A Typical Writing Day

A typical day for me goes like this:

8:30 to 10:30 am – Business and Social Media (Which are sort of the same?)

I spend this stretch checking email. This is when travel is booked, interview requests are addressed, fan mail answered. I also check social media outlets, which for me are blogs, twitter, tumblr and facebook. If I have something to share via my website, I’ll take care of that too.

10:30 am – Office Talk

Here, I will send Lia Keyes and/or Katy Longshore an email to gripe and moan a little bit about the work ahead of me for the day. Invariably, I get a quick response in which there is much commiseration, and even more encouragement. I consider Lia and Katy my “office friends.” We all work from home, and so our emails are sort of like water cooler talk.

11:00 -- Goals and Go

I always have goals in my writing, but at this point in the day, I’ll get really specific about what I want to accomplish. 5 pages revised? One chapter? Three?

I get my desk cleared off, my playlist going, and then get started.

Midday – Muddle

I usually approach my work my backtracking to review yesterday’s progress. That can suck me in for a few hours, so by around…

1:30 – Freakout

… by around this time, I realize more than half the day is gone, and I haven’t even begun what I’d set out to actually do. I’ll grab a quick bite, and really get started.

1:30 to 3:30 – Work

This seems to be my most productive time, unless my kids are covered for the afternoon, and I can keep working.

In which case…

3:00 to 6:00 – Work even more productively

…. this is when I gain real traction.

6:00 to 9:00 – Family Time

Dinner, homework, sports, walks, reading, etc. You know. The usual family chaos.

9:00 to Midnight – Reading and/or Editing

I’m often too tired to revise at this time, but when I’m on deadline, that doesn't matter. I’m better cleaning up prose this late at night, or taking one page at random, for example, and really thinking through every. single. sentence. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but considering that needs to happen over and over and over, every little bit of progress helps.

I should add that I do a modified version of this on weekends, with more family time, of course. But I do work seven days a week. My poor agent usually has a few emails waiting for him on Monday mornings. 

I should also add that this schedule is imperfect, but it's perfect for me. I love what I do. Yes, it's agony much of the time, but I love being a writer. I feel privileged to do it full time. Today, I'm heading out for an appointment, and I'm in a funk because I won't be able to write for a few hours. I do wish everyone could feel as fulfilled as I do by their job.

What about you guys? When do you squeeze your writing time in?


Ah, sounds so nicely structured! I love that you give yourself social media time right off the bat, whether business related or not. Now that my son is in PreK I have more opportunity to "squeeze" in writing time, but it's still squeezing instead of structured. Funny, that. Not quite what I pictured (where do all the errands come from), however I keep the picture (me on the patio with coffee and laptop with time to spare before picking up the boy) forever in my head and work towards it. And, sometimes, I'm there. So good to read about all the YAM days! Very helpful.

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