Even though I work at home, I consider my gagwriting a full time job. I try to keep a regular schedule. Most of the thought behind planning my day has to do with the fact that I'm a "morning person."
I'm at my desk, which is located in the office I created for myself in my finished basement, at 8am Monday through Friday. This isn't difficult for me because I've realized I'm much more productive at that time in the morning than I am at 5pm. So, if I really want to tackle something important, I do it at 8am. Of course I scan my e-mail first thing. Of course I check how many people are reading my blog. If I'm starting a new project and need to get writing right away, I won't answer e-mail other than something very important. I want to get started at whatever project is at hand.
Monday is mostly a "reading day." I go to one of the well-stocked libraries near my house and read Barron's and several sections of Sunday's New York Times. If a new issue of Harvard Business Review has come out I read that, too. I should say that before I even leave the house I've read my local daily newspaper, Newsday, while eating breakfast and watching local news. While at the library, I scan the new non-fiction books and check out at least a couple, which will help me to create new gags during the week at home. My favorite book topics are business and food. But, I'm always pleasantly surprised when I read something that's on a totally different topic, like travel, or fashion, or what's trending, and I'm able to create all kinds of new material.
Tuesday and the rest of the week are generally writing days. I use the words and phrases I've written down on Monday to, create new gags. I have a regular schedule of which cartoonists are sent gags on which days. Almost all the cartoonists I work with allow me to send my gags online, which is wonderful because it's instantaneous and there's no postage involved. My week is a regular schedule of writing gags and pieces of gags in my notebook, then typing them on index cards (with a number assigned to them), compiling them for the right cartoonist, and finally, sending the gags either online or typing them on thin gag slips and mailing them to the cartoonist. Of course I write on the back of my copy who I sent it to and the date. When they're "held" I mark them "held" and by which cartoonist and the date. The gags not being "held" are then available to be sent elsewhere.
Let me say that I try to keep a regular schedule but you also have to be flexible. Sometimes a cartoonist wants a specific type of gag and wants it right away. You make time to do it, especially with a cartoonist you just started writing for where you want to make a good impression and let that person know you're serious about what you do.
I'm constantly editing and updating my gags as well as writing new ones. This is what I do. This is the work. There's a lot of rejection in this business but when you see the cartoon in print with your idea and your caption it's wonderful.