This is going to be hard because I can only tell you about the life of a writer from my perspective. There will be other authors who have a different life to write about than mine.
Most mornings, I’m up by 7:30 (there are exceptions both earlier and later), I get a cup of coffee and check email, fix breakfast for hubby who is hungry by then, and I wash dishes. Smile. Once that is done, I get more coffee, visit MySpace, Ning, and Facebook to post there or read messages. When that is done, I check email one more time.
Next, I shut down my main computer and boot up my laptop because that’s where I do my real work. Write. I may talk on IM (Yahoo Instant Messager) while there to brainstorm ideas with other authors, or my editor, but I never read email or send email from my laptop.
I re-read my work from the day before and make changes if needed, then I start writing. If I have a good two to four hours to write in, I consider that a good day. It’s rare that I can write all day, but once in a while I’m able to, and on those occasions I’m ecstatic.
It usually takes me a half hour to write one page, so if I write for two hours I can get four pages done. I feel so good when I can accomplish that much, but there are days when that doesn’t occur. Some days, I can’t get anything done. When that happens I’m really annoyed at myself and everyone around me.
Here are other authors work habits.
Author, Scott Spencer:
I work every day, from ten in the morning till I’m done with my pages. I try not to write beyond a certain point. It’s my experience that if I write too much in one day it kills a couple of days work for me after that. I like to keep myself to three or four pages a day.
Author, Gore Vidal:
First coffee. Then a bowel movement. Then the muse joins me.
Here are two quotes by James Thurber:
My usual method. . .is to spend the mornings turning over the text in my mind. Then in the afternoon, between two and five, I call in a secretary and dictate to her. I can do about two thousand words. It took me about ten years to learn.
I never quite know when I’m not writing. Sometimes my wife comes up to me at a party and says, “Dammit, Thurber, stop writing.” She usually catches me in the middle of a paragraph.
My belief is that everyone works differently, but we all have to write. There’s no getting away from it even if we wanted to. Writers write, we may be unhappy writing, but we’re even unhappier not writing. My husband started me on this path, and he had no idea the monster he was creating. Smile.
Author, H.G. Wells:
There comes a moment in the day, when you have written your pages in the morning, attended to your correspondence in the afternoon, and have nothing further to do. Then comes the hour when you are bored; that’s the time for sex.
Most romance authors would be offended by that last sentence from H.G. Wells. He obviously wasn’t very romantic. One would wonder what kind of lover he was. If someone has read and autobiography about him and knows I would love to hear about him.
Author, Truman Capote:
I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I’ve got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.
Author, Annie Dillard:
I work mornings only. I go out to lunch. Afternoons I play with the baby, walk with my husband, or shovel mail.
As you can see, everyone has different work habits. What is yours? This question is not just for writers, everyone is welcome to share their schedule.
Thanks for visiting my blog. See you next week.