🧵 A thread: sharing info gathered over the years, in case it helps someone else who's just starting the freelance life. The usual caveats: this is just me, YMMV, in no particular order, etc. ... 1/?
#writinglife #WritingCommunity #amwriting #screenwriting https://twitter.com/madhat31/status/1385762565201014788
First, if you're like me, go find the StayFocusd toolbar/app thingie and put it on your devices. Put any website in there where you waste time. It helps. 2/?
Get yourself a Pomodoro technique thingie. (Basically set a timer for 25 min at a time.)

Pick a time and use an alarm clock to wake up. Helps if it's even on weekends (I know, but...). 3/
It doesn't have to be as early as your old job but resist the urge (at least after the first week of it feeling like vacation) to sleep later and later/stay up later and later or before you know it you'll get up for work at noon and start work at 6pm and go to bed at 4:30. 4/
(for those who like this schedule I refer you to the first tweet) (for those with kids at home, their schedule will set one for you anyway, and that's a whooooollllllle other thread) 5/
When you learn your natural schedule/how you work best, you may need to continually inform loved ones when you are working lest they assume you're not ever busy. This prob isn't such an issue anymore. Continue where possible to bitch about your supervisor being a real hardass. 6/
For those without kids/other built-in structure, have 1-2 consistent things/times every day. I gotta be at my desk by 9, or 10 at latest, and between 2:30-3:30 I always fade away and want to take a nap so I get a mocha or diet coke or something before *lighter* work till 5ish 🤷
Prob everyone knows by now you need a dedicated workspace. If you don't have at least a desk/space/closet, carve one out. You can still work elsewhere. It doesn't mean you're chained to a desk but it does tell your brain "This place is for focusing." 8/
Also try not to hang out there when you're just surfing the web (does anyone even say that anymore?) or watching a movie on your laptop--that trains your brain the wrong way. Gotta separate. 9/
I like to stop mid-sentence or mid-thought or mid-scene when I'm writing, and mid-whatever when it's other work (leaving a checklist or reminder for myself if needed), so that I don't have to face a blank page or a stuck point when it's time to get back to work next day. 10/
I figure out when my best writing time is and then try to keep appointments and zooms and stuff away from those hours. Or schedule them all on the same day of the week, to optimize deep-think time. Others appreciate the structure of having calls/appts at same time every day. 11/
I also try to block/label stuff on my calendar whenever I'm thinking about it, so that 1) I don't forget, 2) when I'm NOT thinking about it I can just be a mindless slave to my calendar and shit still gets done, and 3) I have a (vague) record. 12/
recently realized I need chill time in the a.m. before I can do anything of value. Maybe it's cuz of the pandemic/virtual schooling, but afternoons are intense work times, like 11-5 daily. By 6 or 7 I'm fried. Done. So I rarely do social events online 🙁 I just need to decompress
That's really different from how I used to be---an early focus-er and afternoon fryer and evening worker. But it's going to change over time, like all things, I gotta just flex with it. 🤷 So be it. /14
But if I'm really on a roll I go right back to work after dinner. I take advantage of those times because if the writing is coming out easy, or my brain is cooperating fully, that's a gift from heaven. (And also my fam knows it makes me shitty company.)15/
I protect myself from decision fatigue. I wear the same clothes (style) every day and have had the same breakfast daily for like seven years, it's insane. But for me, the fewer decisions about unimportant shit, the more emotional energy to make creative decisions on page. 16/
(I realize clothes and food can also be creative outlets. For me, I get creative with those when I'm not conserving energy for a WIP.)
I feel the same way about scheduling. I make stuff automatic or habitual so I don't have to think about it or motivate myself to do it. 17/
There are lots of things I still suck at. Most days I feel like a failure at one thing or another (writing, filmmaking, freelance gig-ing, mothering, wife-ing, householding, friend-ing, exercising, nutritioning). I have completely given up some things as lost causes. But 18/
Every day is a trade-off. I worked hard to figure out how to honor the stuff I value by giving it my best, and that means having to let other things go. There's never enough time, but even more valuable is energy. So. I hope some of this helps someone else. 🙏❤️ /Fin
You can follow @Gene_D27.
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