then I want to support myself writing. I have to do the work.

What works for you?

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffee house, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. You can visit him at

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