My Writing Day

Everyone has their own way of doing things and the more I read about other writers’ daily routines, the more surprised I am that we ever get any writing done at all. There are just so many claims on our time. Ideally, now that I’m well into the final editing phase of my second novel, my daily activities should fit around my writing. Pity it doesn’t quite work like that. Here’s how I make everything fit:
I’ve always been a lark, waking with the sun, so I take advantage of that. I learned a long time ago that the only way I would get any time for some of that all-important reading was to carve out an hour or so before anyone else was awake. So making a cup of tea and settling down with the current book first thing in the morning is an essential part of my day.
My best brain-time for writing is definitely the early part of the day, but I’m not one of those 1,000 words-before-lunch paragons. My mother in law lives with us now, and she has Alzheimer’s. This means that a good chunk of my mornings are taken up with her personal care. I don’t employ a maid of all work – how I wish I could – nor do I possess a wife. But I do have the sort of mind that can’t settle down to write until everything else is sorted.
In a different world this would be called procrastination, but in my little writing world I call it multi-tasking. I don’t like to waste the small opportunities. When Mum’s eating breakfast or negotiating the shower room I catch up on social media, put the washing machine on, do some cleaning. I save the big stuff for the afternoon, when I can concentrate on writing for longer periods and really start motoring through it with no interruptions.
At home there’s always a radio twittering away in another room but my desk faces the wall, otherwise I’d be gazing out of the window getting distracted all the time. And if the sun is shining, there’s often a tussle between getting the writing done and enjoying the summer. In this country, where sunshine can sometimes be in short supply, you have to grab it while it’s there.
I like a bit of company but I’ve never been one for writing in coffee shops or the library. I love to people-watch and this can be a fertile area to mine when I need inspiration, but it’s way too diverting if I’m trying to get some writing done. But I do like to socialise, because no contact with other people makes for very dull writing, and listening to friend’s experiences is always a fruitful way of spending an evening. I warn everyone that if they say something that piques my interest it will be noted and used in a novel, but I always promise to change the names to protect the guilty. Actually, I’m constantly surprised by how many people are keen to appear in a novel – as themselves.
So that’s my writing day; my writing life, actually. I’m very lucky to be able to just get on and do it. It’s an almost perfect existence.

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8 thoughts on “My Writing Day

  1. Morning is my most creative time but often when I have too many other things to do besides writing. (Exercise must come first for me or I may never fit in into the day.) But I’m trying to find those few minutes, even, during the day when I can set down a few lines of dialogue or description. It might take me more than three weeks to get back into a more regular writing habit. 😉

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