People often ask me what writing schedule I have. This is a quick diary of my typical week:
Wake at 7am. Reach over to the bedside table and switch on my laptop. Check Facebook, reply to messages and notifications - then check emails and respond to them.
8am - begin writing for the day.
9am - stop for small breakfast shower and dress.
9.15am - back to work and write until 12.30-1pm.
1.30pm onwards - Afternoon schedule consists of wrapping Telos Publishing orders (this can take hours).
Brief visit to Facebook and emails again.
4pm Take orders to Post office.
5pm - 6pm begin making dinner.
6pm - Glass of wine.
After dinner cuddle up on the sofa with David and watch a DVD.
Morning as per Monday until lunchtime.
1.30pm Onwards - Prepare Telos Invoices/Delivery notes for shop and distributor purchases.
Collate books and pack in boxes.
Weigh and measure boxes - then book the courier collection for Wednesday. Print and attach shipping labels.
Put all boxes (from 1 to possibly 20 depending what's come in) into the collection area.
Tidy up!!! Cos the packing mess a hell of a mess...
6pm - glass of wine and WELL DESERVED.
Chill with David.
7am -8am Catch up with Facebook and Emails/ May write a blog.
8am - Get up and get dressed. Put the washing on. Eat some cereal and have a cup of tea.
8.30am onwards - Begin Full cleaning of the house, stopping occasionally to change the washing over to the drier and put another load on if there is one.
12.30pm - get a light lunch.
1pm onwards sort out the now dry washing and set too ironing. (During which time I'll put Vampire Diaries on the TV to quell some of the boredom).
3pm or sooner ,depending on washing that day, return to my laptop and check emails and facebook etc.
3.15-6pm Promotion. This could be sending out emails or ringing places - but it's usually blogging, creating events and advertising them in various places.
6pm - you guessed it! Glass of Wine ...
Writing morning as per Monday.
Around 1pm and after lunch - Telos Orders and Paperwork.
4pm - Take orders to Post Office or book courier or both.
6pm - I'm not even going to tell you because you know what I'm doing from then onwards ...
Writing all morning as per Monday.
After lunch - editing any commisioned work - or possibly mine depending where I'm up to and on deadlines. Sometimes I'm just writing ALL day if needed.
4pm - possibly taking orders to Post office - nip out to shops for food and - wine ... (obviously)
7pm onwards - Prepare dinner - (no wine) Collect L from the station.
8pm - L, David and I sit down to dinner - now we have wine.
Watch DVD and chat
A bit of a lie in so we get up around 8am instead of 7am. Reach for laptop and spend time checking emails and Facebook. May write a blog.
9am-12am Writing all morning.
12.30 onwards - out to lunch with David & L- Shopping and errands.
3-4pm - Back home, check emails and Facebook then do some editing if urgent.
Make Dinner or sometimes go out to local Indian for Curry.
Evening - relax with the family.
8am - Wake, check emails & Facebook - Get shower etc.
10 - 11am - Make a fry-up for 'brunch'. Laze around a little during most of the morning.
After Lunch - Nice weather stroll on the beach/ crap weather back to work writing/editing. Or watch some rubbish on TV with L.
3ish - Take L to station as she goes back to college.
3.30pm onwards - Tidy up. Check Emails etc.
4pm - 6pm - Editing/ possible blog.
6pm - Yes - WINE!
After dinner - curl up on sofa and chill with David.
This is an average week, which is interspersed with interruptions and changes... It doesn't reflect the weeks we spend travelling and signing books. On those occassions my writing pattern is very disrupted. I'm not good at writing on board a train for example - as I hate noise when I'm writing and trains are usually chaotic.
When I'm on a deadline I write every morning and everything else is left to the end of the day - especially the housework. For example when I was working on the 'Zombies in New York' Collection Monday-Sunday consisted of writing from 7am to 1pm every day. This went on for weeks as the deadline approached. Currently I'm between projects - but must start writing the next novel very soon and so my schedule is far looser. Fortunately this month is filled with promotion stuff - lots of Waterstones signings and Frazer Hines' tour, which was good timing as writing schedules go.
I write in the morning as this is my best time - later in the day the other things in our lives get in the way and would be too much of a distraction. It's also why I write in bed - if I see that the house is untidy it gives me reason to procrastinate. Hence not leaving the bedroom until I'm confident that my writing is in full swing - that way distractions don't hold my attention long because I'm in 'the zone'. One main aim is to write or edit something everyday so that my creative brain is constantly being flexed. I even get grumpy if I don't write these days.
Well, that's my typical week and it's a system that works for me but if you are an aspiring author you may do things completely different. You just have to find a balance, and being strict with writing hours is the most important thing you learn if you really want to write as a full-time occupation.