Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Typical Day as a Writer

My Typical Day as a Writer
By Nancy Carty Lepri

Many people ask me, “What is your day like as a writer?”

“Good question,” I answer, for I never know what my day will be like. How I’d like it to go, and how it actually does go, is another story.

I would love nothing more than to spend the whole day in my office writing—but that’s not likely to happen.

My day usually goes like this… I get up around 9:00 a.m. and grapple with what to eat. Then I’ll sit at the kitchen table immersed in either HGTV, “Dr. Phil” or the news. That’s sure to get me off to a great start. Yeah, talk about procrastination!

Then about 10:00, I’ll make my bed and shower, determined to get to work. If I’m not doing laundry or some other mundane household chore, my husband usually wants to go out somewhere. So much for working. Make a note: If you are a beginning writer, don’t try to start this career when your husband retires. It’s not going to happen, especially if you tend to procrastinate, as I do.  

If and when I have a day where I’m not acting as a domestic goddess or running to the grocery store, I plunk myself in front of the computer with my “to do list” determined to pump out several pages. Of course, I have to check my email first, play a game of Free Cell then see what’s happening on Facebook. Did I also mention I am addicted to Bejeweled and Words with Friends?

Before I know it, it’s mid-afternoon. Have I written the tons of pages I’ve promised myself I would? Heck no! I’ve been too distracted with other things. Argh!

Usually my creative juices don’t kick in till about 3:00 p.m., and if I’m lucky enough to have the discipline and determination to not let anything prevent me from writing, I’ll go strong until it’s time to make supper. When I look at the clock, I groan…another day with nothing or next to nothing accomplished.

After supper, I head back to my computer, but by this time I’m involved with working on an edit for an author, a critique for one of my group members or writing reviews, so in a “good day” I’m lucky if I get two hours of uninterrupted writing of my own manuscript done. At 7:30, I turn off my computer then crawl into bed with a good book hoping for inspiration and ideas.

A writer’s life is a lonely one and how true that is. If I could keep myself from the many distractions that plague me, I’d be fine. Nevertheless, that’s something I need to put on my “to do list.”

Meanwhile, I keep plugging along and treasure those days when I do find several hours where I can be alone, concentrate, and actually manage to get some of my own writing done. Luckily, I started on this path several years ago, without the distractions of a 24/7 husband, and I’ve learned that the key is discipline. Discipline, desire and a thick skin are what helps one achieve this goal. Oh also, a good lock on your office door and ear plugs help too!


Charmaine Clancy said...

LOL. I've been trying a new routine, I'm up early (sun rises early in Queensland) around 5-6am and do housework while I nag the kids to get ready for school. I don't even try to write until everyone else is out of the house, but if I let myself get pulled into Facebook and emails, then there's buckly's chance of writing that day.
Wagging Tales

Anonymous said...

I prefer writing when no one else is home. I know all too well about those distractions gobbling up the whole day. I don't play any of the social media games, but I can manage to find a lot of other distractions if I'm trying to procrastinate.

Karen Cioffi said...

Nancy. I hear you. I don't have a regular schedule either -too many things pop up that need taking care of and there goes my weekly plan.

When I get up, I first get dressed, then make breakfast for hubby and me, then try to do some cleaning, then sit at the computer.

Virginia S Grenier said...

Boy does this sound like my old habit when I first started writing. However, I can't say things are much better all these years later. With kids in the house and a husband, I still struggle at times balancing my writing life with my home life.

Well keep at and you'll find a routine that will work for you. I tend to break my day into two hour shifts. Early morning before everyone is up and late at night with the kids all head to bed. I may only get 6 hours in each day, but then I work 7 days a week every week of the month and still get to be a mom inbetween.

VS Grenier

Fani Nicheva said...

Nancy, thank you for sharing your truth. It is funny and so human.
I found out after having a kid, that my hunger for creation and writing has tripled. Of course no time for it whatsoever, I steal moments here and there.

Fani Nicheva

Magdalena Ball said...

Sounds like you've got lots of lovely writing time, even with the distractions. 2 hours a day on the ms sounds good!

D. Jean Quarles said...

Yep, I know how hard it is to keep the behind in the chair, the computer focused on writing and the mind engaged, it's so much easier to . . . .read blogs! I'm off! LOL

NancyCL said...

Thanks much for all your comments. Sometimes I wonder if I would have more writing time if I rented an office by myself with no telephones or no distractions. It's hard when "life" gets in the way and I am in awe of those women who either work full time or have young children or both, but still manage to find time to write! Maybe we need to have some of them share some of their tips with us!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I have certain days that I write, not always at the same time. I find when I'm more committed to my writing then I have a stronger schedule. That fact that I have to produce something every two weeks also keeps me writing. But for me it really all boils down to my commitment to my dreams.
Mary Jo

Debbie A Byrne said...

I have the same problems. Thanks for the info!

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