People are always curious about what writers do all day. Here’s a glimpse at how an ordinary day may run for me.
11:30 AM: Wake Up. Get Ready.
12 PM: Noon Mass at a nearby parish with Mom.
1 PM: Back home. Eat lunch (breakfast?). Settle down to get some (likely not very productive) work done.
3-4 PM: Time for a long 2-4 hour nap. (Usually I’m not getting more than 5-6 hours of sleep at night; being twenty and not having to work outside the home, I can get away with this.)
7 PM: Up again, ready to really start my day. At this point, I might eat, head out for a walk around the neighborhood, come home, and shower.
8:30 PM: I may begin to settle into work, but more likely I’m talking with my family, attending to email, doing a chore, or just listening to music and playing a game on the computer.
Midnight: The house is finally quiet as everyone except an elder brother has headed to bed (and he’s upstairs in his bedroom, so he doesn’t count as a disturbance.) At last I can really throw myself into my work.
In my writing program, Scrivener, I’ll look at the list of chapters and see what needs to be done. Usually, I’ll focus on one trail or storyline of a book each night/week, switching back and forth between the characters depending on who needs help and what mood I’m in. Random bits that I’ve written down in my work binder will generally get typed in first. From there I’ll start writing sections and chapters.
Often, I’ll take breaks to play Pyramids, listen to music, eat dinner (what, you don’t eat dinner at 1 AM too?), do the dishes, or run laundry (see advantages of having a night owl in your house.)
Generally, the more time passes, the better I work. Peak hours are about 2-5 AM. On a good night, I’ll produce somewhere around 2,000 words.
5:30 AM: It’s time to wind up, shut down the computer, and make sure the coffee’s set up to brew for the larks before going to bed. If I don’t plan on doing Noon Mass, I’ll stay up even later, delivering coffee at 6 AM, talking with those family members who chance to climb out of bed, and finally settling down with my binder for another 30 minutes or so of writing before going to bed at about 7-7:30 AM.
It’s a crazy schedule, I’ll admit, but it works for me. It gives me the quiet I need, and I’m far more productive on a nocturnal schedule. And of course there’s no better way to endear yourself to Dad than by delivering him that first cup of coffee that’s so vital to coffee addicts.
So there you have it: the Writer’s life.