Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Day In The Life of A Writer

Since on occasion I run across people who think that all writers live glamorous, exotic lives and for the people who have trouble equating the woman they see at the supermarket or the discount store or at a school event with someone who writes for a living, I thought I would offer a run down of an average day in the life.

This is how today began and how I expect it to continue although we all know that the best laid plans of mice, men, and writers often go awry.

I got up this morning just before 5am, later than some days but today, although I could have risen earlier because my husband is forced by his job to rise early and be there by 5:30am, I thought - well, I won't use the actual words that I thought in case it might offend someone's sensisiblities.

After two cups of coffee, I saw my husband off to work and opened my laptop.   The first thing that I do is to check my emails, both professional and private.  I take care of anything that needs it and make a note of anything I need to see about later.   Then I stop by Facebook to see what's cooking, if there is anything new that I need to know about.

After that I do a Google search to see if there is anything new out about me or any of my books.   I discovered a neat little app on Google search after you run the initial one that lets you sort through to the latest results.

Then I come to the blog, hoping I have a topic of the day, and write it.   By the time I finish up here, it will be time to wake up my three kids - fifteen year twin daughters and a ten year old son - if they are not already awake and stumbling into the kitchen for food.   I feed them, make my son - the picky eater - a lunch if he doesn't like what the school is serving today.

Between 6:15 and 6:30, my former neighbor Luz will drop off her two lovely daughters, my son's close friends so that they can ride the school bus to their elementary school.  They just moved and the local district won't let them go to the same school for the weeks remaining in this school year unless they can be taken there which is impossible; all the adults in the household work and must keep their jobs.   So instead, with the school's permission since we all signed a paper stating this would be the status quo, the girls come here and get on the bus with my kids.

Just before 7am, I make the morning phone call to my widowed mother who lives up the street and fifteen minutes later, I shepherd the five kids up that way (because the bus stop is across from her house) feeling like Mother Hubbard.   After the bus picks them up, I visit with Mom for a few minutes and then head home.

Once here I toss the breakfast dishes into a sink of hot, soapy water to wash later with my minimal lunch stuff and start the first load of laundry.  Since my laundry room is in the basement at the farthest end of the house from where I work, I gripe en route and by then, if I haven't already, I decide what I'll cook for supper....or these days, IF I'll cook for supper.   The big freezer is down there too.

After that, barring any phone calls to handle or errands that must be run (I got a check yesterday for an article submitted more than four years ago and accepted recently that needs to go the bank but I'll wait because errands cut a big chunk out of my writing day) I settle down to writing.

This morning I hope to finish the WIP which I'm calling for now LOVE KNOTS.  I'm close and I'd like to put this one to bed so it can sit a few days before I go through it for edits.   I've got a start on the next WIP, one I'm calling "The Carpenter's Rule".  I love that title already and I'm getting to like Caleb Anderson a lot even though he has a few odd quirks and ways about him.

At some point I will go over my calendar to see what guest blogs or interviews I have upcoming and I will write any that are coming close.  If I'm doing edits for one of my novels - something I expect for LOVE NEVER FAILS (Rebel Ink Press, September 2011) at the end of the week, I'm on that.

I'll check into e-mail and Facebook a few times.

When the mail comes I'll dash out with high hopes to see what the mailman has brought hoping it is more than just bills.

Sometime I'll pause for a quick lunch and then back to work until about one pm or so.  Then I check in on my mother, do up the dishes, see what needs to be done about supper (for instance yesterday I made meat loaf so I mixed it and put it in the pan at that time), check the laundry.

Often it's back to writing, once in a while I sit down for a break to watch a little television or sit out on the porch.

Before I know it, it's time to go meet the bus and then the wild rumpus (borrowed that term from "Where The Wild Things Are") begin!  My three kids erupt off that bus - unless one or the other has after school activities which is common with my high schoolers - full of sound and fury.  They all want to babble about the most exciting point of their day at the same time.   Somewhere around that time, my husband shows up from work, we bid my mother adieu, and I go cook or finish supper, listening to the events of the day.

We eat supper, clean up from supper, and more often than not I have something to finish or work on so I do.

Somewhere around 8 o'clock or so I stop for the night, take off my shoes, and unwind.  Sometimes it's a movie or television although I don't watch much network television or if the weather is fine, it's the porch or deck with a favorite beverage in hand or maybe an indulgence in ice cream.

Then it's off to bed where my mind cooks on the next scene, story, or other writing and if I'm lucky, I sleep a few hours before it all begins again.

Glamorous? Not quite.  A lot of hard work - you bet.

But it's a life and I love living it.


  1. I enjoyed reading this. I've always been curious about how other writers structure their days. Thanks!

  2. Hi Lee Ann. Writing is hard work, as hard, if not harder, than an outside job. Yes, we do it because we love it, but romantic it is not. Thanks for leaving a comment on my post at The Blog Farm about "Poem in the Pocket Day." Unfortunately it got published before I made some changes. National Poem in your Pocket Day is April 14, which is Thursday. I'd written about it in the past tense (originally planning to post it later), as if it had already happened. Oops!


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