A Day in the Life   2 comments

What Is The Day In The Life Of An Independent Novelist Like?

Walk your readers through the hour-by-hour day in the life of (your title). Also, don’t forget to share pictures. It’s always a lot of fun for people to peak into others’ lives.


Custom Blog:

An InLinkz Link-up

get the InLinkz code

Okay, so I’m not going to talk about my day job. My employer might consider that a conflict of interest. I’m an administrator. I support people who have a key role in keeping Alaska rolling along. I don’t agree with them politically and I think they’re engaged in slowly-evolving economic suicide, but otherwise they’re very nice people and the job pays well enough. I’ve said all that I should on that topic.

Image result for image of typing on laptopSo my weekday starts at about 6:30 am when my second alarm insists it is time to get up and go to work. Right now, in the midst of Alaska’s 24-hour daylight, sometimes my day starts at 5 am because our dog is confused and her bladder is full. She can’t read a clock, so I get up and take her out and then I might crank out some writing. I’m usually wide awake after standing on the lawn watching Goldeneyes check out her favorite spots, so I get at least a page (about 200 words) written. But most mornings, I drag out of bed like a normal human being with time just to make some breakfast, pack my lunch and warm up the car to go to work. The dog goes out in the time it takes to toast my bread. There is a lengthier process during the season-that-shall-not-be-spoken-of, but I refuse to think about that in July. During the school year, I drop our son at school on the way to work. I then have about 10 minutes to write in my head while I drive. Right now, I have 15, nearly 20 minutes to head-write.

Image result for image of yellow lab chena river

I often use my lunch hour to deal with the social media time suck. I work out after work 2-3 evenings a week (and Sunday afternoon because I feel guilty about partaking in the breakfast they offer at church). I either watch television news as research while I work out or I write in my head. Some of my best writing happens when I don’t have the means to write it down and when my mind really needs to be occupied to get through the drudgery. Working out, mowing the lawn, a huge filing project or shredding at work is a very productive writing time for me. My coworkers think I’m nuts that I’m not bored enough to pass it to my subordinates. Shredding … what shredding? I’m sword-fighting or riding dragons, thank you very much.

After I’m done sweating and maybe a little closer to getting back into shape, I then go home to make dinner for the family. It’s usually Brad’s job to collect the teenager from the rock-climbing club where he has gotten himself after school. Since he blew a disc in his neck, Brad is not climbing himself, which means I don’t get alone time except on Thursday evenings. At around 7 pm, I sit down with a plate of food and usually a gigantic mug of tea to write. Hey, an indie author had better learn to multitask because there’s only so many hours in the day.

Image result for image of yellow lab chena riverOften the television is on (except Thursdays), so I’m multi-tasking. I spend the first hour doing something for the blog and then I’ll turn to one of my writing projects. As I’ve explained before, I often have more than one project because if I get bored or stuck with one, rather than give myself writer’s block by obsessing, I can switch to the other and get myself unstuck or less bored so I can go back to my primary project refreshed. Fount of Wraiths (Book 3 of the Daermad Cycle) is on long-term hiatus because I can’t stay focused on it. I write a scene and then I need a break. My next published book will be A Threatening Fragility (Book 3 of Transformation Project). It is the beta project that won the alpha-beta wrestling match. I’m writing the other book. I’m not stuck. It’s just taking a long time to get it out. It sure beats engaging in crippling self-recriminations because I’m not keeping my promises to myself.

Speaking of shattered promises, I promise myself I’ll go to bed by midnight. For most of the year, I can do that (you need more sleep and feel sleepier during that season we don’t discuss), but during the summer, I frequently find myself up until 2 am (and once a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t go to bed). At midnight, the sun finally dips below the horizon and than at 2 am, it starts to rise again, all visible from the north-facing window, so … yeah, that’s my signal that I’ve lost track of time. I’m chronically sleep-deprived in the summers. Fortunately, sleep deprivation seems to ignite my creativity, but I was slightly goofy at work the day after the night I didn’t sleep. Most of my coworkers are sleep deprived too this time of year. I fit right in.

Image result for image of yellow lab chena riverI try to write every day and even on a workday, I’ll produce about 1000 novel words (not blog words), but my big writing time is the weekend … unless we go hiking, camping, fishing … you get the picture. I get up at 8 am, make coffee and toast (take the dog out … we really need to teach her to use the toilet), and turn on the radio. Patriot’s Lament (KFAR 660 AM) starts at 9 am and I get my weekly dose of anarchism. My family generally sleep in very late on weekends, so it’s just me and the dog and Josh Bennett and Michael Anderson. These guys, their guests and callers give me so many ideas for Transformation Project that I am doing research while I listen, but I also spend time writing. This is my big day. This is the day when I will often produce 3-5,000 words. I take breaks to listen to the guys, but often they’re just background chatter as I really pound out the words. But, wait, they’re talking about why the 4th of July is a secular religious rite and the American flag is an idol. Maybe the writing can take a rest to listen. And then there’s toast and coffee and rubbing the dog’s butt with my foot. Sometimes you just have to take a break.

