Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sample "A Day In The Life"

I thought I'd post this for reference, just so you have an idea of my daily schedule.  Keep in mind this is subject to change, depending upon circumstances or deadlines.  Saturday is my "light" day, where I try to keep my hours to eight.  My busiest days tend to be Mondays and Thursdays.  On a holiday, like today, I don't schedule blocks of time as I usually do; it'd be a waste of time considering the obligations we usually have on holidays.  Okay, you ready?

5:00 am--Rise and shine. It takes an hour for me to physically get out of bed between medications and exercise.  So this is the hour I eat breakfast, watch the news on television, do my stretching exercises and spend a little time with the husband before he leaves for the day.  This is also the cats' favorite hour--they get their canned cat food at this time--mostly to keep them out of my hair for the morning, when I do my best work.

6:00-7:30--Basic maintenance. This is when I straighten up the house, usually picking up every room and concentrating on one room to clean in depth. If I don't do this, my house turns into a wreck very quickly. This includes the cat boxes (all eight of them), the morning shower, checking email and setting the schedule for the rest of the day.

7:30--11:00 The first writing block of the day.  This is the block I reserve for whichever story is driving me hardest at the time--the story that just has to be told NOW or the story on deadline. I never, never, never give up this block. I don't answer the phone, I don't text message, I don't turn on the television. This writing block is sacred, and I usually manage to maintain a 2k-plus wph rate.

11-1:00 This is usually split between editing and online work. I edit quickly, faster than I write. I can edit about 40 pages in an hour if the corrections are minimal, 30 pages per hour if they're a bit more extreme. I have been able to edit a complete novella in this block if I'm concentrating and not backsliding into message boards too often.

1-2:00 The break hour. Allegedly.  Usually this falls by the wayside. It'd be nice to have a break, but eight of ten times I forget all about it.

2--5:00 The second writing block of the day. If I'm working through a revision on a project, this is usually when I do it.  Sometimes, if an editing project is nearing the deadline, I don't write during this period but edit.

5-8:00 Business work. This is when I either do projects for the publishing house, work on submissions and correspondence, read the submissions in the Aurora mailbox. I tend to write a lot of rejections in this period.

8-10:00 pm. Family time. The DH usually comes home around this time. We have our supper, call the kids or the parents, play with the cats and watch television. Again, supposedly.  Sometimes he comes home, we grunt at each other and both go back to work.

10:00 - @2:00 a.m.--Yeah, you're seeing that correctly.  This is the final work block of the day. If I'm tired or not feeling well, it's the one that gets chucked.  More often than not, though, I'm back at work at this point. He goes to bed; I go to work. The house is quiet and I'm not distracted.  Some very high word counts come from this block. This is usually also when I do my personal edits for my publisher.When I finally do go to bed, I don't forget to set the alarm. I get up at the same time every day without fail.

At the moment, I have five works in progress I am actively writing.  I have another three in rewrites. I have two manuscripts in edits with the publisher. I write anywhere from 10k to 25k per day on various projects. A day doesn't go by when I don't write at least 4k--otherwise known as sixteen-eighteen pages.  This is my routine, and what I'll be tracking during A Month In The Life.

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