Life Update: March 15, 2010
So, I usually don’t post a “bloggy" blog entry, but I figured since I’ve been relatively absent from the site lately, I’ll tell you reader-folk what I’m up to! There’s been lots of writing, fun, and some good personal development work too! Commence with the life update!
I’ve been writing almost primarily for Demand Studios. For those of you who don’t know, Demand Studios is a company that provides the articles for eHow, Livestrong, and a bunch of other article sites. It’s been a bit more out of necessity than desire completely, but I have enjoyed myself. When you find you’re in a task that you don’t completely love, try to find things that you love about it. What I love about Demand Studios is that I can work when I want (though that doesn’t mean I can slack), I can learn so many things about a ton of different subjects, and since my girlfriend is writing for them as well we have a lot of freedoms that nine-to-fiver couples might not have.
I have been trying to hone my routine for months, but I’ve finally stumbled on one that works really well for me. I work Tuesday through Friday from about 6:45 AM to 9:45 AM and then from 12 PM to 5 PM. I write 10 articles each day, taking about 40 minutes for each article and taking a break after each two articles. My break consists of me listening to an audio personal development track for about 16 minutes and then I jump back into two more. I have been listening to my favorite of the year “50 Success Classics" by Tom Butler-Bowden and I’m working in a bit of “The Sedona Method" by Hale Dwoskin as well.
When I played Magic the Gathering in high school (yay super nerd Bryan!) there were certain situations in which you’d find two cards that complimented each other and made a killer combo in your deck of cards. I have found that combination in free software. Leechblock is a program that will block you from programs that you waste time on. As I’m writing this, I have programmed Leechblock to block me for the next two hours from Gmail, Facebook, and ESPN (along with a few other sites). It’s perfect for when you absolutely have to work. The other program is so simple and effective (and thanks to Amy for pointing it out to me!). E.ggtimer (yes, with a period) is an amazing time management device. When I have 40 minutes to write an article I just go to “http://www.e.ggtimer.com/40 minutes" and the countdown begins in big block letters. When I minimize the window I can still see the countdown, keeping me honest and stopping me from distractions. Combining these two programs has worked wonders for me in my writing.
I had been slacking off a bit on the exercise front at the end of 2009 and to help, Amy and I joined a gym together. We got a killer discount for registering as a couple and registering as freelance writers. I started taking classes there almost immediately, initially intending to do 5 classes a week. I scaled it back to the two classes I love: Workout Challenge and Full Body Blast. Workout Challenge is essentially an hour long “kick your ass" section, which made my body cry with pain the first time I took it. Full Body Blast uses a light barbell and is a quick 30 minutes workout of cardio, strength, and balance. I didn’t lose much weight December through March though some of that jiggle turned into muscle, thankfully.
I have now synced my workout with my writing routine. If you have some freedom in a freelance kind of way, it’s a great idea to combine your workout, your work, and your eating habits all in one. Each morning Tuesday through Friday, I wake up at 5 AM, run 4 miles, bunker down on my writing for a few hours, go to class or workout on my own, then write for 5 more hours at the gym. I thoroughly recommend doing work at your gym if they have complimentary wireless and a comfy area to hang out in.
I currently have the goal of losing 2 pounds a week until the end of May. Because of Amy and my friend Katie Jones, I have decided to cut calories equal to how many pounds I need to lose per week. Since each pound is equal to 3500 calories, my plan is to burn an additional 600 calories per day in addition to my classes (hence the running 4 miles) and to cut 600 calories a day from my diet, 6 days a week. If this works out, I should reduce my calories by 7200 a week, which would lead to dropping two pounds. Today was the first week and I’ve been successful so far. I’ll keep you all apprised of my progress :).
I wrote a play in college that was called Mangum 310. Through a series of circumstances, I rewrote the play and am producing it with my friend Erik (who is also the director). I am going to write a separate post on this as it has been an exciting experience so far! The play goes up Monday, April 5th at 7:30 PM in Chicago at the Gorilla Tango Theatre. Feel free to drop on by, it runs for a month :).
Thus ends the update. I am going to try my darndest to write some more awesome posts for you guys. Also, if you live in Chicago, I will be hosting some writing motivation workshops in and around the city starting in May. When there is more info for these, I will let you know. Till then, be well and happy writing!