My Daily Routine: Cecilia Tan
1:00 PM Neighborhood coffee or tea shop. My writing day begins when I make it to one of the local coffee shops I can walk to from home. Some days that is later than others, but the ideal time is after the lunch crowd has come and gone so I won't feel guilty about taking up a table for over an hour. I'll order a pot of tea—also a sandwich or some soup if I'm hungry. The great thing about plopping down at the tea or coffee place is that I save time not making myself breakfast and then cleaning it up.
2:30 PM If I had a productive first writing session and I don't have to be somewhere else, after 90 minutes to two hours, it's time to get up and move to another coffee shop. The walk forces me to clear my head and take a break, and then I can sit down again with a fresh brain. Sometimes I figure out plot elements I'm stuck on during these short walks.
5:30 PM I'm a taekwondo instructor, so three days a week I go to my local martial arts school and help out there. I got my black belt back in the 1990s. The martial arts are a great way to give the writer brain a break and keep the rest of my body from falling apart!
8:30 PM If I'm on deadline and it's not my night to cook, I will often stop to do a one-hour writing spring on the way home! Since the tea shops often close by 9pm, I end up in a thai restaurant in my neighborhood, or at Panera or Starbucks. (If it's my night to cook, I go right home to do that.)
10:30 PM Dinner time! Corwin and I just celebrated our 25th anniversary a few months ago. We both love to cook (and eat) so we trade off nights of the week. I cook Tuesday/Thursday, he cooks Monday/Wednesday, and then we play the weekends by ear depending on our travel and social plans. When he cooks, I clean, and when I cook, he cleans. (Pictured: a steak corwin made, a Japanese-style dinner I made.)
Midnight: After the dishes are cleaned up, my cats (Oolong, Pu-Ehr, and Earl Grey) know it's time for "office hours." They'll herd me upstairs to my home office on the third floor of the house where there is a chair for me at my desk and separate chairs that have been claimed by each cat. They take naps and if I'm lucky I get a couple more hours of writing done! If I'm not lucky, this is when I get a lot my other work done, including editing, social media updating, creating graphics, all that kind of stuff.
Of course, this routine goes out the window any time I am traveling, have doctor's appointments, must wait for the plumber, etc., but it's important to have a life too. Otherwise I would have nothing new to write about!