Oh a writer's life for me.
Okay, so I don't drink rum. And I suppose I don't really drink at all except for the occasional glass of wine or ten to twelve mimosas when the mood strikes me.
It's funny though, there is a stigma about authors and alcohol that I think still exists. Hemingway, Thompson, even Stephen King was quite the alcoholic. Now I don't personally know any alcoholic authors, all of my friends seem rather in control of themselves. But I can understand how it happens.
Writing is a solitary endeavour. Authors sit alone in rooms for hours and hours talking to imaginary people who quite often are full of pain and angst. Something is always going wrong for our imaginary friends and it can hurt us too. So hitting the bottle is not really surprising.
But we were talking about me right? Sorry, sidetracked.
Anyway, my life is, in a word, hectic. I work at my day job from 7.30am to 4.30pm every day. I go home and check emails, read blogs, hang out with my daughter (The Jr.) and my fiancee (The Mr.), watch some TV and fall into bed.
I know what you're thinking...it doesn't say writing anywhere up there. Well, no, no it doesn't. Because on a typical day I don't actually write. In fact, it's a pretty special day when I get to write.
But how did I manage to acquire 12 seperate contracts last year? Well, on those special days I crank out anywhere from 10 - 30k at a time. Yeah, I'm kind of a freak. Lately I have been trying to spread that out, work a little in the morning or at night, but it isn't going well so far. I still have bursts of writing that I do and then don't work again for a week.
I DO NOT recommend this method of writing. It is nerve wracking, especially up against a deadline. It makes writing a lot harder than it has to be. Unfortunately I am a big fan of doing everything the hard way, so I believe this may be how I write for the rest of my life. And I suppose that's alright since it works for me.
In fact, I could really use one or two of those bursts soon. I am crawling along on a story that I have been forcing myself to open everyday. Some days I can get in a page, some days I do nothing, last week I did fifteen pages in one night. See, bursts.
People who know me are not in the least surprised that I do not do typical. I not only think outside the box, I refuse to even dip a toe in the box. The box is not for me. I am in awe of those who can sit in the box and work everyday on their stories, produce a chapter a day, every day like clockwork. I would lose my mind trying to do that.
I don't know if there is a "typical day" for any writer. For the most part days that an author actually gets to write is pretty special. No really. Sure, there are dynamos like James Patterson and Linda Howard who have new books hit the shelf every two to three months. But these people have assistants and agents and staff to help them with stuff. NORMAL writers don't have that. So we have to do all of the mundane crap ourselves. We keep our own schedules, we do our own promo, we do our own online shopping, and most of us even have day jobs on top of it all. Us Mid-Grade writers are pretty busy people.
This should give you some idea of the things that I do all the time, for myself, without any help from others. (I tried to use whole words where possible. Most of the abbreviations are regarding book/story projects that are not yet ready for announcement. Sorry.)
1. Plot out L.R.R.H., see if it is a story I can actually do within the word limits and on time.
2. Transfer files from full drive to shiny new 2 gig flash drive and try not to screw it up and/or lose anything.
3. Write query letter and print copies of G.K.B. for Agent opp.
4. Pull Excerpts from Raven, To Hate and To Hold, and Mitch from FLEs and make sure that all edits are noted before saving to drive. (Editors HATE when you post unedited excerpts. Seriously. There are two of them here. Ask them. It makes their skin crawl.)
5. Write and Schedule final blog posts for Grip.
6. Compile resolutions for D.R. blog (very, very late. Oy.)
7. Order postcards and magnets with new cover (To Hate and To Hold.)
8. Order Promo Giveaway for RT.
9. Load contest drive w/ book and send out final contest details for LRC chat to antho authors.
Yes, this is an actual task list taken straight from my PalmPilot calendar. These are things I really needed to do that day. And that was just one day. Also, that was only stuff related to writing. I didn't include the fact that I had to go to the day job in the morning, meet friends for trivia and order a Pilates Ring from Amazon.com.
It's not what I expected a published author's life would be like, just like with writing books there is nothing on that list about fame and fortune. There is no bon-bon eating. There are no book signings, lectures, multi-city tours. None of that stuff makes the list either. But I have to tell you something, this is still the best thing I could have ever hoped for and I wouldn't trade one single thing on that list for my published history. I'm busy sure, but I love my life and I love my career. It's hard work, but at the end of the day, I am still a published author and that's a pretty damn good feeling.
Suddenly obsessed with the word box...and not in an entirely clean way either.