Last year, we moved cities so that we could live near the beach.
For about a month, this worked perfectly. We had picnics, met up with friends, spent hours walking by the water. Then I fell into the same trap I have fallen into repeatedly in my 17-year writing career.
Here it is: I couldn’t stop working.
I overwork. It’s that simple. Sometimes it’s because of money. Often it’s because of creative goals. Mostly, it’s because of belief.
For a long time, I believed that I had to struggle and sacrifice in order to make money. So guess what? I struggled and sacrificed in order to make money.
At the beginning of this year, I snapped. I had written books that I was immensely proud of, created a business that I loved showing up for, and written articles that had created real, actual change in the world. But even though I was doing work that I loved, I never actually had time to sit back and enjoy the rewards of it.
The decision was made. I made a (somewhat radical) shift.
Eight months on, here’s what my routine looks like:
I wake up at 6 am, get dressed and take my kid to school. Back home by 7:15, get myself a cup of tea, and start work at 7:30. I do a solid four hours of work, with a couple of five-minute tea breaks until 11:30 am and then? I’m done.
Yep, that’s right. When most people are just starting their day, I’m finishing.
And then I have the rest of the day to read, meditate, do mindset work, take classes, exercise, watch movies, or go see people (my least favorite option).
I’ve been talking about automation and simplification for over a year now, and this year I finally got serious about it and made it stick. My four hours look like this:
Hour 1: The International Freelancer
Hour 2: These daily emails and The Finishers
Hour 3: Writing: Books and freelancing
Hour 4: Admin
Sometimes, nay often, I’ll do more. But that’s a choice. It’s by no means a requirement anymore in my business.
This is possible for you, too, of course, but a word of caution: Don’t take what I’ve said here to mean that you’re going to work four hours a day in your first year as a writer and start making a six-figure income.
That’s not how it works and anyone selling you that is lying.
You need to build foundations. You need to create relationships. You need to learn how to write, how to market, how to create systems in your career that automate a large chunk of the work for you. You need to build assets that earn you money long after you created them. Learn the nitty-gritty of not just writing well but getting that work out into the world and in front of readers.
For some people, this foundational work can take years or even decades. But not for Finishers. Many of our members have gone from zero clips and zero credits to writing for top publications, including The New York Times within months. The Finishers provides the education, the community, and the coaching you need in order to get going.
There’s no magic pill. You still have to do the work, you still have to show up, you are still required to learn and implement.This is not a group for people who are looking for the easy way out.
You can certainly spend the years to figure it out on your own. We’ll just help you get there faster.