Monday, April 14, 2014

Life of a Writer

Thank you to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes on Saturday! I had a great day and I felt special. :)


L is for Life of a Writer


I know there are those writers who wake up before the sun and write for hours. I am not one of those authors. In my opinion there are two kinds of authors: the crack-of-dawn writers and the midnight-oil-burning authors. I burn the midnight oil.

While I eat breakfast I check my email. Usually there is anywhere from 10-25 emails waiting for me in my inbox. I also check my author Facebook page, my personal stuff, and my horoscope. Yes, I like to read my horoscope even if they are wrong.

On Tuesdays, I share my weekly blog post and read a few blogs. I do this again if I have a guest later in the week (Friday or Saturday). For my blog, I plan out every post a year in advance. Yup, that’s right—I already know what I want to post on my blog for 2015. And right now I am half way through writing my posts for this year. What can I say? I am a planner. If I didn’t plan I’d be ripping my hair out. But having my posts pre-written doesn’t mean they aren’t fresh or up-to-date when I post them. I always add and eliminate things from my posts when I post them.

I mostly work through lunch with my plate of food at my elbow. I take a bite and chew-chew-chew as I type on my keyboard. I wish I could say I spend all day working on my stories, but blogging, promoting Hurricane Crimes, and editing takes up a lot of my time. When I do write (or attempt to write), it’s usually from lunchtime to dinnertime and then after dinner to eight o’clock at night when I check all my social media sites one last time and take a peek at Amazon for new reviews. Then I turn off my computer to unplug for the night and pick up my notebook and pen. Whatever I write during the night in my notebook, I type the next day.

This is my typical day as a writer. Some days I can pound out pages. Other days I struggle. Most days I see authors on Facebook who share how many words/page/chapters they accomplished and I want to beat my head against my desk. I always wonder how they write as much as they do. But I know how . . . I write with perfectionism. I can’t help it! Even while writing my first draft I am trying to make it as perfect as possible so when I do my first round of edits it’s not so disastrous. I wish I could just let the words flow without a thought, but I literally don’t know how. So it may take me longer to finish my first draft than other writers, but my editing may possibly go faster. ;)


See? Writing isn’t all that glamorous. My friends, and especially my family, think I am boring. Whenever they call and ask what I’m doing, the answer is always the same, “Writing.” They laugh and I can only image that they think I have no life. What they don't understand is that I HAVE to write, and I choose to write. Writing is my life!



QUESTION: What’s your typical day like (as a writer)?


A to Z Blogging Challenge:


72 comments:

  1. If I could, I'd be the midnight oil writer. But these days I'm neither. I have to get up really early for work, and I like to get as much sleep as I can, which means sleeping in through potential writing time. Besides, I've always preferred getting straight to work as quick as I can so I can leave as quick as I can. :P

    As for at night, I need to go to bed early due to the early rises. And now that I have foster kittens, even on weekends I am up at 6:30 am! Not even kidding. The little jerks wake me up at that time. Lucky for them they're cute. :D

    But anyway ... if I AM writing, I will write between the time I get home from work (usually 5:15pm or so) and bedtime - around 9:30pm. But right now I am not doing anything at all, despite the fact that I SHOULD be editing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fortunately, I don't have to wake up especially early so that's why I can write later, but I don't really stay up to obscene hours. I wish I could wake up early to write but I'm just not an early riser and never have been. I also should be writing, but this Challenge is taking up all of my time. :)

      Delete
  2. Good Morning! When I worked, I wished I could sleep longer.Now, that I am retired, I am up at 5:30. It used to be to go to the gym. Lately, with this A to Z Challenge (oh, let me have some excuse), I haven't gone there, haven't gone to the store, haven't done my windows...maybe it's the new (fast) computer that brings up websites so quickly.

    When it comes to drafts, I am with you, Chrys. No sloppy typing away just to spew out the thoughts. It's too easy later on to overlook typos and echos (there are enough annoying ones left as it is).

    I just sent a warning to a new writer-friend that this passion will drive you crazy. But we love it. Yes, we HAVE to do it. More power to us, I say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More power to us. I like that!

      Thank you for telling me about your process, Inge. :)

      Delete
  3. Because of my work and kids' schedules I have to squeeze in writing when I can, it is never at the same time each day, but I find I work best in the morning. It's for those few moments that the kids don't need me for something. But I try to at least write or edit a little bit each day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also try to write or edit a little each day, except recently due to this Challenge. Ssh! haha Thank you for your comment!

      Delete
  4. Every writer has their own process. I don't write as fast as others -- I also don't write every day, not creatively anyhow, which I know most would say is a no-no, but it works for me.

