Wednesday, January 18, 2017

# On Writing # Post

A Typical Day in the Writing Life

On Select Wednesdays, I post tips and strategies about the writing process. 

by J. Rose Allister

People often ask me about my writing process. While I do hear a fair number of questions on where I get story ideas and that sort of thing, the thing people want to know most is how I find time to write. So I thought I'd do a "day in the life" post to share a bit about my routine.  The schedule has shifted around over the years to best fit my lifestyle, and this is what I've found works for me currently.

6:30 AM

My alarm goes off at 6:30 AM seven days per week. Usually, I'll start off with some kind of daily affirmation video on YouTube to help me get into a productive mindset. Admittedly, there are occasions when I might shut the alarm off and allow an extra hour or so of sleep, most likely on a Saturday I'm not at the day job. Otherwise, it's rise and shine time while the rest of the household is still snoozing.

7:00 AM

If it's a weekday, after I've washed up and made some coffee, I sit down to set up my daughter's homeschool books and write the assignments on the white board. On weekends, I review the school week, make sure records are updated, and ready the following week's work before switching to my writer's hat.

I grab my laptop and do a quick email check and social media drive-by. I try not to linger, focusing on time sensitive mail or people who have reached out personally on social media. Then it's time to get it in gear. Four days per week, this means writing or revising new work. Day 5 is strictly editing and promotion (though I do slide in small bits of this on other days). Day 6 is specifically for blog writing. I take the 7th day off or use it to catch up on odds and ends of writer biz that didn't get finished that week. 


I  take a break for a short walk (thinking about my latest scene or story ideas) and to grab some breakfast. On school days, my daughter starts in on her assignments. I'm nearby to answer questions, check work, and teach new concepts as needed. I'll finish off my daily word count, hopefully, get showered and dressed either in every day wear or, on work days (4 days a week), I put on my uniform scrubs and pack a lunch. Every hour or so I get up and move around, stretch, grab a drink of water, etc.

I'll check in again with email and social media at some point to connect with readers. Any leftover time  between now and work is spent reading, doing household chores, helping my daughter with school, or adding more word count to a book project, if I'm on a roll or am on a tight deadline.


On workdays, it's time to head for my other job, where I'll be until I get home around 11:15PM or so. On lunch breaks there, I read or listen to author podcasts. 

On days off, the family has lunch together and maybe spends some time playing card games, going to the movies, or shopping. If the writing iron is hot and we aren't in the mood for group adventures, I might slip in some more word count.


On workdays, I come home  and wash up, get into comfies, grab a bite to eat while chatting to my husband about our days, and then settle in for a final sweep of author biz before reading or catching a TV show. On days off, the family either hangs out or we spend time on our own personal hobbies. For me, that means reading, movies/TV, and from time to time, video games. Wednesdays is also our dedicated "date" night.

Come sleep time, I put on more affirmations and meditation videos from YouTube to help keep me in a productive author mindset.  I'm usually off to sleep by 1 or 2 in the morning.

So by and large, I'm putting in anywhere from an 8 to 18 hour workday between my author career and my day job, seven days per week, making sure the family gets priority time in the mix. It's a busy schedule, but satisfying, productive, and includes just enough "me" time to keep me somewhat sane.

For more gab, please join me on Twitter or Facebook. I love talking to people!

J. Rose Allister is the author of more than thirty books, primarily romance and erotic romance. A former editor and submissions director, she now works as a mild-mannered hospital secretary by day, naughty writer by night.

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