A Day in a Gap-Year Student Writer’s Life

Hullo, world! 

It’s officially my first post on SJ Barnard, 2021! (Of course, we did that last week, but I mean this is my first non-new year or end-of-the-year post. I know, confusing.)

I’ve been loosely asking around what sort of posts would be interesting, and a lot of people responded to Lifestyle. I myself personally love lifestyle posts, especially if they’re about writers! So this will be my first writer lifestyle-esque post, and I hope to do more in the future. 

Today, I want to share with you A Day in a Gap-Year Student Writer’s Life, which, of course, is yours truly. 😉 In a way, it’s my version of the “Bookham routine”–C. S. Lewis’s ideal routine that I covered in a post exactly one year ago–and I don’t always follow the same routine or timing, but some things are pretty much solid. 

Before I begin, I just want to tell you life is life. Most of the time it wreaks havoc on me and all routine gets thrown out the window like it’s on fire (which it is). I also sound a bit mental with my study ethics, something I have been looking into fixing. It’s gotten better, but you don’t want to know what I was doing at 4:30 am when I was thirteen. Like, seriously. Teenage me should get a life. (Said a teenager to the other.)

So with that warning out of the way, let’s dive in!

My Bookham Routine

5:25-6:25 = Wake Up

I try to get up around this time frame on weekdays. Over the years I’ve ditched my insane three-thirty-am routine, but I still like to be up earlier in the morning. 

Waking up

6:00-7:30 = Devotions (+ Breakfast if I feel starving)

I proceed to do devotions, which usually takes me about an hour to do. I also make myself breakfast if I’m absolutely starving, but most of the time I make do with a kettle full of boiling water, tea, &c. In a way, I fast breakfasts. (Ha, ha, how funny it is!)

7:00-8:30 = Write

Usually, around this time, my Mom pours me a nice cup of coffee (consisting of 50% soymilk, 20% Irish cream, 30% coffee) and I sit down with soft music to write. This is about the only peaceful writing time I get in my day, so I try to make the most of it. 

8:30-10:00 = Calculus

It’s time for the much-dreaded Calculus. One of the reasons I am not looking forward to it is because I did Calc already using Saxon, but have to retake it for the sake of getting it accredited by the school board here. The other is because it’s online and understand things much better when I read it. But, we all have to “eat a frog” and the easiest way to do it is in the morning. 

Me viewing Calculus assignments

10:00-11:30 = Bible Study

This is the non-disputable time in the day where our family sits down to sing, pray, and do a detailed theological study. We follow Kenichci Nakagawa’s study material, which is excellent and also a good refresher because it’s in Japanese. 

12:00-1:30 = Luncheon (or Dinner)

We have a loose lunch-cooking rotation, so whoever’s on for the day gets the meal ready with Mom. We also have a dish-washing rotation, and for this month my brother and I are on it. We have a dishwasher but we aren’t sure how to use it, hence we still do them in an analogue way. 

13:30-14:30 = Latin (or a nice long walk)

One thing I really want to do this year is to learn Latin. I use my sibling’s Henley to talk about Romani milites Galliam occiderunt. Or to make sure I know what I’m talking about in Woodstone, given it’s basically built on the seven liberal arts, Latin, and Greek. (Or maybe I live for the day I get to insult someone by calling them crepito facies gallinis.)

Also, I might take a long walk instead because this is the only time of the day the sun is remotely shining in the winter. 

14:30-15:30 = Omnibus, Logic, Chemistry 

This is the time I do the rest of my version 7LA just because I’m obsessed like that. I’ve yet to finish reading the Omnibus reading list, I just started the Canon Logic, and I’m reading through Apologia Chemistry even though I have enough science courses under my belt. 

15:30-16:30 = Music (Viola + Piano)

I only give myself an hour total to practise viola and piano because, given any time, I’d keep on playing them forever. Which, as you might have guessed, isn’t exactly a productive way of spending one’s time. 

What I tend to do on the table when I’m bored.

16:00-17:00 = Free Time! (Technically.)

So, if I’m on for dinner duties, I have to start cooking in this time frame. If not, I can try to write some more or read from my Omnibus reading list. You’d be surprised how many books in The Odyssey one can read.

18:00-19:00 = Dinner (or Supper)

This one is self-explanatory. We sometimes watch The history of Japan or The Road to Avonlea over dinner. 

19:00-20:30 = Reading + Miscellaneous 

After dishes, I revert back to my pyjamas, read, or do some stretches and exercises. 

20:30-21:30 = Family Devotional Reading

Another indisputable time where we read a Christian nonfiction book or devotional or Proverbs. 

21:30-22:00 = Snuggle into my “hub” and recharge as I read

My inner battery starts running out around this time, so a) I start laughing at everything and anything or b) I start crying and become cranky. I proceed to recharge in my bed reading. 

Me charging in my hub be like:

22:00 = Lights Out! 

Whew, what a long day! I stay in my bed and ask nicely if someone would turn off the lights in my room because that’s just the sort of status I have in my house. #sorrynotsorry #flex

And yes, I go to bed at 10 pm.

So in a nutshell, that’s what my day can look like on a good old average day. Tuesdays, we have ski lessons for the month so it’s a bit chaotic. Monday I have the house mostly to myself and I write my Japanese blog during the Bible Study time. Saturdays are solely for lazing about writing my blog posts and my novels, and Sundays are my favourite–church days! Even though it’s online, I still love it. We might watch movies over the weekends, too. 

Although life is disputable in the way it comes at us, I love having a soft outline to make sure I can keep track of where I spend my energy being a low-powered person. I also have this tendency to want to stuff some sort of convoluted study into any free time I have, but I’m trying to relax and focus more on my writing and reading instead. 

I hope you enjoyed it!

What did you think? What does your day look like? Do you have a loose routine you follow? Are you a fan of having routines, or not? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

6 thoughts on “A Day in a Gap-Year Student Writer’s Life

  1. I loved reading about your routine! I’m more of a do this routine for a while and then swap it up kind of person, so I don’t really have a set routine for any length of time, lol. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh wow! And I thought me waking up at 8:00 am is early! I’m mad that you didn’t include “how to stay perfectly sane and energized when waking up at unearthly hours of the early mornings.” I’m truly inspired now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The answer to “stay perfectly sane and energized when waking up at unearthly hours of the early mornings” is:
      I DON’T. Hence I start cracking up around nine-ish in the evening.


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