Weekday Routine: Freelance Writer

Weekday Routine is back! Formerly a day-in-the-life series detailing the schedules of productive individuals, Weekday Routine paused as we, as a society, rejiggered our definition of “productive.” And “schedule.” And “day.” Welcome to our pandemic reboot. If you’ve listened to three-quarters of a meditation podcast, or recently shaved, you may be featured next!

Julie Kraut, a formerly busy person with a once-demanding writing career, is adjusting to the sudden shift in her work-life balance. “Time just happens. I do nothing, but time’s still going,” she says, staring at her own video feed in our Zoom interview. 

Staying at home without meaningful work or a timeline of when she’ll earn a living again has been an experience she considers “interesting. And boring. Both at the same time? Is that a thing? If not, then just boring.” 

While she doesn’t have a set schedule, she admits she’s a creature of habit. “I do the same thing every day without even doing anything.” 

UP AND AT ‘EM: I get up around what seems like morning, but it’s hard to tell with my black-out shades. And my depression. Immediately, I check my phone to see if any editors have gotten back to me or new clients have reached out. Normally, there’s nothing. There was one email from an editor a few days ago, but it was to tell me she got laid off. I try to fall back asleep. I never do. 

SWEAT IT OUT: After laying in bed so long my back hurts and I have no choice but to get up, I stream an on-demand workout. I miss the warmup and am confused about what weights I need because I make sure to start about seven minutes into the video. Before quarantine, I was always late to gym classes and consistency’s very important now. 

LUNCH O’CLOCK: When the lockdown started, I cooked. But no matter what I made, I always wound up snacking on chocolate chips. So, I’ve leaned into that. Most of my meals now are chocolate chips from a bowl. I don’t use utensils or my hands, though. You know how horses feed from a trough? Like that, but faster. 

TESTING, TESTING: By this point, I’ve checked my inbox several dozen times and there’s nothing new. I’m pretty sure something’s wrong with my email address. To test, I log into my personal account and email my professional account. But when I go into my professional account, there’s a new email waiting for me, probably from an editor or my manager with an offer. I feel foolish for thinking my email address was broken. Oh, never mind. The new message is the test email I sent. 

GET INFORMED: I limit my COVID-19 news consumption because sometimes it makes me cry so hard and so long that I get thirsty. Instead, I focus on politics. But, after reading the latest on Joe Biden, I get angry at myself for every thought I have about him. Like, really, really angry. So, I just stop thinking. Fully stop. My mind is unclouded by thought or reason until suddenly, it’s dark. 

KEEP IN TOUCH: Next, I call everyone I know who’s older than I am and shame them for not being careful enough about the virus. I don’t mention I ran out of soap two weeks ago and have been washing with Windex. 

MONEY ON HER MIND: Here’s the part of the day I dedicate to stressing about finances. I start a budget and research selling my less essential organs. I almost figure out how to log onto the dark web. 

NIGHT, NIGHT: Around 11pm or 4am, one of the two and nothing in between, I head to bed. I know it’s not perfect sleep hygiene, but I bring my phone into bed and use it as an eye mask, so I don’t miss any incoming assignments. Once a telemarketer called in the middle of the night and I thought I was being tased. Next, I silently berate myself – sometimes it’s for not seeing sunlight all day, other times for not knowing what sourdough starter is—until I, well, not fall asleep. More slither into dreamless, itchy nothingness. ❑

You can follow Julie Kraut on Twitter, but she’s not great at tweeting. Set your expectations accordingly.

Photo by Eliza Diamond

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