Friday, 26 July 2013

A Day in the Life of a Glamorous Full-Time Writer

5am—Woken up by neighbour’s dog as it runs manically up and down the stairs that run behind our bedroom wall. Regret the decision to choose this room to be the master bedroom, but it was the only one with built-wardrobes. Husband is snoring like a train and blissfully unaware of the noise.

7am—Alarm goes off. Hit snooze repeatedly.

7:15am—Alarm goes off again. Tell husband he has five more minutes before he has to get up, and will he please stop pushing me off the bed?

7:20am—Alarm goes off again. Nearly fall out of bed turning it off, then tell husband to get up and have a shower. He tells me that he doesn’t like showers because they make him smell. Eventually convince him to get up. Fall back asleep.

7:35am—Husband returns from shower and asks if I’ll start breakfast. Still half asleep, I tell him I will not.

7:40am—Husband steals the duvet and makes me get out of bed. Notice that he’s wearing different jeans from yesterday and am impressed that he changed them without having to be ordered to. Start breakfast.

7:45am—Remember that it’s recycling day and ask husband to put the recycling bin in front of the house, since I’m still in my nightdress.

7:47am—Husband returns from outside soaking wet. Debate taking the bus to Tesco today, since me and my little trolly will probably get drenched on the mile-long walk from our house. Eat breakfast.

8:10am—Start putting things in my husband’s rucksack because he’ll probably forget them (book, headphones, snacks) and notice that his shirt is covered in mud from the outside of the recycling bin. Make him change.

8:20am—Finally wave husband off to work and settle down to drink tea and check emails. Spend far too long catching up on book groups, writing forums and Twitter. Bookmark an online workshop on writing synopsises and accidentally stumble upon a self-published fan-fiction novel about Anne Elliott from Persuasion becoming a long-distance runner. Ponder how on earth that idea came into being. Scroll through Facebook for thirty second and like two pictures of friends’ babies and then get bored. Hunt for cover art for next week’s reviews on The Christian Manifesto and double-check the schedule to see when my next review needs to be ready. Discover a recipe for Nutella Banana Bread and decide that I definitely need to add chocolate spread to the shopping list.

9:30am—Running out of things to do on the internet, bemoan the weather (which is preventing me from doing any laundry) and have a shower.

9:45am—Get dressed, annoyed that I haven’t ironed any of my long-sleeved shirts since I didn’t think I’d need them in JULY. Go for the layered look instead.

10am—Attempt to load a new audiobook on to Kindle to listen to while doing the dishes. After installing Audible and reinstalling it several times, remember that it has never worked on the family PC and turn on laptop. While waiting for laptop to turn on, put away yesterday’s dishes and fill the sink with water, realising how slow the poor computer is getting. After booting up Audible, realise that the audiobook is already on my Kindle. Hunt for it and find it listed as a newly added file. Confused at whatever magic the faulty program on my PC has done, finally start dishes at 10:15. Notice that two police officers are banging on the door to the next house and wonder what’s going on. Would it make for an interesting story?

10:30am—Brush hair (which has been wrapped in a towel after leaving the shower) and get ready to head to Tesco. Appears to have stopped raining, but will take money for the bus in case get caught in a torrential downpour.

11am—Thankfully make it to Tesco without getting rained on, and only nearly got knocked down once while crossing the road.

11:30am—Having found nearly everything on my list, proceed to spend the next ten minutes looking for rice cakes and hummus. Hint: they’re not where you’d expect them to be. Bright spot: small child excitedly waves his hummus at me and allows me to share in his joy at being allowed to carry the tub around the shop all on his own.

11:45am—Finally leave the supermarket after mistakenly choosing the check-out with the cashier who likes to have a full conversation with everyone around her, but neglects to help the old couple in front of me pack their bags, forcing them to take five minutes to put four items in one carrier bag. At least she’s friendly. Manage to save £7 with coupons, and feel far too excited about this achievement.

12:10pm—Make it home slightly wet, but not too bedraggled. At least the journey back from the supermarket is shorter as it’s all downhill. Put food away, make cup of tea and indulge in rice crackers, hummus and celery sticks for lunch while watching Cougar Town.

12:30pm—Accidentally get sucked into some relationship articles on Pinterest, which inevitably lead to romance-novel bashing because “it’s just porn.” Wonder how these people, presumably Americans from their spelling, have never stumbled across Christian romance novels in their life.

1pm—It’s finally 8am on the East Coast, so I start posting links to TCM’s reviews of the day all over social media, and begin to attack my inbox.

1:35pm—Finish with emails earlier than usual as it’s July and most people are on holiday. Decide to start writing, but get distracted by whale noises from the flat upstairs. Unsure whether the dog is just whining weirdly or if the neighbours really are listening to whale music.

1:45pm—Whale noises finally stop. Begin writing.

2:05pm—Having whacked out 700 words, take a break to make tea. Lady Grey is my tea of choice for the afternoon.

2:10pm—After briefly being sucked back into Twitter, resume writing. Don’t love the scene, but will plough through and EDIT LATER. That’s basically my writing mantra.

2:20pm—Finish scene and take quick break to peruse GoodReads.

2:30pm—Begin writing next scene.

2:55pm—Finish another scene and take a break to eat rice cakes and look at recipes while trying to figure out what direction to head in next. Hero is coming off a little bit like an aloof jerk, so this needs to be fixed ASAP.

3:30pm—Finish up third scene of the day. Word count totals in at 2,800 words, which is not typical for me, but I haven’t had a lot of housework to do today, and we’re having hot dogs for dinner, which does not require a lot of preparation. Save file to computer and Google Drive, just to be safe.

3:40pm—After replying to a couple of emails, tidy living room, put laundry away, clean sink and rearrange the staples cupboard so that the new groceries fit properly. Really, this life is glamorous, can’t you tell?

4pm—Sit down to read on the sofa in the living room.

5:15pm—Husband texts to say that he’s on the bus home from work. Start dinner.

5:45pm—Husband returns from work. Sit down to have dinner. Spend rest of evening watching Dollhouse, doing dishes, reading and drinking tea.