When I was sixteen, I made a commitment to write every weekday - aside from sick days, of course, when I doubt anyone can really accomplish much. I have not shirked that duty since. The duration of my writing sessions, however, has changed significantly from when I first began work on The Breacher.
For my first half year, in fact, I started out with rather minuscule daily hours. I typically wrote about an hour each morning at 9, propped up against the wall beside my bed with my BlackBerry in hand. An hour wasn't very significant for a sixteen-year-old homeschooled boy who had few responsibilities beyond school. If I could do it over again, I would have used that time to write for at least seven hours a day rather than merely one.
But I was rapidly becoming more invested in The Breacher and more eager to complete it. So, around the summer of 2015, I upped my writing hours to two each day. In another few months, it was up to three. I woke at about 7 and wrote from then until 10 when I started school. I maintained that schedule until 2016.
Over the course of 2016, my writing hours went from 7-10 A.M. to 6-10 A.M. - I only progressed about an hour for that first half-year. For the second half of the year, however, I pushed school back an hour and wrote from 6 to 11. At this point, I was writing a satisfactory amount. I was progressing consistently in The Breacher, I had enough energy left over for school, and I had plenty of free time in the late afternoon and evenings to see friends or just generally waste time. Yet again, if I could go back, I would have forced myself more quickly into my current routine - perhaps beyond it.
Since early 2017, my new schedule has grown to be more focused, committed, and regimented. I wake up at 5 and complete my morning routine, which consists of a quick run, breakfast, and day-planning. Once the clock strikes 6, I sit down in front of my laptop and type away until 12 P.M., sparing time for a thirty-minute break at around 8:30. After that, I'm on to school again and in bed by 9. My six-hour writing day has worked well for me, but I still hope to add at least another hour soon if I can muster the determination to force it in.
The moral of the story, though, is that we always seem lazy in hindsight. When I look back on my sixteen-year-old self and think about my hour-long writing day, I can't help but shake my head. I should have been writing more then than I am now! How many novels could I have completed by now if that had been the case? See, if I could tell my sixteen-year-old self anything at all, I would tell him to always ask himself this: When you look back in a year's time, what will that version of you think of your current work ethic? That is something I wish I had know then, and it's something I try to remember now.