The show’s done at noon, which is usually about the time Brad starts a project in the basement (or the yard in the summer). I’m not bothered by noise (my mother operated a daycare center in our living room; I do react to blood-curdling screams, but mere skill saws … why would I?), so I keep writing, getting up occasionally to throw laundry in the washer or dryer (just outside the door) or to remind the teenager that Saturday is the day “we” vacuum and scrub the tub. He’s not sure who this “we” is I keep referencing. But I scrub the toilets, so he doesn’t argue because he knows he’s getting the better end of this deal.

Image result for image of yellow lab chena riverAbout three pm is the heat of the day around here (solar apex is 2 pm), so I take a break in the summer to go out on the deck and get some rays. Alaska homes are set up to deal with the cold of that season-that-shall-not-be-spoken-of, so we don’t have air-conditioning and it does get into the 90s here on a summer day. I will take a book with me. Sometimes that’s the markup manuscript for one of my books, but most often it’s a fantasy novel. It has to be a paperback because I can’t see my laptop screen in the sun. This is a good relaxation time for me. I’ve finished The Hunger Games trilogy this summer and Terry Brooks’ Elfstones of Shannara. I’m currently reading a history of Alaska, which is actually a fantasy novel because not everybody here experienced statehood as a benefit. (During the season-that-shall-not-be-spoken-of, we gather in the living room from about noon to 2 pm to catch the wan rays of the sun as it inches up over the neighbor’s roof. Yeah, it’s up about 2 1/2 hours. Occasionally, Brad will insist we drive up into the hills overlooking town and have a picnic lunch in the car so we can catch 3 1/2 hours of sunlight — yeah, and waste a lot of gasoline and create some air pollution, but it’s sunlight and … meh).

Back on the summer deck, the sun starts filtering through the birch trees around 5 pm, and it cools down slightly, so we do some yard work and then make dinner. The sun is still up, of course, and it’s warm enough to sit out on the deck, but not so bright I can’t see my computer screen, so I often will get in another hour of writing on the deck after dinner. If Brad hasn’t found a movie or TV show for us to watch, I’ll often write until bedtime, but I do recognize that I live in a community and should interact occasionally. Sometimes in the season-that-shall-not-be-spoken-of we play cards or board games. The teenager is getting really good at Cribbage, but reports that he’s the only 18-year-old he knows who plays it with real cards.

Related imageOne thing we try to do most summer evenings is go for a walk around 9 pm. Understand, it’s still broad daylight here then and it’s hot out. The sun is still above the horizon. People are out on their decks or throwing sticks for the dog down at the river. Often that’s where we’re headed too. Although my writing day might not be over, it’s a pleasant break and a time when writing is set aside, because it’s important to back up now and again and see things with natural eyes. It clears the cobwebs away and sometimes what I see on that walk works its way into a scene. And that’s why I included a lot of photos of what we see down on the river.

That’s a day of my writing life.


2 responses to “A Day in the Life

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It’s a good idea to have several writing projects on the go. I’ll have to start that!


    • It keeps me from staring at the blank screen. You’ll read articles that say don’t have more than one project at a time and there is actually value in that — this last six months, I have struggled with too many projects all wanting my attention. But for me, it is preferable to getting stuck on a project and then feeling like I have to move to the next step. I need that outlet of the second project. But when I finish A Threatening Fragility, I really do need to force myself to settle down to Fount of Wraiths. I had someone on Amazon ask me when the third book was coming out. It’s not really stuck. It’s just back-burnered.

      Liked by 1 person

What's Your Opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Joanne's Bargains

Bargains From Around The Web


Gospel Word Gardening in the Age of Decay

Jodie's Sewing Studio

Sewing Should be Fun

Webinar Starter Blueprint

The place to learn about doing webinars

Professor Eric Dent's Blog

A Scholar's View of the World

The Author Lab

A writing collective

The BookNook UK

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book - Dr. Seuss

Unlearning Economics

Musings on the Current State of Economics

Christian Creative Nexus

Pursuing Our Creative Call Together


die welt aus der sicht eines einsiedlers

Becoming Christians

Every Christian's Journey Toward Eternity...

Ronel the Mythmaker

Life as a South African writer.


Horrors & Headaches. Macabre & Migraines. Sci-fi & Stressors. Phenomenal Realism & Phobic Relapse.

Author Carol Browne

Writer of speculative fiction and non-fiction

Upward Bound

Exploring the invisible and visible realms of God through writing & pictures

Angie Sim

"tonight we honor the hero"

Written In Shadows

Welcome to Valcrest

%d bloggers like this: