February 4th, 2010

Dead Reign

Some Days in the Life

Yesterday I was thinking, "Man, I work a lot," and decided to break it down. So here you go:

My average work day:

Begins between 5:30 and 7:30, usually, depending on when the baby gets up, and whether it's my turn or my wife's turn to get up with him; 7:30 at the latest.

7:30-8:00: Shower, make coffee, get ready to leave.

8:00-8:30: Go to work. (In the future this will involve "take kid to day care" some days and I'll have to get up and leave earlier.)

8:30-5:30: Day job stuff, which includes a lunch break during which I usually get to read for half an hour, though if I'm up against a deadline I write during that time.

5:30-6ish: Drive home.

6:00-6:30: Clean kitchen, make baby's dinner. (He usually eats either our leftovers from the night before, or something quick like grilled cheese, scrambled eggs, etc. We're trying to have more family dinners, but the logistics are tough.)

6:30-7:30: EITHER clean up baby-devastated living room and make dinner for myself and wife, OR give baby a bath and put him to bed, depending on whether it's my turn or my wife's turn to put the baby down.

7:30 to 9:00: Eat dinner with wife, watch TV, read, fart around online, do World of Warcraft dailies with wife, whatever. Free play!

9:00 - 11:00: Write fiction/ revise fiction/ write freelance non-fiction/ do administrivia/ other work stuff.

Then I either go to bed, or, if I don't have to get up with the baby the next morning, read or watch TV for another hour.

Average schedule for weekends/day off (which is only a day off from my day job, not work in general; usually Tuesdays):

Begins between 5:30 and 9:00, usually. 9:00 at the latest. (My wife and I take turns so we each get one day to sleep in each weekend)

If I get up with the baby, I feed him breakfast, entertain him, etc. until my spouse gets up. IF the baby got me up at 5 a.m. or something, I go back to bed for an hour or two. IF the baby got me up at a reasonable hour (6 a.m. or so), I just stay up.

9:00 to 10:30: Drink coffee, eat breakfast, play with kid, answer e-mails, pay bills, do administrivia, manage story submissions, etc. It's easy when the kid is feeling self-directed and playing with blocks or whatever; it's hard otherwise.

10:30 to 1:00: Take a walk to a park with the kid. Run around and play. Go to the library to turn in/pick up books. We used to get brunch; lately we've been too poor for that. Do some grocery shopping.

1:00-3:00: In a perfect world, the kid naps. Sometimes he naps longer, or later, or not at all. Usually we get at least 90 minutes of nap though. During naptime: write, write, write. Fiction, freelancing, whatever. This is the prime chunk of daylight work time and is pursued vigorously.

3:00-6:00: Play with kid, do household chores, try to read if the kid will allow it, etc.

6:00 onward: same as other nights, except if I get to sleep in until 9 the next day, I usually stay up until 1 a.m. or so. Sometimes I get to watch a bad horror movie then!

Often on weekends my wife and I will divide the day in half -- she'll take the kid in the morning so I can work for some uninterrupted hours, and I take him in the afternoon so she can work, and we co-parent in the evening.

Sometimes when I'm burned out I take a night or two or three off writing... and make it up by working more later, usually. This is pretty much the peak schedule, when I have deadlines. When I don't have deadlines -- other than weekly freelancing, which I always have -- I can ease off on the writing a bit, and do.

Thinking about this makes me tired. I used to have more time for video games.