Welcome! Thank you for joining me today!
You are here because you are either also a writer and are looking for insight or you are simply curious as to how a writer spends their day. Perhaps it’s both!
I have to clarify before I bring you into my day and life that I am more than just a writer, I am also a small business owner (x2), speaker and I approach my writer from two aspects – the creative side of it and the business side.
Many people are often surprised that writers don’t spend countless hours doing anything but typing out chapter after chapter all day, every day. That’s just not reality.
In honesty, I spend maybe 1-2 hours a day writing on a book and/or creating content for my business. That adds up to about 6 hours a week out of about 30 that I invest into actual writing.
If you are new to writing and publishing don’t let this discourage you! The first few years writing books was the ONLY thing I did. But to get published, sell books and grow a fan base you have to learn and maintain the business side of writing too. Eventually you will find a nice balance.
For me, I know how to quickly tap into my creative juices and laser focus while writing – so I can make a lot progress in a short amount of time. In truth – I’d like to spend more time actually writing than I do, but I am blessed that my work creates enough income that I can continue my careers as an author and entrepreneur.
If you haven’t come across my article The 6 Questions I Ask Myself Daily, I encourage you to read it as it will help you learn how to be laser focused and productive too.
I start every work day asking myself those questions and you will find in that post that I do write for 1-2 hours most days. Way before I ask myself those questions I’ve already done 3 things:
- Had 2 lovely cups of coffee
- Gotten kids up and off to school
- Spent about 30 minutes reading and writing affirmations
I want you to think about that for a moment. Many creatives go about life without much structure in their day. Before I ever turn on my laptop, I’ve already woken my brain up, taken care of Mom duties, embraced quiet time to get my mind and soul calm, focused and open to positive creativity. I’ve digested educational and/or inspiring content to start my confidence and brain out on the right note.
*I’ve mentioned in other posts that sometimes the content of my books arrives in my sleep. This is very true! I often find myself in a semi-conscious state of sleep, I am aware that I am half asleep and aware that my brain is also still somewhat dreaming and in that creative state. I will experience entire chapters, several chapters at a time playing out – usually with me up on stage teaching the content of my books and explaining it in various ways. Kind of cool. When this happens, instead of my daily reading time I will be scribbling notes down as a fast as I can to get down those ideas and storylines.
*As a speaker I have found it intriguing that when I have my books arrive in my sleep and I furiously scramble to write it all down upon waking, that I have little need to write it down. Once it arrives it is fully ingrained in my memory – almost like having a bookshelf in my brain, I can just go select that book, chapter or speech and it is all instantly fresh in my brain.
After I have gone through my 6 Daily Questions, I usually spend a few minutes checking email and social media. I never get caught up either – it’s just a quick check to see if there is anything urgent.
Then I dive in. I spend the first hour of my work day creating content – either for a book or for the blog or adding to what my email subscribers receive.
By the way if you haven’t signed up for my mailing list, now is a great time to sign up! I offer tons of motivational tools and tips to help you focus and achieve your goals, along with several free mini courses. You can join in here.
I aim to write 3-5 chapters for my current book project a week (I have some pretty in depth topics) and 2 new blog posts a week and at least one new email.
After my writing time, I take a quick break, let my dogs out, stretch my legs and then I find a piece of chocolate. Chocolate is a necessity in my diet.
The late morning time block is usually spent working on an upcoming workshop or speaking event, or on one of my courses. Again, as a writer these are great ways to expand professionally, share my message and the content of my books, along with supplementing my writing income.
I take really short lunch breaks. I try to maximize the hours of my day in which the kids are at school. You’d be surprised how quickly 15-30 minute blocks of time add up. So, I usually eat lunch at my desk while I return to my email and actually respond.
After lunch I focus on the business side of being an author. I have a healthy list of activities that fall into this category, anything from organizing, doing the financials, connecting with people in my industry and event prep, marketing/advertising, social media scheduling, website maintenance etc.
I try to chunk similar activities together as they flow together easily. I also spread out these not as fun tasks so that I am minimizing the time in them as much as possible. It is easier to spend 1-2 hours a day doing this stuff than an entire day. An example is that I do most of my social media stuff once a week, I just knuckle down and do it all at once, on the same day each week.
It is pretty easy for me to focus and work really hard for about 5 hours, then my brain needs a break. I use the last hour before picking the kids up from school as me time – I go run and listen to loud music and unwind. Again, this something that sets me apart from many. As a writer who sits often or stands in one spot speaking for a few hours – it is really important to exercise and keep the body moving. I highly value my health.
Depending on what time of year it is, I may or may not do late nights. During the school year, I am able to stay on top of my work load pretty well and only work late at night maybe 1-2x week. The summer is another story however; it is really hard to get those 5-6 hours of work time in during the day. I stay up late most summer nights to keep up. (This is something I am hoping to change next summer!)
When I do stay up late to work, it is usually because I have a really strong concept that I want to get written and the desire is strong enough I am willing to lose a bit of sleep in order to get it written out.
I am a firm believer in work/life balance! Unless it is the week before a speaking event or launching of a product I don’t spend more than 30 hours working. So, if I don’t get something done, I don’t fret. I am really good at planning out my books, projects and events so I have flexibility in my timeline for getting things done! This helps me stay relaxed and in my workflow.
Here are a few more insights into who I am as a writer:
Describe your perfect writing spot/place.
I want one of those little 10×10 garden houses that are cozy and all mine. It would have lots of natural lighting, a gas stove heater, half wall bookshelves, a cozy chair and maybe a small desk.
In reality, my awesome husband made me a huge L-shaped desk (like 8×8) and built in bookcase so I have my own office area. I’m out of bookshelf space. I’m pretty sure I could use more space still. Lol I have a very large wipe off board that I use for my webinars, courses and workshops.
Do you use an idea journal?
I carry a small notepad with me everywhere. I always come up with ideas or examples to use when I am everywhere but at my desk.
Do you have an ongoing list or notebook in which you jot down ideas for upcoming books, blog posts and the like?
Yes, I do. I try to theme out my blog posts, it makes it really easy to flow from one to the next. I’ve found that after a few years I am never out of new content or topics. If I had the time I could write a new post every day.
If you haven’t started one I highly recommend creating one. I’ve had a list going for years and I never run out of things to write about!
Name you favorite and least favorite things about writing…
My favorite thing about writing is I am always finding new ways to express myself and the ideas I have. Least favorite aspect is editing. I write like I speak and I don’t believe in being politically correct. I have zero need to use big, fancy words or have perfect grammar. I prefer to make my work easy to read and easy to understand. I’d rather connect with my audience that try to be perfect.
Is there one genre you could NEVER write in?
For me it’s horror. I cannot read it or watch it. I’m a total chicken. Can’t do it. Don’t even want to consider going down that ally. Lol
I hope you’ve enjoyed these insights in the daily life of being a writer – at least what it is like for me.
If you haven’t signed up yet for my Empowered Writer’s program, I encourage you to do so!
This is a totally separate program I created for writers and bloggers to help you stay encouraged throughout the writing process. I share lots of tips for blogging, building a platform, publishing and more!
If you’d like to become a member of Empowered Writers just sign up via the button below!
Image © Adobe
Become an Empowered Writer Today!
You will also get access to our Empowered Writers group on FB!