How my workday goes
And why I'm okay with it, even when I worry.
Three things have to happen before I can start my writing day: I have to make my bed, I have to have my coffee, and I have to get the Wordle word1 . Then I have no more excuses.
I don’t have to take a shower and get dressed in order to get started because I’ve developed a really bad habit: I’m convinced I work best in my non-restrictive nightclothes.
I’m not so uptight when I’m writing in my nightie.
I marvel at other writers who have to get dressed as if they’re going to the office, which, of course, they are, because they have super lovely, super organized offices in their homes. They set hours like real pros and they get into a ‘writing as business’ mindset.
And, I’ve noticed, they’re far better than me at getting the job done.
I used to do that sort of thing when I was freelancing on deadline, when I was sort of a pro, since people were actually paying me for the work I did back then, when I had to keep a calendar to remind me of the projects I’d agreed to do and had to get done, or else.
I never wanted to see what ‘or else’ might have meant. I don’t remember ever being late for a deadline, but I can’t say I always sent out my best. That was the problem with deadlines for me. At some point I had to wrap it up and send it on its way, no matter what condition it was in.
Most often my editors only asked for minor changes, so it was me—or it was my perfectionist editor hanging over my shoulder, telling me how disappointed he was (of course it was a ‘he’) that I was sending out that pile of shit when I could have done so much better with a little more effort.
That was then. Now I have no editors hounding me (Oh, you’ve noticed…?), no reliable checks waiting to be cashed, no reason for that kind of wonderful anxiety, probably ever again. While it makes me somewhat sad, and, even more, makes me feel like a bit of a fraud, the truth is, I like where I am now as a writer.
I like that I can get up, get my coffee, do my Wordle, stay in my nightie and write the kinds of things that might be all over the place but are always the most meaningful to me.
I like that I now have hundreds of subscribers at each of my stacks, some of them even willing to part with their own money just to keep me feeling like a real writer. I LOVE that. I’m honored and humbled and it does, in fact, keep me going.
I love that I’m doing it my way each and every time, yet most of my subscribers are still with me. And the numbers slowly grow. I do lose a few whenever I write a political rant, but that’s okay, too. None of this is mandatory. Nobody has to stay.
I’ll probably never make it to the Substack top, where mentions of the rarified few keep us buzzing and hoping at Notes, but it’s okay. It’s finally okay.
I worry, though, whenever I talk about this too casually, that I’m giving some readers of Writer Everlasting the wrong idea. If it comes across as, “Oh, Hell, just write whatever comes out of your fertile mind”, I’m so, so sorry. I never meant it that way.
I’ve said from the beginning I want this to be a place where writers can come to sound off or commiserate or talk shop or just relax. I don’t want it to be the place where Ramona says don’t worry, be happy, who cares if nobody else cares?
No, we’re working here. No matter what else happens, we’re writers and we’re working. Even in our nighties or our sweats or our best office clothes, because that’s the way we each work best.
So I’ve dunked my cookies and downed my second cup of coffee, I’ve taken my morning pills, and soon enough I’ll shower and get dressed. I’ll let this piece rest a while, just to make sure it says what I wanted it to say, and when I get back to it I’ll be wearing jeans and a sweatshirt (it’s cold and rainy up here in the Keweenaw, where we’ve been for almost a week now), and I’ll feel more like an editor than a writer.
As it should be.
So how about it? How does your writing day start? When does it start? Not that it’s a contest; I’m just curious.
Writer Everlasting is for writers at all stages and ages and rages. Or just for fun. Who knows? Just subscribe. We’ll figure it out.
These are my Wordle stats: I’ll never have a 100% win rate now that I have 99% but I absolutely HAVE to keep that 99%. I’ve missed a couple of days when life gets in the way (that’s what ‘streaks’ mean, not necessarily losses; could be no-shows), but for the most part I’ve started each day with Wordle. Not that I can brag about it on Notes, because a couple of people have said they absolutely positively don’t want to see it there. So I put my wins on Facebook instead. Because what good is it if I can’t share and brag and see what every other Wordle nut has done?