Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Let's Get Down to Business

My wife and I moved to Vietnam a little over a month ago and we are still getting settled in. My biggest challenge has been trying to establish my daily routine. And it has been a challenge.

I basically have zero outside pressures on me right now. It has taken planning and some hard work, but Red and I have our lives set up to be fairly stress-free. We live on a beach in the tropics. We haven't used an alarm clock even once since we moved here. Our cost of living is tiny. We only need about $800 each month (and that includes cable, wi-fi, 2x/week cleaning service, eating out every day). I work less than 20 hours a week and don't even leave my apartment to do that. I just sit in front of my computer. Most of the time, I'm not even wearing pants.

I can walk here in less than 10 minutes

Now, I am not saying all that to brag about how awesome my life is. It is, but that's not the point. All these perks come at a price.
  • Once I step outside my apartment, the English language becomes useless
  • There is very little of the food from home in this country
  • We do not have a car and the public transportation here sucks
  • It is over 90 degrees every single day
  • Constantly dodging traffic since there are very few sidewalks (we walk in the road) 
  • We are 12 time zones away from our families. Popping into town for events (even weddings or funerals) is not really an option
  • Every day tasks like paying bills and going shopping can be panic-inducing nightmares
  • Unreliable utilities (frequent power outages, national internet disruptions, etc)
  • The water is not safe to drink
  • We have to watch what we say since it is a communist country (although, much less restrictive than China)
We are quite used to all these things and hardly even notice them anymore, but they are worth mentioning because it is part of the choice that has to be made to live the way we have chosen to. Not everyone can do it. But if you think you can live with buying your dinner from a guy who has a working grill on the back of his scooter, I think it's well worth it.

It is especially worth it to me because I set my life up this way for a reason. Well, actually two reasons.
  1. I am incredibly lazy, so lying around on the beach all day works well for my love of sloth and working on my beer gut.
  2. I have been working on a book for two years and could never find time to do any writing.
Now, my life has been purposefully designed to provide the time I need to complete my book and work toward my dream of living solely off my income as a writer. And my schedule is perfect for this. I work sporadically all day on Sunday, so that day is off the table, but I do not work Fridays or Saturdays. And Monday through Thursday, I only work from 5-8 p.m. How's that for a work schedule?

That means my days are completely free to write. That book should be done in no time.

Except for one problem. 

Remember this from earlier? Turns out this is a problem.
My dad was right.

I have all the time in the world to write, but I still have to sit down and do it and I've learned that is easier said than done. It turns out that it is pretty easy to sit around and do nothing when you have no real pressure on your time. I mean Deadpool isn't going to watch itself again and there are fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them that need to be consumed, like, every day. I actually provide a service when you think about it.

So this week, I decided to make a change. I am now treating my writing as part of my job. I am going to actually start setting an alarm.

I'm only going to set it for 7 a.m. Let's not get crazy.
I'm not getting up early if I don't have to.

I will get up, get showered, grab some breakfast and be at my desk by eight each morning. My computer will not be connected to the internet because this is for writing time. No surfing. From 8-11 each weekday morning, I will be writing.

I'm going to need to stock up on Mountain Dew.

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