I earlier posted about my current workday routine: writing 1,000 words of new fiction and burning an equivalent number of calories on an exercise bike. Book gets bigger, I get slimmer.
So far, so good. Since late March, I’ve written 21,000 words (about 60 pages of a first draft) and burned 21,000 calories, and that’s including spring break with our son home from school.
Now I’ve added reading to the mix, so the routine looks like this:
- Write 200 words
- Burn 200 calories
- Read 20 pages of a book
Ideally, by the end of each week, I’ve written 15 pages of fiction, lost approximately 1 pound of bodyweight, and read at least one book.
A single, undisrupted season would yield:
- 180 pages written (half a mid-sized novel)
- 12 pounds lost (which I could stand to lose)
- 6,000 pages read
And I can still be a bum on the weekends. I recognize that I’m in a privileged position of writing fiction full time, and that such a routine would be tricky for people with day jobs. But the beauty of the routine, for me at least, is the steady accrual of results, along with the enjoyable, balanced variety. It’s daunting to write 1,000 words in one rush, or exercise for 90 consecutive minutes. Alternating through micro-goals keeps the effort fresh and approachable. On days when I can accomplish only a fraction of my usual goals, the routine remains an easy way to beat procrastination.