One of my favourite blogs to read is Extraordinary Routines by Madeline Dore. The blog consists of a range of posts that focus on a different creative and their daily routine. It’s a simple idea and yet provides a unique window into the lives of talented creatives. I wanted to take a page out of her book for my first blog post by giving you all an insight into who I am, what I do, and what my day-to-day looks like.
7:30am: My alarm goes off and I immediately hit ‘snooze’. I’d like to say I jump out of bed and meditate every morning because honestly, this is my goal, however it is not yet my reality. As someone who freelances, setting my own timeline and goals is essential and it’s something I’m striving to get better at every day.
7:45am: This is usually when I’ll drag myself out of bed. I try to pop on a pot of coffee before hopping into the shower and waking myself up. I used to be a night time shower person but I’ve found this ritual to be essential in getting myself ready for the day.
8:00am: I’ll pour myself a coffee which I drink while doing my semi-elaborate skincare routine. Skincare has always been something that fascinated me, and it’s featured highly in any retail therapy I’ve undertaken.
In the last year I feel that I’ve perfected the basic elements of what my skin needs as I fast approach the big 3-0. My skincare routine is something I think I’ll go into detail about in a blogpost in the future because it’s a morning ritual I really don’t like to go without. It’s a part of my meditative process, a moment just to take care of myself and it’s addictive. While I do this I’ll often listen to a podcast. The shows I’m really enjoying at the moment are ‘7am’ and ‘Art History Babes’.
8:15am: I like to choose an outfit the night before because otherwise it can take me an hour to choose something to wear, so now is when I get dressed and prepared to leave the house.
8:30am: This is when I aim to leave the house. When my love is with me, he and I have developed a pretty sweet date idea where we have been trying a range of cafes in our area (because okay yes, maybe I have a habit of finding a place I adore and never going anywhere else…), so we will usually walk to a café nearby and have a coffee together. This has become one of my favourite things to do, it gives us some time to connect, drink delicious coffee, and prepare for the day ahead.
9:00am: This is when love has to leave to get to work so as he cycles away I take out my laptop/ notebook/ ipad and start work. I’ll usually begin with any emails/ DMs I’ve received, invoices and orders that need to be sent out, and working out which jobs need to be worked on that day.
Once the admin side of things is more or less taken care of, I like to make a list of everything else I want to get done for the day. I used to try to make these lists on my laptop or ipad but what I’ve found is that I need the visual and tactile comfort of a notepad for these lists.
When I was 18 and completing high school, I used to make daily timelines of what I would get done that day, and how much time I would allow myself to get that thing done. Sometimes I really wish I could sit down and have a chat with that incredibly motivated and disciplined young Shannon who stuck to these timelines; she was incredible.
9:45am: Once my list is done, I will leave the café and go to the gym. I’ve found that if I don’t go in the morning, I get far too tired and just won’t end up getting there. Also it really gets my blood pumping and ready to tackle the rest of the day.
10:30am: After another quick shower I will head to my regular café/bar which has pretty much become my office. I’ve found that at least until I can afford a house where I have a dedicated office/studio, cafes are going to be where I work from which I actually kind of love. Freelancing can be super isolating and lonely work so the social element of having a local spot where people know your name and your order (iced oat milk latte in the morning/afternoon, pot of pale ale in the evening, anyone?), is really comforting.
I usually spend about 4 or 5 hours straight working on illustrations or copywriting, depending on the work I’ve received that week. I also dedicate at least an hour of this time to working on my blog posts/ website/ Instagram.
4:00pm: This is often when my favourite café ladies have to kick me out on the days they close before 5, which forces me to go home and either keep working or take a break to relax and hang out with my housemates. My friendships are deeply important to me, so barring some work emergency, I will always make time to hang out, catch a movie (on cheap nights, c’mon, I’m a creative freelancer!), grab a drink (I have a notes document dedicated to my local happy hours), or even make dinner together.
7:30pm: This is when I will make dinner while listening to a record or watching a film or documentary on Netflix, often with my housemates.
On nights that I get to spend with my love, this is when he will get home from work so either I’ll have dinner and wine ready to go when he arrives, or he will bring wine and ingredients and I will have some chill time while he cooks dinner and we drink wine in anticipation (which I’ve got to say, I’m never mad about).
10:00pm: This is my ideal bedtime, but I can’t lie, I often surpass it. This happens by getting hooked on Netflix (or in this week’s case, we have gotten deep into Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong produced films), having beautiful d&ms with my housemates, or getting a little too obsessed with whatever work project I’m on that week, and working on it until my eyes won’t stay open any longer.