How to Move a House – Writing Advice from Dane Cobain

Writers are strange creatures. We never really stop – even when it looks like we’re not working, like we’re staring out of the window or we’re watching people go by whilst drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, we’re still working.

See, it’s not just the writing that you have to worry about – there’s the research, and the plotting and the endless rounds of edits to try to polish your work so that it shines with eyes like lighthouses when the boats come home.

And you have to deal with reality, too. Take my case – I’m in the middle of moving house, and so I have to worry about all of the logistics of that, as well as cleaning the place before I move out. I also need to somehow pack and transport five bookcases with almost 1,000 books on them. Meanwhile, I’m due to send back the first round of edits on, my techno-thriller novel, by the end of February, and I’m also writing a new book – a novelization of a movie script that I wrote at University.

So as you can imagine, I’m pretty busy. I’m working almost non-stop and focusing on being as efficient as possible. I multi-task, a lot – I’m kind of known for it. That, and typing really quickly and making the desk shake with how hard I’m hitting the keyboard.

I write on my cigarette breaks at work, or I ring people to sort stuff out for the move. When I jog in the evenings, I memorise my poems at the same time, and I work by a ‘schedule’ that’s incredibly complicated, kind of OCD, but as efficient as hell. Most evenings, I get home from my day job and just crack on with my evening job – writing.

Loosely speaking, the schedule revolves around the music that I listen to – I put Spotify on, and every time the song changes, I change activity, looping through three categories:

  1. Computer stuff: Checking Facebook, formatting blog posts, answering e-mails and editing my work all come under this category
  2. Tidying: Keeping the house clean, packing stuff into boxes and typing up handwritten work all fit here
  3. Writing: This is when I actually get some writing done, from blog posts like this one to work on my novel or a journal entry

It’s weird, and it makes me weird, but it also makes sure that I get stuff done. Everyone has their own way of working, and this is mine – it certainly seems to work for me. After all, I managed to squeeze in this guest post whilst working on two books and moving house!

Dane Cobain is a writer, poet and musician from a place you’ve probably never heard of, somewhere in England. When he’s not writing books, he’s reading and reviewing them on his book blog – – or working at his day job in social media marketing. Find him at or follow @DaneCobain on Twitter.

Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home

Eyes Like Lighthouses is Dane Cobain’s first book of poetry, distilled from the sweat of a thousand memorised performances in this reality and others. It’s not for the faint-hearted. “I’ve never seen anyone do a stream of consciousness piece as talented as that. Very impressed.” – Mark Allsard-Will, author of Saskatch-A-Man and co-founder of Cuckoo’s Nest Press “Dane’s poetry is a multi-layered spiral of the macabre, quirky humour and disjointed imagery. Not only does he make you think, he captures the small forgotten moments of everyday life.” – Nikki Dudley, co-editor of Streetcake Magazine “…[Dane] combines concrete detail with socioeconomic concerns.” – Lorna Wood, associate editor of Gemini Magazine.

About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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