Writers often get asked what their typical writing day is like. The answers, I believe, surprise people. Do you really think writing is what we do all day?
By a way of illustration, I had no dog shows last weekend and decided to focus on writing instead. On Saturday, this is how I spent my writing day:
- I edited some bonus material in connection with Fallible Justice‘s launch in November, including talking through a beta reader’s comments on the pieces, proofreading them and making sure they were all in the correct order.
- I dealt with email correspondence, wrote to my publisher and sent out a query regarding some marketing opportunities ahead of the November book launch.
- My publisher sent me promotional postcards for Fallible Justice, and I went to take some photos of them in the nearby woods. Later, I went through the photos, edited them and posted a few on social media.
- During a chat with another writer, I agreed to do a series of guest blog posts for a writing website.
- Part of the way through baking bread, I remembered a scene I had planned for the fourth book in the Wilde Investigations series and I had to rush out of the kitchen to write it down.
- I finished writing a blog post and started two others. Later, I went back and edited the post I’d finished.
- I read in my chosen genre.
- I flicked through a sample witness statement and the Prosecution Team Manual of Guidance as general research for my books.
- I read recent blog posts from other writers, whose blogs I follow.
In fact, at the end of all that, it was eight o’clock in the evening before I sat down to work on my WIP. You may think that’s terrible time management, but I’d also sneaked in two meals, a quick walk with my old Corgi, and I’d baked Finnish bread and muffins. Besides, I do my best work in the evening, so dealing with other tasks earlier in the day suits me best. I spent an hour writing, achieved about a thousand words, and then spent another fifteen minutes fixing a mistake in an earlier chapter.
Arguably, given that I opted to spend the whole day writing, I should have written more of my WIP. But this goes back to my recent guest post about self-compassion and writing (you can find it here). I chose to take my time with each task and rest in between, rather than getting stressed about all I still “had” to achieve. Maybe I could have gone to bed later and written more, but I would have exhausted myself in the process. After months of practising self-compassion, I’m now at a point where I say that it’s not worth it and really mean what I say.
At the end of it all, I felt like I’d had a very productive and fun day. There’s not a lot more I can ask for, especially as I had the whole of Sunday dedicated to writing as well.