First Things First
I believe in routines, but I’m also a strong believer in not keeping the same exact routine every week. Instead, I’d rather keep certain elements than following an exact schedule with my writing, let alone the rest of my schedule. Right now I currently drive for Uber.
With that being said, at this point of my life, I have a bit more freedom for a sporadic schedule without my world crumbling like the walls of Babylon.
There are common elements that are still pretty much a part of my schedule. Waking up early is always something synonymous with me. I never got the whole 3 AM - 5AM sweet spot all of my friends in the literary arts community talk about. I don’t know about my fellow artists, but I’m lame, I’m asleep at this time. The time isn’t always consistent, but the range is, usually falling anywhere between 5:15 AM & 6:30 AM.
I always will be working on hundred things at once. For example, yesterday, I was writing a diesel-punk rendition of Sleeping Beauty, a working collection of poetry based on different musical genres, a late fifties revivalist Noir mystery, a full length stage playscript, two horror flash fictions, a poem about Asmodeus, and two short sci-fi pieces. Needless to say, when I write I write like a madman, planning a thousand evil schemes at once. However, I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t love it and would have it any other way.
Methods to Keep Going
For the other times of my day I write, sometimes I will get back from ubering customers at around 12pm for about a few hours of downtime. Again in this time my rhythm is a chaotic moshpit of multitasking. On top of that, I have ADHD and depression so I do need a boost in energy, and coffee isn’t my choice have few ways to keep myself on track instead swerving off the rails.
Running - Whether it’s running, or jogging, or hell, even walking, if one does enough, it can be rejuvenating. At first, when my roommate suggested it was good way to get the day started, I kind of thought of it to be silly. Wouldn’t I be too tired to write, let alone work later on? However, like so many have said in the cheesiest of tones, it’s an adrenaline rush. It is a great way to get the blood flowing, and pumping and even after a run, napping isn’t on my mind, writing is.
Watching Television - It always depends on the timing, or what I feel like watching, but I want to make something clear… MY EYES AREN’T GLUED TO THE SET! Television has been proven to be stimulating and has always been a way to put my mind at some sort of ease, while I write. For me my go-to show is The Twilight Zone on Hulu.
My Dog - Having a dog, in general can make a world of difference in energy, I love mine way too much for him not to be my little furry walking alarm clock. He is always a little waker-upper and I love him everyday for it. Simple, basic acts, such as feeding, cleaning his floppy ears, bathing, walking, and sometimes taking him with me for a run, all are activities that keep me motivated for throughout the day.
I have been published or have work forthcoming in nearly 30 journals/anthologies within only a span of two and half years. People ask me how I am able to submit this much? Because I am always making time to write my work and submit, submit, submit!
My best writing days aren’t conjured by random spouts of epiphany, conquering writer’s block. My best writing days are spent doing what I can to get myself self pump up and turn my brain into a jumping bean.
My methods aren’t meant as words of advice (because I don’t speak for writers and artists everywhere). They are written as daily notes for what I do to get through each day, in attempts to break away from the inactivity that comes with depression, and write, write, write!
J.B. Stone is the author of the micro chapbook, A Place Between Expired Dreams And Renewed Nightmares (Ghost City Press 2018). He also has work featured and/or forthcoming in BlazeVOX, Ghost City Review, Breadcrumbs Magazine, Crack the Spine among several other publications. You can check out more of his work at jaredbenjaminstone.com and/or via twitter @JB_StoneTruth