A DAY IN THE LIFE

The business of writing really is a business. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all fun and games. Sometimes, it’s a lot of work. You have to keep cranking out fascinating characters, build worlds, throw in a lot of hooks, sprinkle in a few turning points and deliver a whopping climax worthy of your hero/heroine. Not to mention, keep excellent records for Uncle Sam, join a writer’s group/critique—or two and do a heck of a lot of research along the way. Tag along as I take you through my typical day.

5:30am. Yes, I realize that’s the crack of dawn, but I’m a morning person and no matter how hard I try to break the habit, I yam what I yam. I hit the treadmill running (grin) and then shower before reading the paper and kissing hubby goodbye and good luck as he joins the rest of the rats in the daily race. He’s not really a rat—not usually anyway.

7:00am. Tomato juice or Diet Dr. Pepper depending on what my calendar looks like for the day. Sometimes you just gotta have a jolt and since I’m not a Folger’s girl, I get my caffeine fix from a 12oz. can. And Cheerios. (I know Wheaties would be the logical choice for endurance, but Cheerios are my thing and since I doubt I’ll be gracing the covers of either box—ever—does it really matter?) Although, for around 15 bucks, at the Mall of America, you can get your smiling face on a box of Wheaties. I know, because my daughter did this and even though I still have the box, I’m not sure what 7 year-old wheat flakes might taste like. I find my missing glasses and call the folks. We make plans to hit the casino soon. I get dressed, start a load of laundry, do the dishes, tidy the living room and make the bed.

7:45am. Ahhhh. Finally time to get down to some real work.

8:00am. Daughter calls and I talk to her while playing a game on the computer, (best to get the game playing out of the way at the beginning of my day) before hanging up, I tell her I love her and miss her very much.

8:30am. Time to get busy. No, really this time I mean it. I check both of my emails, facebook, and checking account to make sure no one snuck in and sucked it dry. Answer a few emails and now I’m ready. I broke-up with my agent(long, story) so I’m in the process of obtaining a new one. That means research. My first stop on the web (well other than emails, facebook and my bank) is RWA and I make a list. I cross-check it with the list I made at the national conference and decide which agents I want to send my manuscript to and what each one wants to receive. I’m the kind of person who likes to see things in black and white so I make a chart and fill in the blanks with the who’s, what’s, where’s. Most want a dynamite query, synopsis, and 3 chapters. Check. I have all that except for the dynamite query. I need to punch it up a bit. I decide to work on that while I print out the partials.

10:00am. Off to Walmart to get printer ink. And porkchops, milk, lettuce, a banana and since I realized I’d left home without putting on any make-up, I pick up the big bag of M & M’s. The way things are going I’m gonna need it.

11:30am. Printer is finally going like gangbusters so after filing the ink receipt in the tax folder, I check my email and then research editors I might like to work with—or rather who is willing to consider the type of book I write. I make another list and chart. After a bite of lunch with my sons, I consider a nap, but decide I can’t give in to temptation.

12:00pm. I open my current WIP and read over what I wrote yesterday and practically wear my finger out on the delete button. Sometimes it’s like that, sometimes it’s not. I forge through and actually get some pretty decent stuff written. Of course, only time will tell. The main thing is to get something—anything—written. It’s much easier to clean up the garbage than to write something new.

4:00pm. I switch gears and get the envelopes ready to mail to the agents and editors. I know without an agent my submissions will be added to the slush pile, but at least I know I’m putting forth the effort. Will I get rejections? Without a doubt. Will they hurt? Absolutely, but will I give up? Never. The one given in this business is that you will never be published if you never send anything out.

5:00pm. Time to start dinner and then spend the evening editing the hard copy, reading a book, or if I get lucky, I may write some more. I hit the sack early, cuddle with the husband and then plot, plan and let my subconscious dance with my muse because tomorrow is another day closer to finishing this manuscript.

Hugs,
Reese

25 comments:

Jessica Mobley said...

I miss you too mommy! I AM disappointed to hear that you play games when I am trying to tell you how bored I am here though! Well have another great day being the best writer/mom I have! Love you!

Reese Mobley said...

Okay. I'll stop playing spider solitaire. (grin) Thanks for the support.XOXO

Roxann Delaney said...

LOLOL This is exactly what I'm doing right now. Playing spider solitaire. Just got a 1208 score.

Oh, the things we'll do to keep from doing the things that need to be done.

Jessica Matthews said...

Reese,
thanks for sharing! It's nice to know that your days run like mine, too, sometimes. Before I took this writing biz seriously, I wrote my very first manuscript with a typewriter and spent my day, cutting, pasting and retyping. Thank heavens for the Delete key! (not to mention Spider Solitaire)

Pat Davids said...

I've made some advancements in time management over the years. I now play Zuma, which can take up to three hours to finish one game. Good Luck with the agent search. I'm rooting for you. Okay, back to Zuma.
Pat

Roxann Delaney said...

Hidden objects games. That's the thing. I've been known to stay up a time or two, playing until I win. Trial games sometimes have time limits, but some let you play--as long as you don't shut down--until the end. I did this once, only to have my computer freeze at the very end, just before the mystery was solved. Yes, all night.
Imagine the writing I didn't get done the next day!

Now it's Match 3 games.

Reese Mobley said...

Rox, 1208. I'm impressed. Anyone else play Chuzzle or Bookworm Adventures? Now, back to work!!

