I was asked what a normal week is like for me, so here goes… this was supposed to be posted last month but I was busy writing a book!
Today started with a walk around the lake, one of the biggest problems I’ve found with my various jobs is that most of them require me to be sitting down, which doesn’t help with the displacement of fat! Walk done, I faff about a bit, cleaning the house etc. before leaving home to head to my writing studio for around 9.30am. We have a creative writing workshop running at the studios today with author, Anne Goodwin. There is always a little prep required before a workshop; printing handouts, making sure the place is tidy, feeding the birds (number one priority). We aim to make it an experience when people visit the studios. Today, I indulge myself by taking part, I mean, what’s the point in having a writing studio if you don’t take advantage occasionally! I have a ‘fictional therapist’ in my psychological thriller (which is yet to be published) so this workshop was very useful for my story and it led to some great discussions with the group.
By the time I clear up, have lunch, take care of a few emails, including emailing my digital publisher (It still sounds weird to say this/write this and every time I have the attack of ‘the imposter syndrome!’ which I think it pretty normal!) as they want to do a Q&A over zoom – which is totally out of my comfort zone but I’m hoping it goes better than when I tried to video myself last week, which was awful and stressful! I’m not very good at that kind of thing! I pour myself a glass of water and write up this post, before tackling my latest novel which has a deadline of the 25th of September… (book now finished and emailed to publisher on 25th Sep!)
I managed to write 1,494 before I headed home from the studios. I made a stop at my local library to collect a book for book group and found my fantasy book on display with other local authors, including Maria Dziedzan and Matt Haig! All very exciting. Then I bumped into a friend from my writing group and we had a lovely natter about all things booky and our writing antics! Then it was home to share a few bits on social media – which actually took about 2 hours as I was networking on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in-between making dinner, tidying the house and all the other usual things. I love chatting with people, but social media is like a black hole and before you know it hours have disappeared. I planned to do some more writing after dinner, but we ended up taking advantage of the weather and taking the motorbike out. It’s the one place I have a clear mind as I have no other distractions other than the scenery and use it to work out any plot holes.
Day one done. A very writerly day!
If you want to watch my author interview… click here (I cannot bring myself to watch myself!)
Today started relaxed, catching up on the motor bike racing we’d missed at the weekend. I managed to sneak in a quick half hour of gardening before I left to head to the studios for my last day there this week. We have some lovely people who rent the workshop out for their art/painting class, so whilst they are creating on canvas, I’m going to create on the page. Well, that’s the plan. I need to do a bit of social media sharing and read the questions my publishers have sent me as I have the ‘dreaded’ zoom meeting this afternoon! I not quite sure why I’m dreading it as I love to chat, and my publishers are so lovely.
Michelle from Titterpot designs stopped by so we could finalise her details on the Secret Garden Studios website… Michelle will be running ceramic and craft workshops which is very exciting. It was then a wander into town to do a few jobs before back to the studios to write before walking home. I managed 1,171 words today which I’m happy with.
The roughly 10-15 minutes author interview turned into an hour and half chat with my publisher. It was a wonderful catch up, much easier than videoing myself. The one thing to remember when you decide to write and put your work out there, is you might be expected to do things you’re not comfortable/used to doing. But I did it and I enjoyed it. We also chatted about deadlines and editing timelines for my future stories.
After this, it was a little bit more writing and then social media went bonkers again as Saga Fiction shared some wonderful posts about my story; A night lost to the past, so I was sharing and doing my bit to promote my book and Saga Fiction where I could. I also made Michelle’s pages live on the Secret Garden Website and then I dropped into a social media blackhole until it was time to make dinner.
No writing for the rest of the day as I was shattered.
