Challenge,  On Writing

A Typical Day

I Got A Question…

And I had no answer at this point. The question was what is my typical day? Seems like such an easy question, except it is not easy when you have no typical day.

And I have not had a typical, normal series of days for almost all of 2018.

But I want to have a regular typical day and I want to set some schedules for writing and exercising and that is what I am working on these first days of the year.

So far I have pretty much averaged 10,000 steps a day, but at different times each day. Not good. No typical schedule even a glimmering on the horizon yet. (Tonight I had to take a walk down to Fremont Street and back to even get close to my 10,000 steps.)

And I have written every day, but not at the same time and not consistently. Also not good for the same reason. (Tonight I did a few thousand words late and tired.)

But both are decent first steps in this process.

My problem is that for years and years, maybe decades, I had a typical day and could tell someone what it was without hesitation. I just never thought about it. It was what I did when I wasn’t interrupted by outside forces.

And over those decades I got hundreds of novels written and who-knows-how-many short stories. But that old typical day just flat won’t work here in Vegas.

And thus the struggle you all are watching.

So my goal is by February to have a “typical day” which does not mean all days are the same, but five out of seven would be nice.

If you ask any long-term professional writer, they have a typical day and know it without thinking. But Kris and I have just made a major life shift and are resetting the typical day thing.

Who knew that could be so difficult to do. Never crossed my mind, to be honest.

Stay tuned for the struggle of finding a typical day.

(Sounds and sometimes feels like a bad soap opera.)


  • Maria

    Dean, this is very intriguing how a long-term professional writer like you finds his creative rhythm at a new place. Want to learn more!

  • Alexandria Blaelock

    Right there with you on this one Dean! It’s irritating, but in some ways a good thing too – it’s kinda like trying to declutter my day to make room for the things that matter. Or climb out of a big old rut.

  • Maree

    Life can’t be static, otherwise it wouldn’t be life. It would be death. We’re always adjusting to change. For me, as a mother of young children it can get frustrating, as soon as I get a routine they change it up on me.

    You reporting on your disruptions is so encouraging. It reassures me that writers don’t need to have this fabulous set of circumstances. We just need to assess and adjust.

    • dwsmith

      Actually, I have a fabulous set of circumstances, and thus the problem. I am flat loving it here and all the many things I want to do here and I am getting healthy and Kris is healthy and we live in a wonderful condo overlooking the downtown with enough money. Adjusting to this new world of great stuff so I can write is a problem for someone with a “Oh, look! Squirrel!!!” brain. But gaining on it.

  • Kat

    Hey Dean,

    Thanks for posting a blog on this. I never thought finding a ‘typical’ routine or day could be so difficult either! I fell into mine before but circumstances changed and I’ve had to work on trying something else. I absolutely felt like a fool asking before, because it’s just so basic of a thing–but you’ve made me feel much better. Thank you.

    I think the thing you said in this post that most resonated with me was:
    “If you ask any long-term professional writer, they have a typical day and know it without thinking.”

    Exactly! I have a board on the wall in my office and there’s a note I’ve written there (pardon the language in advance, everyone). It says:

    So, I’ll make my goal to get my typical day down by February too. Sounds good–and thanks for the insights!