Reese Mobley said...

Jessica, Thanks for posting. You deserve a medal for writing your first ms on a typewriter. Yikes.

Reese Mobley said...

Miz Pat, I can't believe you haven't turned me on to Zuma before this. Wait a minute. Isn't that a beer? No, sorry, that's Zima. Which could be just as distracting. (grin)

Leola said...

Loved your blog. Now, when do you find time for all the other things I know you do in a typical day, not forgetting working 5 or 6 hours a day at your 'other' job.

Reese Mobley said...

Leola, thanks for commenting. Life is busy and it takes a great deal of effort to make it all work. I wish I had the discipline to work harder. Maybe my dreams would come true faster. XOXO

Roxann Delaney said...

I'll take the Zima. No, make that a Smirnoff Raspberry wine cooler. ;)

My days are spent chasing grandkids, "networking" (aka Facebook, blogs, email) and working on websites. Nights and weekends are for writing. Cleaning? Only when it gets so bad we have to dig our way out the door. LOL

I think we could do a monthly topic on how well we procrastinate. :)

Roxann Delaney said...

When I first sold ten years ago, eHarlequin included a "Day in the Life of..." for each author. I'm grateful that's gone. LOL

As I recall, I did my best to cheat and make mine as funny as possible. I'm not sure I succeeded. Maybe I should dig that up and have a good laugh.

Deborah said...

Just think how many manuscripts you all could finish if all you had was a typewriter with NO ZUMA ACCESS!! I spend so much of my day writing in my head, I can't wait until they have the technology to think it and type it without having to physically do it.

Roxann Delaney said...

With voice recognition software, we're getting close to thinking becoming written, Deborah.

Both Windows XP and Vista have VRS built in. I set mine up and it worked well. I just feel silly talking out loud.

Reese Mobley said...

Deborah, glad you came out to play. I think you're on to something. XOXO

Reese Mobley said...

Rox, I think Pat had software like that once. It was probably a new version but I know she had trouble with it recognizing words that sounded alike but were spelled different. I'll bet they've improved it by now.

Nina Sipes said...

I thought it would be great. Speaking into your computer to have it type what you're saying. I ordered, popped it out of the box, and the world stopped as I knew it. I found out things about myself I didn't want to know!!
List: I have no aptitude in training machines because I don't say words the same way twice, let alone four times. My accent thickens when I get tired. The machine thinks I'm someone else--a lot. I make noises that makes the machine think I said something. I find myself talking to the machine as if it is a person--that includes, excuse me's and sorry's when I goof up and wish to change something. All of which makes for a very strange document. Sure, writing was very easy. Editing a career change. So, now I know I'm totally inadequate to speak to machines. They, like many others think that much of what comes out of my mouth is gibberish. And I've the paper to prove it!

Reese Mobley said...

OMG!!! Nina what a hoot. I can only imagine what your document looked like. Thanks for sharing that.

Deborah said...

Nina, You are so funny!! I have this vision of you apologizing to the machine and then realizing that you just added an "I'm sorry" to some otherwise awesome love scene so you follow up with an "Oh, Crap!" and then "God, I'm so inadequate..." LOL

Becky A said...

Reese,
I know this is late but your post was so good I had to chime in. I'm glad to find another morning person in our crowd so I won't feel so lonely typing away at 7am. It's nice to know that staying focused is difficult for most of us. I get so tired of the interruptions that I tend to use that as an excuse to not write at all. But, you have inspired me to persevere even if I have to turn off my phone.

Hey, how about a post on that record keeping for Uncle Sam? Is that only for those who have actually been published?

Thanks, Becky

Roxann Delaney said...

Becky,

We'll get to record keeping during the second half of this month, but to answer your question, yes, if you're pursuing a "writing career", you can use business expenses as deductions. Keep those receipts!

Nina Sipes said...

Every time I sit at my computer I want to forward my writing skills. Yesterday was Sunday. Sunday's teh day I can usually grab a little time to do the unusual--like remake a file system while my darling sleeps to something on the military or history channel. This weekend was a pile of papers that had taken up squatter's rights on my desk. In those papers and files, which are all nicely labeled now with notes about what to do with each, was a complaint about whether I really knew what a plot was. Hey, critisism is everywhere. So, in the spirit of my writing day, I googled it. Parts of a story. the link: http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=chrome&q=parts+of+a+story&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=80CASoL1IIrEMMfhqOoC&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4
Is what I found. AMAZING! I offer it to you as an example of what is available on the internet for writers and how elusive the parts of a story can be. The link is to a search results. I hope you can open it.
Just another moment in the writing business day.

Roxann Delaney said...

Nina, wow! That's some link! What great visuals! Thanks for sharing it.

Penny Rader said...

I'm a master procrastinator. One of these days I'll join Procrastinators Anonymous. {grin}

Computer games I play to avoid writing: Bookworm, Bubble Shooters, Solitaire. Last week I found Bejeweled and Scrabble. I suck at them, but I figure maybe the exercise is good for my brain and some new neuropathway thingies will be formed. I haven't heard of Zuma, Chuzzle, or hidden objects, but I can remedy that. {grin}

Jessica, I'm right there with you re: memories of the typewriter and actually cutting and taping scenes.

Great link, Nina! It's so cool the stuff that you can find online.