Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Writer

Posted by: Jane Kindred
Just in case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like in the glamorous world of writing, I’m here to spill my secrets.

Today I was awoken by a beeping back-up indicator on a truck outside my window, interrupting a dream in which I’d received a sudden, unexpectedly large check from my publisher (triple digits) and was having an important talk with my agent at a writing conference. Both things seemed like they were about to change my life, and then that damn truck. I’ve had prophetic dreams about rejections before, so I was hoping maybe this check thing would pan out similarly, but alas, no.

So I got up and went into my office, where I do the day job—editing for a global consulting firm. Answered emails, reviewed copy on a couple of layouts, then took a break to have coffee and a breakfast sandwich, after which I updated some project management records, finalized some copy after receiving approval for an ad from a happy client (yay!), and sent the copy for layout.

Then it was time for an hour of therapeutic yoga at my neighborhood studio to try to manage the pain from the pinched nerve I got a year and a half ago from a herniated disc in my neck from hunching over a laptop writing for 20 years. The pain sucks, but the yoga break is always nice.

Back to the “office,” where I reviewed some more layouts, worked on a PowerPoint presentation, and then a “lunch” break to watch my daily episode of X-Files—along with hundreds (dozens?) of other nerds like me going through all nine seasons leading up to the release of the new series in January.

Then more layouts and emails and edits, and finally, it’s time for me to go “home,” which means heading into my bedroom to read some Facebook posts and tweets and answer personal business email before dinner.

After that is when I start writing. I have a standing desk now so I don’t keep messing up my spine, and I keep the standing desk in my bedroom. It keeps the day job and the writing separate, and gets my butt out of the chair for a few hours. (I also have a treadmill under the standing desk, but am I using it? No. I’m standing on it.)

Normally, I write at least 1,000 words each evening, but tonight I remembered I had this blog post due; hence, my boring you with my day. When I’m finished, I have some giveaway prizes I need to box up and address to take to the post office tomorrow before the winners start to suspect that I’m a big, fat liar who just made up this giveaway. Then, hopefully, I’ll finally have time to write. Usually, writing wraps up around 1am, followed by decaf tea and a little snack (animal cookies) while I unwind with some television before bed.

Add in several breaks to feed cats (and clean up cat puke) and pet a demanding 19-year-old calico, and that’s it. That’s my life. Pretty much every day, except that on weekends, I don’t do the day job, so I have longer to write. Strangely, this usually does not amount to significantly more words.

Believe it or not, most of this—except for the neck pain, the cat puke, and the marketing—is actually how I prefer to spend my time. I like creating worlds and characters who have far more active lives than I do. Though I wouldn’t mind traveling more to some of the places I write about.

Some years I do a few conferences (many of my fellow writers are off in New York this week for the annual RWA), but I couldn’t afford any this year, which goes nicely with my social aversion and agoraphobia. Thus, here I am, sharing my oh-so-exciting day with you.

Was it everything you thought it would be?

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