Guest Post: “A Writers Life – To Write or Not to Write,” by Dark Romance Author Jane Jordan
A day in the life of a writer must be different for every author. While we all share the common practice of writing, I suspect that many other traits are unique.
Some days, I have an all-consuming passion to write, other days, it’s merely lukewarm, as life has a habit of distracting me. There is a belief amongst some people that you have to be disciplined and write every day, or for a set number of hours, to be considered a proper writer.
I disagree. As a writer I am not bound by constraints of what is right or wrong, I am free to do what works best for me. In fact, stepping away from the computer and doing something completely different, can bring other ideas and thoughts to mind. It can give you an entirely new approach when you do eventually return to writing.
I have never suffered from writer’s block, maybe not being regimented in my style, keeps it at bay and I have always written without the worry that my work will be accepted or even liked. Ultimately, I write to please myself.
My new novel, took me several years to complete. My imagination can run riot as I follow different story ideas at the same time. Ironically, I am also one of the most organized when it comes to action, it’s just my mind is often disorganized. In this case, two other books got in the way and I moved countries twice. A serious obstruction to any writing career. When I did re-visit, The Beekeeper’s Daughter, I gave it my full attention, but even as I was finishing this novel, I was already working on another.
To an outsider, it might seem a chaotic and confusing way to write, but I know exactly what is happening in all storylines and with my characters, even when I am forced to break away.
When I thought about a typical day in my life as a writer, I realized there was nothing typical, only a series of events that happen, and each day I have to consider whether I have the time to write, or not to write.
A typical (unpredictable) day during the week:
6.15am – wake up to the alarm ringing in my ear. See my daughter out of the door, and then, rush around getting ready. Wash up any plates or cups from yesterday. Feed my three cats and Japanese fighting fish.
7.05 – Drive 20 minutes to the office.
7.25 – Arrive at my husband’s company. The first cup of tea of the day as I set to work. I check phone messages, emails while invoicing customers and answering the phone. Occasional meetings or trips out of the office.
9am – breakfast – (typically a yogurt) call any customers that I need to, and discuss their accounts. Pay outstanding bills.
10.30 – coffee break. I check personal emails and back to dealing with email queries or phone calls. The positive thing about working for my husband is that I can spend time on research for my stories when I get a free moment.
12pm – 1pm – Leave the office and drive home
1.30 – the all-important second cup of tea. I feed my cats again, despite their bowls being half full, they are pampered and will only eat fresh food. Sometimes, I eat lunch, most often, it’s a bowl of cereal.
2pm – go into my office and turn on my computer and begin to write.
2.15 – this is an unpredictable time in my day. Several different things can and do often happen. My sister or friend from England sometimes calls via skype, my son wants me to do something, and so I get sidetracked for a while. Or I have to deal with a phone call from my husband’s office.
3pm – my daughter returns from high school, and I talk to her for a few minutes, sometimes, throw the laundry into the washing machine, or empty Rumba before going back to my office with another cup of tea.
3.15 – This is often the time I get to write with fewer disturbances.
5.30 – 6.00 – start preparing dinner
6.30 – I eat dinner, tidy the house, water plants, do housework if I am not too tired, and pay household bills.
8.15 – watch TV with another cup of tea and maybe some chocolate
9.30 – Feed cats again, and tidy up after them.
10. pm – Generally I feel exhausted by this time, so I go to bed with a cup of herbal tea to fight insomnia.
Occasionally, I wake up in the early hours of the morning and write for four to five hours straight. On weekends I grab an hour or two at my computer if I can, but my weekends are mainly devoted to catching up with housework, gardening, and spending some time with my family.