Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Writing habits

As writing plays an important part of my personal and professional life, I spend over 50% of the my active time juggling with words.

I do write mostly on my computer. When I am out and I should document some blog posts or articles, I usually take notes, but the ideas will be later put together on my computer. I do the same when I read books that I want to review later. In all cases, the notes will disappear later in the recycle bin, as I do not need the information any more. In the old times, I had a lot of files and written notes for my academic papers, but nowadays, either I know already many things or I have a more structured memory, or I have less academic curiosities. If the latter, I better go back to the scholarly habits.

The first words in the morning are written for the usual electronic correspondance. In 89% of the cases, there are not too many intellectual challenges at this time of the day. Usually, I go to sleep quite late and when I am back online many are just starting the day so not too much time to have an inbox full of emergencies.

If no emergencies with my consultant job, I spent at least 3 hours early in the morning writing blog posts or reviews or getting ready with some articles. But as my writing contribution is mostly for free, I should stop and around 10am I am doing the basic paid work, which may involve writing as well or translating, but also social media networking or meetings outside my home office. If everything is fine and I am done with the regular hours assigned for the day and month, I will continue the day with a library hopping. While on the road I do read a lot, especially the easy travel books or easy literature. Back home, I should do another 1 hour of work and continue with the home chores - cooking, finding and trying a new recipe. Such activities are usually inspiring for my blogging life and I take a lot of notes about the directions and many more pictures. The next hour or so is dedicated to school discussions and a good eating, with some sporadic e-mail checking in between. The best is to come: one two hours of reading, when I usually take notes or brain storm with ideas for further posts or articles. 

I work a lot with lists of priorities, but also with my own mental notes. I try to avoid associating my writing with the usual stress of the deadlines and thus, I know how many posts I have in my boxes for one blog and I try to finish with the writing within a given period of time. Now, for instance, I have more than five blogs in the making for my Berlin blog and I plan to finish till Friday, until I will be overwhelmed by other newly added posts. When I participate to an event or I have fresh posts that I need to write for SEO or other branding purposes, I set up the deadline and follow it. 

At the beginning of my blogging life, it was quite difficult to find the right balance between writing and reading. When I was reading too much, the blogs were not updated for weeks, while too much writing leave me with the feeling that I waste my time without learning something new. Now, I am much better, trying to plan my articles in time and avoid wasting too much time with procrastination.

The evening may continue either with a social event - the rule of the last 2 month was almost 3 events the week, plus a very busy cultural week-end - or with more reading. When the spontaneous inspiration haunts me, I take a break of 15 minutes, write a new post and continue the lectures. 

The supper could be another occasion to expand the list of scheduled posts for blogging at the end of which I will prefer some glossy reviews, a chat with friends and maybe another coffee and a new book done for the day. If I loved or hated the book, will take some time for some short reviews on Goodreads and Shelfari and if it is a book I received for review, a couple of sentences on Amazon. 

Late in the night, a new checking of the latest e-mails, the preparation of the next day agenda and everything is switched off before a good sleep.

It is nothing I would like to change from my writing life, except that I have only 24 hours to organize my writing and reading life.

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