    I wish I could be a crack of dawn writer...maybe someday I'll start getting my butt out of bed before I absolutely have to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every writer certainly does. It's important we find our own process and rhythm too. I would like to write every day but often I don't. Sometimes life and other things get in the way.

      I also wish I could be a crack of dawn writer, but I fear that may never happen. haha

      Delete
  5. I wish I could be a crack of dawn writer as I'm really a morning person, but lately I can't seem to get into any routine when it comes to writing.
    Happy Birthday a few days late!! Glad you enjoyed your day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Julie! I'll take a birthday wish a few days later. :D

      I've never been a morning person so I may never be a crack of dawn writer. Oh well.

      Delete
  6. A year in advance?!? I literally cannot imagine being that organized. Seriously- I'm in awe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol I'd be bald from pulling out my hair if I didn't have things planned in advance. I like to be prepared. :)

      Delete
  7. Way to be ahead of the game. I'm typically written out or planned out at least three to 6 months, which makes me feel awful when someone asks if I have space on my blog, and I'm like, "Yeah...in four months?" Regardless, it's a way to keep from going insane.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the BEST way to keep from going insane. For guest posts, I am book about two months in advance. I want to add author interviews soon, but once my blog settles down a little.

      Delete
  8. Chrys, I am your newest follower (for the moment), and my typical days goes like this: write, answer e-mail, write, check Facebook and comment, write and eat at the same time, write, revise, revise, write, eat and write, then close the night reading. Sometimes people think I'm selfish because I don't drop what I'm doing often enough to do important things like go shopping (which I hate) or play bingo (at which I always lose.) But I like my life. Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for following my blog, Debi! The most important thing is that you are happy. If you like your life then you don't have to answer to anyone! :)

      Delete
  9. Lunch is my social media time, and I do happen to have a plate of food at my elbow. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Us writers have to eat and the best way to do that is to bring our food to our desks. ;)

      Delete
  10. Only two kinds of writers? What about the "write when you can" writers? That's been mine deal lately, with full time work and family and what have yous. What's important is finding the time, and that means finding the things you normally do, but don't need to do, and stop doing that. That's my my new writing station I'm setting up will be void of internet access. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there are "write when you can writers". I write when I can but I mostly write when the sun goes down. I think most writers tend to write more heavily in the morning or at night, but also here and then during the day when they can. :)

      Delete
  11. I write the same way as you. I wish I could just throw out a first draft then edit later, but I can't. I have to go back and polish as I write!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds like a good, solid routine Chrys! I am a morning writer. Sometimes I have to get up at 4-5 am because I wake up with words rumbling in my brain for my latest work or my blog. I always suffer on these days though, as I don't get enough sleep. Sometimes I make myself fall back asleep even though the words are there (a sin I'm sure but I love my sleep :) ) I find social media, and blog reading take up some of my afternoon times. Evenings I write a little bit more. I am guilty of letting social media suck my time and I'm not sure the conversion rate is convincing me that I'm actually selling more books for it or gaining more site traffic...oh well, I've made lots of great friends and found many delightful blogs like yours. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Social media and blogs really do get in the way of writing time. That's why I haven't been writing lately.

      Delete
  13. I admire you for your planning, Chrys. I wish I could say the same but I am the complete opposite. The only thing I can say is that I never write at night. I simply can't do it, lol. My best writing time is between 5am and 3pm. Sometimes, if I am on a roll, I can go until 5pm on my days off from work. But usually, I try to write about 2-3 hours in the morning before work. I check emails at night and usually navigate around the blogs I follow throughout the day. I use Facebook and Twitter throughout the day as well.
    I love your A-Z! It's been wonderful to come over here and see how you are doing with it and I must say, well done my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't even imagine being awake a 5am to write.

      Thank you, Gina! :D

      Delete
  14. I would love to be able to write everyday, and I was lucky enough to have 9 months when I could concentrate on my writing, but now I split my working week 50/50 between being a project manager and being a writer, which means I get to pay the bills :)

    I'm more of an early morning person than a late night one, although if I get past about 11pm, I tend to wake up more again after that. I don't have a fixed routine for my writing, but I usually check social media before I start writing.
    May I say - wow, you really are organised!
    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also check social media as well as my email before blogging, which always delays my writing.

      lol Yes, I am organized. :)

      Delete
  15. I can't believe you write all your posts so far in advance! I'm in awe! :)

    I tend to be more alert - thanks to coffee - and more creative in the earlier hours but I don't rule out working into the dark either. And I pretty much always have a notebook handy. Most of my ideas start on paper then get typed and reworked on the computer.

    Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption
    Minion, Capt. Alex's Ninja Minion Army
    The 2014 Blogging from A-Z Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of my ideas start on paper too! Typing them up later always drags me down though. I don't really look forward to it. I'd rather keep on going than go back to type, but lately it seems I'm less creative at the computer, so that's why I've been relying on my notebooks. :)

      Delete
  16. A year in advance? I wish I was as organized as you! In a minute, I'll be joining you in banging my head against the desk shortly cause I haven't written anything in a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can bang our heads together, J.L. :)

      Delete
  17. I'm a midnight oil writer too. I try to do blogging and email early in the day when I can. I hate getting up early for any reason.

    ReplyDelete
  18. With the demands of being a rare blood courier and doing A to Z, fitting in time for research and writing my next novel is getting grim!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand that, Roland. I'm having a hard time writing right now too.

      Delete
  19. Kids killed my ability to stay up late and write but, if I could, that's how I'd do it.

    A year in advance! That's... amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids, and especially babies, can do that. But we love them. Don't we? ;)

      Delete
  20. I got into the really bad habit of staying up far too late to write. It's been years since I naturally woke up super-early. The fact that I've been childfree a lot longer than I ever planned to be helps a lot, since I don't have to take off writing time for kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only time I wake up super early is if I absolutely have to for a doctor's appointment. haha I also don't have kids. One day I hope to, but right now it's nice being able to write freely.

      Delete
  21. I sympathize. I am not that anal but yeah. Also writing your posts months in advance?!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a set writing time. Mostly I write when I can, but the evening and night time are my best times for writing.

      Yes, months in advance. I'm all ready up to the middle of July.

      Delete
  22. Wow, planning a year in advance?!? That's amazing. I don't even plan mine a day in advance. :-)

    I'm a midnight writer as well. I've been a night owl my entire life, and the words refuse to flow until the wee hours.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't write a blog post the day it has to go up. I'd be too stressed!

      I've also been a night owl my entire life. :)

      Delete
  23. Hey Chris. You totally freaked me out! Writing blog posts in advance! I guess I blog like I write novels--pantser not planner, even though I am getting better at planning my novels. But I blog about what's in my life/head at the moment, so could never plan in advance, except for the IWSG posts, which are still about current writerly issues.

    All the best with your planning!! We're all different. All that matters is that we find what works for us!

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am definitely a planner when it comes to writing my books, so maybe that is why I plan my blog posts too. You're right! We all need to find our own methods and what works for us and still with it. :)

      Delete
  24. Write with perfectionism! I can relate. Probably why I am so slow.
    I had my Challenge posts written two months before April. I guarantee that won't ever happen again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad other writers write their first drafts like I do. :)

      I also had my Challenge posts written two months in advance, but I had the topics for each letter picked for . . . um . . . about a year. haha

      Delete
  25. I'm a high school English teacher, so for me writing is different than it is for other professional writers. This year I have been writing curriculum for the NEA BL Master Teacher Project. Each lesson is a narrative (a story about what happens in my classroom, in a sense). Each lesson has a video component (self-generated), student work, a reflection, and other components. I spend at least three hours writing each lesson and have spent up to 10 hours writing a lesson. This work is in addition to my normal teaching day, which includes teaching a dual-enrollment speech class.

    My blog posts are typically last minute constructs. I am a few hours ahead for tomorrow! I'm not much of a creative writer, although I have snippets for a YA novel and have sporadically participated in Kate Messner's summer writing workshop for teachers, Teacher's Write.

    I remember reading that someone asked Frank McCourt why he didn't write a book before writing "Angela's Ashes." He responded: "I've been busy teaching." I can empathize.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! You certainly do a lot for each lesson, which tells me you're an amazing teacher!

      I could never write last minute blog posts as each of them are meant to help writers, so they require a lot of thinking beforehand. Especially the tips I provide.

      I hope you can finish your YA novel one day, Glenda! :)

      Delete
  26. This is excellent! Love the photo of head being banged against desk.

    I'm one of the crack of dawn writers: if I don't do it first thing, it's often a lost cause. But once in a great while, I'll burn the midnight oil.

    I know exactly what you mean that you "have to" write, but what does it do for you? How does it 'help' you? Or does it? You say you have to do it, but do you get pleasure from writing? Or if not from the actual act, maybe later?

    Visiting via A to Z from Pass the Sour Cream. Co-Author (with my sons) of The Secret of Kite Hill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bradley!