I headed to work for my first day of three working days at my local college where I work as a Reception, Careers and Information officer. It was a busy day as term starts soon so it’s all go. At lunch time I do a little bit of social media catch-up and write a few notes for my next chapters and then it’s back to the desk. When I finish work, I head for a catch-up with some creative friends and then its home to make dinner and to do some updates on the studio website, answering emails and some more social promotion. I got carried away and decided to update my author website which was way overdue! I started work at 8am this morning and after finishing this blog, I switch off my laptop at 10pm and no writing done today – bad writer! The surprising thing about becoming an author is how much time you spend not writing! It felt like quite a stressful day today, it would be nice to just come home and not have anything else to do. But I’ve listened to authors talk about the number of hours and what it takes to ‘make it’ in whatever shape or form that takes so I guess it’s more early mornings and late night for me and i need to ‘woman up’ and get on with it.
Work again today. Busy day again, but it’s nice having a job I can walk away at the end of the day, and everything is done, even if I am mentally tired. I managed to jot down a few notes at lunchtime for the blurb for the other stories I’m publishing with Saga Fiction and have a little think about the covers. It’s a nice little task to do at lunchtime when I cannot get stuck into any proper writing, and it’s another job nearly ticked off the list. I wanted to try and get ahead of the game ready for when the edits come in from my other stories. (Since writing this, Saga Fiction have extended my editing deadlines so that’s made things a bit easier. Oh, there is that imposter alert again…)
At home it’s a sneaky little watch of Nine Perfect Strangers, after tea, it’s up to the ‘writing den’ a.k.a office, and time to crack on with writing my novel and this blog. I had a moment when I thought about the books on the shelves in front of me and wondered about the journeys those authors had taken. How many days did they come home from work and write or get up early and some of them probably had families as well as well as the other busy life events! It’s a wonder any books get written! I’m not sure I understood the amount of work, hours and dedication which goes into writing a book until I decided to write one, and getting paid to write one is a whole different ball game. Anyway, back to the story. I have 50k words to write and I’ve just had a massive panic as I looked at the word count for this blog and thought I’d lost 10k of my novel! Panic over!
2053 words added tonight and I feel pretty good about where it’s going. I would like to hit the 20k barrier by the end of the weekend! We will see. Time for a break and a little bit of mindless tv before bed.
Last day in the ‘part-time’ job, another busy day with lots of screen time hence the headache when I got home. My publisher showed my author interview on Instagram and Facebook which we did earlier in the week, but I still cannot bring myself to watch it! I’m told it’s okay…
We settled down for the evening of watching practice for MotoGP, at about 8.30pm I was shattered, so with no words written today as I took myself off to bed for a well needed rest.
Today we planned to get some of the garden jobs done before it turns into a rotting jungle. I got up about 6.15am, mainly because I went to bed so early, but also because I wanted to get stuck into my book. I love writing in the morning when the world doesn’t feel like it’s awake. I managed about 2k before the other half stirred and we had breakfast and then we got stuck into the job of cleaning and re-oiling the decking. It’s about 30ft long so it took a while and overdue by about 2 years!
I managed 3k on my ‘mystery’ book by the end of the day, so I was really pleased with the progress. The story is starting to flow well, and I can see where it is going. I tend to get to this stage in a novel and think how the hell am I going to write another 40-50k! but then a new thread comes along, the characters throw me a lifeline and then another, and finally, I reach the end. Well, that’s the hope.
No writing done today. It’s off to Silverstone to watch MotoGP, very exciting and a bucket list event. It’s another 6am start to get there in time, but the time is not wasted as I iron out a few plot threads in my head during the drive.
Well, that’s it, as much as a normal week as it gets. Sometimes there is odd Writing Chat hour on Twitter on a Wednesday evening, Writing Group is normally on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month and in between this, as much socialising as I can fit in. Like most people, I have to fight the imposter syndrome on most days. I’m not sure what it takes to not feel like someone is going to tell you you’re a fraud, but I love what I do, even if I do moan about being busy all the time. I don’t think I could give up writing now, my characters would not let me!
Do you have any good top tips to share for being more productive? Does imposter syndrome feature in your daily musings – do you have a way to stop those inner voices? I would love to hear them!
Until next month… happy writing 😊