how I (try to) work

Somebody asked (in a comment to yesterday’s post) how I structure my work day.

When I had a full time faculty position and a toddler, I had to fit writing in with a shoehorn. I got up at five in the morning and wrote for about an hour and a half. Sometimes I could get another hour in in the evening. On the weekend I tried to get three hours in a day.

When I left academia and started writing full time, I stayed on a pretty regimented schedule. Three or four hours in the morning, another two or three in the afternoon. Unless I had a looming deadline, I always stopped at dinner time. I spend the evenings working on whatever mixed media project I’ve got going, usually in front of the television with the Mathematician.

In the last couple years things have degenerated. I find that sometimes I work best at eleven o’clock at night. I used to work best in the mornings at a cafe — the ambient noise provided a nest, and I was productive in that nest. Now I can’t really do that anymore because I have arthritis in my lower spine and tailbone, and the chairs at the cafes are like instruments of torture.

So at this moment, I’m trying to impose structure on myself by sitting in the same place with my computer for the same hours, turning off email and the browser, and focusing on the screen. Where only the doc I’m working on is open. Having mixed results so far.

I’m thinking of going to a hypnotist. I’ve had good luck with that approach in the past.