Casey Grisez

November 17, 2022

Sticky Notes Lesson #12 - The Ideal Day

I signed up for a month-long, email-based writing course from Cole Schafer of Sticky Notes, Honey Copy, and Chasing Hemingway fame.

He sends a lesson and prompt every day. I have 10 minutes to read and consider the prompt, 40 minutes to write, and 10 minutes to edit before posting publicly.

I’m posting here to not drown my Casey's Notes content. On to day 12...


As I sit here writing, I'm in the midst of winter's opening salvo. We've had our first snowfall, first temperatures in the 30s, and those first dismal, gray days that are charming in November but depressing in February.

Nothing beats the first cup of hot coffee when it's cold outside. The steam curling off the top of the mug, the heat blowing back in your face when you cool it off, the first sip when it's just cool enough to drink.

Some praise brown liquor's warming effect. Thanks to too much Jack Daniel's in college, brown liquor's effect is nauseating at best. A steaming hot cup of coffee on a cold day warms you from the inside out.

Today's writing prompt is to describe my perfect day in as much detail as possible.

My perfect day starts by waking up without an alarm around 6am. I then make either cup of hot or iced coffee, depending on the season, using locally roasted, freshly ground beans and brewed with one of the many hipster methods I like to use.

While drinking that coffee and before the rest of the house wakes up, I do some reading or writing for fun. This is my golden hour. It's still dark outside, I feel like I'm awake before the rest of the world, my wife and kids are (hopefully) still asleep, and I can fully focus on whatever I'm reading or writing.

Once everyone is awake, the chaos begins. Get the boys out of bed, prepare and feed them breakfast, and talk about our days. After breakfast, we walk together to school, regardless of weather. Once back from school, I get in some kind of workout (ideally something outside or maybe a swim. I despise basement workouts).

After the workout, I get to work, which is writing professionally. I'm not sure what I'm writing, whether it's nonfiction in a job like Morgan Housel's at Collaborative Fund or fiction, but from 10 in the morning until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I write. I'm focused, distraction-free, and able to crank out a few hours of deep work. 

I want to have a space to go to work, either a shared workspace with a private office or maybe a writing cabin somewhere. Whether I stop for a cup of coffee or work in a coworking space, I just need to make sure I have some human interaction during the day.

Once the work is done, I go back home and walk to pick up the boys at school. We spend the afternoon together working on homework or going to practices or lessons, then I cook a (mostly) healthy dinner. When Jess gets home from work, we have dinner together, ideally outside if the weather allows, then we spend time together, maybe with the neighbors.

Once the boys are cleaned up and ready for bed, we read a few books, then they go to sleep with only minimal trouble. Even in an ideal day, it's unreasonable to expect no trouble. When they're asleep, Jess and I get our showers then spend a little time together reading books or watching TV or whatever. With a busy house, it's too easy to become transactional and we need to be intentional to stay connected.

We then go to bed around 10, content with how the day went and excited for the next day.

And of course, I've already measured out my coffee beans and water to minimize the time between waking up and taking those first few sips the next morning.