Uh, not happenin’.
Because, seriously, I don’t have much of a life. There’s basically my husband and family, my pets, and the computer screen. Oh, and my Seeker sisters, whose cyber-chat keeps me entertained, encouraged, and motivated all day long.
And it all begins (weekdays, anyway) sometime around 7:00 a.m., when I pry at least one eye open and roll out of bed. I stumble to the--oops, you really don’t want the minute-by-minute version, do you?
I slip on my robe and fuzzy slippers and find hubby in the kitchen, where he’s feeding the doggies and starting the hot water for my morning pot of Earl Grey Green. (He’s such a sweetie!) We plop into our double recliner with our cereal bowls and one pesky but oh-so-affectionate overweight dog nestled between us and turn on Good Morning, America.
After browsing the morning paper, I work the daily crossword puzzles and maybe the SCRABBLEgram to jumpstart the brainwaves. Then I try to spend 30-45 minutes on devotional reading and journaling.
Next on my agenda--on a REALLY good day, that is--I do some Wii Fit or else check e-mail on my laptop while putting in a mile or so on the treadmill. As a writer I spend way too much time sitting on my you-know-what, unfortunately.
By now it’s around 10:00 a.m. and time to settle in at the computer. Every morning my inbox is usually clogged with a slew of e-mails that came overnight (doesn’t anyone ever sleep???), so (unless I did this on the treadmill) I zip through those (always with a keen eye for any speck of breaking news from my agent). Next I check in with Facebook, Twitter, Seekerville, and a few other blogs I try not to miss. Mornings are also when I take care of errands, necessary household chores, office organization, and other busy work.
Lunchtime means more hubby time (he’s semi-retired and has his own office downstairs from mine). If it’s a nice day, we take our lunch out to the deck and soak up some fresh air and sunshine with the doggies.
After lunch I get serious about writing. (After another quick e-mail check--you just never know when something urgently important is going to come through--like my next book going to auction or Reese Witherspoon begging to star in the movie version of Autumn Rains.)
I usually start by opening my wip and rereading the last chapter or so, doing minor edits along the way. This gets me back into the story and my brain cranking about what happens next. I also have my Novel Planning Excel Workbook open in the background so I can quickly access plot, character, setting, or timeline details already recorded or add new details on the fly.
When I get stuck in the middle of a scene and don’t know what to do with my characters, I take another few minutes to check e-mail or pop in at Facebook, Twitter, and (natch!) Seekerville. Some may argue that Internet hopping during writing time isn’t the best habit to cultivate, but I do find it helps me get unstuck. And I always limit these breaks to only five minutes or so.
My writing day ends somewhere between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., when hubby pokes his head around the stair landing and quietly asks if I have anything planned for supper.
Which, of course, I usually don’t. I’ve been working for a few years now to train him to take on this chore himself, but his success rate leaves a lot to be desired. I do, however, give him TONS of brownie points for taking over most of the grocery shopping, which I loathe!
I rarely do any writing in the evening or on weekends. For one reason, by 6:00 my brain is usually fried. For another, that’s when hubby and I unwind together while watching favorite TV shows and/or playing a game of Cribbage or Scrabble. Saturdays are usually jam-packed with household chores--yard work, cleaning out a closet, doing minor repairs, running errands, etc. Sundays after church we try to kick back and relax, maybe play some Wii Resort, take in a movie, have dinner with friends, or window shop at the mall.
And there you have it--the thrilling life of a (more or less) full-time writer. I have nothing but admiration for my colleagues who manage both a writing career and full-time “real” jobs. They are surely much more disciplined and organized than I am!
Favorite place to write: My upstairs office, surrounded by all my tools of the trade. Second choice is a lounge chair on the deck out back on a perfectly gorgeous sunny afternoon.
Favorite computer: MacBook Pro 15” laptop
Favorite reference books & other helps:
- Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition)
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition)
- The Synonym Finder
- Flip Dictionary
- Grammatically Correct, by Anne Stilman
- notes from Margie Lawson’s online classes
- a variety of baby name books
- The Moral Premise, by Stanley D. Williams, PhD (he’ll be here Friday!)
Favorite writing companions: Gracie & Shadow
What are your favorites--people, places, pets, snacks, etc.--that help keep you writing? Leave a comment with your e-mail address to be entered in a drawing for an autographed copy of my debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas. It is mid-October already, and (at least according to shopping malls and catalog companies) Christmas is just around the corner!