One of the questions I ask in my writer interviews is for the writer to share his or her writing routine. For some reason I am fascinated by this and inspired by it. For instance, ever since my buddy Owen Laukkanen told me he writes 5,000 words a day I’ve felt like a wimp if I only write 1,000, which is my norm.
Here is a little insight into my writing day. Would love to hear about yours. Right off the bat, I will say I know many writers have to fit their writing into a day that includes a full-time job outside the home, along with other responsibilities such as raising children. I don’t deny that I’m extremely fortunate to be able to work at home and even luckier to have a supportive husband who knows my paid writing doesn’t even make a dent in our income.
So, here is my typical day:
Up and at ‘em. Spend the next two hours alternating between getting the bambinos fed and ready for school and farting around on Facebook, reading blogs I like, getting myself ready, eating, and doing a bit of paid work (I moderate a website for pay).
Breathe a big sigh of relief and sit down to write, either at home or maybe once a week at a coffee shop.
Write. Write. Write.
Usually by this point I’ve written either 1,000 or 1,500 words and am often ready to take a break. I’m usually starving by this point so I eat. Today was salmon, rice, and brussel sprouts.
*A big challenge for me working at home AT THE KITCHEN BAR is to avoid snacking. Some days are better than others!
On a typical day, I will do some paid writing in the afternoon. If I don’t have a freelance assignment, I also will run errands or take a walk if the weather is warm.
Also, if I’m done with paid work and on a roll, I’ll go back to my novel and write some more. Or read books on craft, such as “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogle.
Today, I also spent time brainstorming, researching and adding to my storyboard: http://thegirlwiththesilvereyes.tumblr.com/
For instance, I was trying to remember what it was like in downtown LA during the riots and to help jog my memory I did a little online research. I post photos and other inspiration found during research on my storyboard. Plus songs. Always have to have music in my novels.
Get ready for bambinos to arrive home and start dinner prep
Eat with family
The rest of the evening is often spent doing activities with and for the kiddos and hubby.
Settle in with a movie or a book.
9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fall asleep wishing I could stay awake later.
I’m the biggest baby on the planet. I love nine hours of sleep and would prefer ten.
Soooo, looking at my typical day as a writer, you might notice a few things: yes I’m DAMN lucky to work at home. I’m DAMN lucky. But I also drive a 10-year-old car, rent, and shop at thrift stores.
The other thing (more important) that you might notice is this:
I really only write two hours a day. When people say they don’t have time to write, I try to encourage them to look at where they can carve out two hours in their day. In reality, most people can. It might mean giving up TV at night (something I had to do long ago), although I will never give up movies once or twice a week.
Anyway, would LOVE to hear about other writer’s and their routine. So please share!