A Cretan workday

As you’ll have seen from my earlier blog about Cretan Life, my workday doesn’t start as soon as I get up. I take my time getting ready for the day, and potter a bit before I start. But when I actually sit down at my laptop with the view to work, I often get so absorbed that I won’t move from the spot for hours, resisting the urge to go to the toilet (yes, really, and I always need to go), make a drink or even check my twitter.

But who wouldn’t be inspired when this is the view from your workstation?

My work day actually reminds me of a song from Wizard of Oz, when they finally reach the city and everyone is singing:

We get up at twelve and start to work at one, take an hour for lunch and then at two we’re done. Jolly good fun!

And it is jolly good fun most of the time. But I honestly do work, unlike those singing in Oz. My ‘writing’ day, starts at about 11am usually, and I work until I’m hungry when I stop for lunch and I make the short trip from my workstation – the dining table – to the kitchen.

I take my lunch down to the patio area in the garden, where I sit in the sunshine and read my book. Bliss! I also take a few minutes to plan what I’ll eat for dinner that night if I haven’t already, as a lot of Greek recipes require slow cooking.

Then it’s back to work for the afternoon, sometimes with another coffee break at around 3.30. If it’s a particularly good day, I will stay there until six or seven in the evening (those are days when it is best to have something slowly cooking in the oven, but I don’t ever plan to work as late as that so it doesn’t always work out).

I have tried various approaches to my writing. To begin with, I was being strict about my working hours, working 9am to 5pm every day, but I found myself spending a lot of that time just stressing about not getting anything done, or thinking about other things that I needed to do – I think some people may call it procrastination.

Another approach was to set myself word count goals. Every day, I challenged myself to write 3,000 words and this worked for a while. But as I got to more complex parts of the plot, or needed to go back and edit something rather than writing anew, I would get frustrated not seeing the words add up.

So I find this method of working is the most productive for me. I’m not a morning person. In fact I think my mind is most active in the afternoons, so it stands to reason that this is when I am most creative. It may not work for everyone, but at the moment it’s working for me so I’m sticking with it. It means that I don’t feel I need a break at the weekends either, so most days I write for a little while at least.

I combine it with goals too so that I’ve got something to work towards. And slowly but surely, I’m getting there.

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