      For me, it feels like if I don't write in a day that day is wasted. I've been writing ever since I was twelve, so it's very much a part of my life and who I am. It helps me to be creative, to connect with others, to reveal my feelings, and to live through my characters and do things I may never be able to do in real life. I definitely do get pleasure out of writing. It's my craft. It's what I do for fun. It's also my career. Without writing, I would literally be lost because it's all I know and all I really have. I also get pleasure out of seeing what I slaved over for so long get published.

      I hope that answers your questions. :)

      Delete
  27. Aw ... Happy Belated Birthday! Guess we'll need to be FB friends, so I'll know next time. LOL

    My typical day as a writer is all about juggling. With four kiddos, a dog, two cats, a house, and whatever else, I tend to work my writing around everything else. Granted, all my kids are now in school, which helps out a ton. I see everyone off, pour my coffee, and write in between laundry and other household chores. I like to try getting in a little writing at night like I used to, but find that I'm too tired now. LOL This getting older thing is for the pits. ;)

    Sheri at Writer's Alley

    Home of Rebel Writer CREED 2014
    Mighty Minion Bureau Team #atozchallenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, SA! :D And thank you for telling me about your day. You certainly do what a busy day!

      Delete
  28. lol a hermit writing away at my bay. I'm a whenever the urge dtrikes, could be morning could be night

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also write whenever the urge strikes, but it still never happens in the morning. lol

      Delete
  29. I'm a night owl too. Just me and my diet coke, keeping it real while everyone else sleeps...the only way I get any writing done. But scheduling posts a YEAR ahead of time...wow. You're crazy amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's just something about writing stories at night while the world outside is quite. It feels magical, secretive. :)

      Delete
  30. I'm a night owl as well, but since I started the Seinfeld Productivity Secret, I've been writing earlier in the day (whenever I can fit in my hour around my journalism work). The problem I was finding was that, even though I still stay up late, the night feels like time to relax and have fun. Too many nights I neglected my writing because I didn't "feel" like it. Now that it's part of my regular work day, it gets done. I do take weekends off, though.

    I think my regular work schedule would scare people right now. It's ridiculously overwhelming, but such is the feast-and-famine cycle of a freelance journalist!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't even take weekends off from writing. Every day is a writing day. I even write on Christmas! That's the day I started writing Hurricane Crimes a few years ago. I just can't turn off the writing switch.

      Delete
  31. Busy as a bee and so well organized! Awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Chrys,
    I'm kind of in the middle. If I write at night, then I'll expect to do a lot of revisions in the morning. Usually, I'm fresher then, and I can get more on a roll. Like you, I marvel at those authors who write thousands of words a day and churn out books like crazy. Maybe if I could write full time, and make a living--ah the dream. Enjoyed your post. Have a good week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Making a living as a writer . . . oh yes, that is the dream. But we all learn eventually that unless we're JK Rowling, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, or the like, that it most likely won't happen. But we can still have hope, right? haha

      Thank you, Debra! Have a wonderful week!

      Delete
  33. You sounds like a busy bee and so organised. My day usually starts at about 6:15 with doing some simple exercises with my hubby (although I completely failed this morning :)), then I make a cup of tea of coffee and take it to my PC. There I do my social media/marketing stuff. Once I've caught up with that I close my windows down and open my writing. I tend to write late morning to late afternoon. I do take a break for lunch if I'm not in mid flow and tend to play something completely opposite of writing like Spider Solitaire to give my brain a logic break :). If I have been particularly productive I sometimes reward myself with an ep of a TV show around 5ish just before hubby comes home and I make dinner. I don't normally write in the evening unless I have a deadline.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're day sounds great, Natasha! I need to try playing Solitaire or something to give my brain a break too. It'll be a nice change of pace. :)

      Delete
  34. A lovely post, Chrys, thank you. It all sounds like a fairly normal day to me in the life of a writer. I struggle too in telling people about my days as it's mostly about writing at every opportunity. I guess we live so much of the time in our heads, but then none of us would have it any other way! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do live most of our days in our heads, and no we'd never have it any other way. :D But people who don't write can't seem to understand that. *sighs*

      Delete
  35. My writing life comprises of me and scribbles on the last page of my college notebooks. I'm really hoping to seriously stray writing this summer break.
    Sania @ Fragile Words

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you can write like crazy this summer, Sania! :)

      Delete
  36. I'm getting back to writing once my book promotions are over. I've been spending most of my time marketing on social media sites, writing guests posts, reading other writers' works as critique, and I feel my edges singeing just slightly. I used to imagine waking up when the sky is still dark to write. It just doesn't seem likely these days though I'd love to do THAT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marketing always takes a long time. I hope you can find the time to write soon, Claudine! :)

      Delete

Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

Popular Posts!

Join!

Follow!