I have some exciting news to share. Next month, I am beginning a new series here on the blog: A day in the Life of a Writer. Every second Monday, a writer will share with us a day in their life. If you’ve ever wondered what a writer’s day looks like, this series is for you!
The idea behind this series is to debunk the romantic notion that many believe writers sit blissfully at their desks all day long tapping feverishly away on the keyboard. The reality is, there is no typical day for a writer. We each have our own set of circumstances and we all fit writing in and around work, family, and other commitments. And there is, of course more, to writing than simply writing!
I’m so excited for this series as I have a stellar list of writers lined up. From aspiring writers to published authors, mainly fiction, but also a non-fiction author in the mix too. I love peaking into other people’s lives and seeing what they get up to, and I know I’m not the only one. So I hope you will all enjoy it as much as I will.
As a precursor to the official launch next month, I thought I’d share a day in my life as a writer. So here goes.
My writing and working week is Monday – Friday. I try to keep weekends for family and doing things around the house. I’d love to say I’m a full-time writer, but I’m not. The idea of writing full-time, as appealing as it sounds isn’t something that could work right now. My husband and I run our own business – a combination of bathroom renovation, tiling & paving, and flipping houses – so I do have to devote a fair amount of my time to that, as I take care of all the administration and bookkeeping. And as hubby works long hours, and I’m able to work from home, the majority of the household chores and running kids around falls to me. This forces me to prioritise my writing and schedule it into my day. If I didn’t, it just wouldn’t get done. And then there’s the proofreading and copywriting I do, in which I’m fortunate that I can take on as much or as little of this type of work as suits. I also make space in my day for exercise, lunch and time to just be. So here is a day in my life – Monday last week.
The alarm goes off and I make sure I get straight out of bed. I don’t give myself time to think about how nice it would be to stay in bed, or how cold it is out of bed – otherwise I wouldn’t get out!
Exercise. I always start the day with exercise. For two reasons: it makes me feel good, and I just wouldn’t get around to it later in the day. It also warms up my spine, which is essential to manage my lower back pain. Today I’m hopping on the spin bike for half an hour, but I like to change things up. So another day it might be a cardio, ab and legs workout with an app, or an aerobics workout from youtube!
6:45 – 7:15am
Mundane stuff like making the bed, showering, and having breakfast. I’ll either check social media and emails, or read while I eat my breakfast.
7:15 – 8:15am
Rounding the kidlets up! Breakfast, lunches, kitchen clean up and general organising stuff to get them out the door.
8:15 – 8:40am
Headed to the local farm supplies outlet today to stock up on chook food and horse worming supplies.
8:40 – 9:20am
Dropped kids to school, checked our mail at the post office box, and did some grocery shopping.
9:20 – 9:40am
Home again to unpack the groceries, put them away, and throw on some washing.
9:40 – 9:50am
Finally sit down at my desk. Check emails and respond/file accordingly.
9:45 – 10:50am
I now focus on my current work in progress. I’m part way through editing and rewriting. This is draft no. 8, and hopefully the last one before I send it off to my editor for a structural edit. When I finish this draft, I’ll do a lighter run through adding in some colour and checking to make sure I’m showing and not telling, before I send it off. The aim is to have it to her by the end of July, and she will have it back by the end of August. Then September and early October will be spent following through with her feedback and rewriting/editing where necessary. Then it’s onto a copy edit, and I’m ready for submission. *gulp*
10:50 – 11:05am
Put washing out, and another load on. Check social media, send out a few tweets, read a couple of blogs, check Instagram. Check emails.
11:05am – 11:45am
Walk the dog. This is one of my favourite parts of the day, especially with the mild winter weather we’ve been having. (Ask me again in a month!) A walk helps me freshen my mind, get the body moving, and I get to listen to my favourite podcasts such as So you want to be a writer, Case File, Straight & Curly, Let it Be, Write Now, and Up & Vanished.
11:45 – 12 noon
More washing duties. Seems like I’m constantly washing and folding. Urgh! But you will hardly ever find me ironing – only if absolutely necessary!
12noon – 12:40pm
Lunch time. I make an effort to sit down and take time out for lunch. Today I’m having homemade chicken soup. Yum! And reading my current read: ‘The Pleasant Girls’ by Lia Weston.
12:40 – 1:50pm
Time for bookkeeping for our business. Boring, but necessary. I have accounts to pay and follow up, as well as an Installment Activity Statement to complete and pay. I just love paying the government our hard earned money.
1:50 – 3:20pm
I discover my website has been hacked. Yep, some lousy so-and-so has added some spam pages in Chinese! I’d been having a few issues with the site lately, but couldn’t figure out exactly why until now. I’m annoyed, angry and frustrated. I tried to get to the bottom of it myself, with limited success. Then I figure my time is best spent writing and earning money, rather than chasing down low-life internet scumbags, so I engage a reputable company to clean up my site and resubmit to Google. Was definitely worth it. They had it up and running in no time, so I have now signed on for a 12-month maintenance package. My website is a huge investment, but a worthwhile one.
It was definitely frustrating having to deal with this, as I had planned on spending this time working on a short story for a competition that I’m entering. *insert grumpy face*
3:20 – 6pm
Pick the girls up from school, afternoon tea and chats about their day. Then running them to and from dance, while feeding animals and preparing dinner.
Dinner, dishes, you know, all that fun stuff.
7:30 – 8pm
Bedtime routine for Miss 9. She’s loving reading again which is good, as she fell out of love with it for a while there. Back to reading her favourite – Geronimo Stilton!
8pm – 10:45pm
Some TV time watching Masterchef with Miss 11, then send her to bed for reading. I have to put an alarm on my phone for 9pm to say goodnight and turn her light off. If I didn’t she would read all night long!
Then time to do a quote with hubby for another bathroom renovation. Then we settle in to watch an episode of Breaking Bad. We’re late to the party with this show but are absolutely loving it. Amazing acting, storyline, drama, and camera work.
10:45 – 11pm
I try to go to bed at the same time each night. It doesn’t always go to plan, but the days when it does, are the days I feel the best and are most productive.
So there you have it. Not all that exciting hey? Aside from the website hacking issue, this is a fairly typical day for me at the moment. I do like to try and get in a couple of writing sessions a day if I can, but aim at least for either 1,000 words, or a chapter of editing per day where possible. And I try to get it out of the way early too. That way it’s done, and if my day turns pear-shaped after that, well at least I got my writing done for the day.
Make sure you tune in in two weeks’ time where I will have my first guest writer. Pamela Hart (a.k.a) Freeman author of fantasy, childrens books, and historical fiction such as ‘The Soldier’s Wife‘ and ‘A Letter from Italy‘.