A Typical Writing Day

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?


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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.20180512_130246
  • 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.


5 thoughts on “A Typical Writing Day

  1. I think you are 1000% right – there are so many aspects of writing – and being social on blogs etc, is such an important part of it. It’s great to have time to devote to that instead of having it hang over your head when you’re trying to focus on your WIP. Thanks for sharing your process.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s something I’ve had to learn and an aspect I still struggle with. But this weekend showed me that I can be really productive with my writing endeavours while doing minimal work on my WIP and not feel guilty about it. And here I thought learning to write well was the hardest part of this career…

      Liked by 1 person

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