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A Day in the Life of a Full-Time Author

A Day in the Life of a Full-Time Author

What does a day in life of a full-time author look like? While I can’t speak for the likes of Stephen King or J.K. Rowling (or, actually, anybody else), I can share with you what a day in the life of this author looks like right now.

First off, you should brace yourself for much glamor, many autograph requests, an embarrassing amount of pleading from Ridley Scott to buy the rights to my next book, and lots and lots of coffee and chocolate.

Okay, so maybe just the coffee and chocolate…

Now that you’ve finished bracing yourself: welcome to my day!

Morning: Pre-Writing

  • At 7:36-ish, I squint at clock and try to justify sleeping in. Nope, can’t do it. Drag self out of bed.
  • Morning devotions: prayer, two chapters in 2 Kings, and half a chapter in Matthew Lee Anderson’s End of Our Exploring.
Morning Devotion Bible Prayer Guide End of Our Exploring Matthew Lee Anderson

The blue thing is an art pencil with no eraser. I use it to do acu-pressure on my jaw for TMJ problems while I read. I really don’t think the Lord minds.

  • Workout: Start with some free weight work, then make myself a smoothie for breakfast and take it outside for a mile walk. Finish up with some standing sit-ups. I’ve just about eliminated other exercises, since there’s always some nagging injury that flares up whenever I try anything else.
Morning Walk With Smoothie Shadow

Yes, I really do have just one arm. It’s only until today that I was able to successfully keep this a secret.

Smoothie for Breakfast

Summer smoothie: strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, grape juice, and greens.

Writing Time!

  • Roundabout 10AM, it’s time to get down to the main business of the day: writing! I dedicate two hours every morning to my active WIP. Right now, that’s my historical superhero story Wayfarer. I only just moved my writing session to the morning a few months ago, and I love being able to tackle writing before my brainwaves get scattered by the busywork of email and other projects.
Writing Wayfarer in Scrivener

First work of the day: nice clean desk, nice clean brain. Now if only that always meant a nice clean manuscript!

Writing Wayfarer Fullscreen in Scrivener

Time to go fullscreen in Scrivener!

Writing Chocolate Truffle

Don’t forget the Donckels chocolate truffle for brain food!

Early Afternoon: Down to Business

  • After writing, it’s time to whip up some lunch.
Lunch Macaroni and CHeese in the Oven

Your favorite and mine: mac and cheese.

  • Gotta take the dog for a spin.
This is Crazy Bob trying really hard to convince me he should get to chase after Squigglie the Squirrel.

This is Crazy Bob trying really hard to convince me he should get to chase after Squigglie the Squirrel.

Crazy Bob Black Lab Sniffing Grass

This is Crazy Bob thinking there’s nothing that could possibly be more fascinating than a clump of dried hay clippings.

Crazy Bob Black Lab Nose in Hole

This is Crazy Bob hoping desperately to find a snake in the ditch hole.

  • Then it’s back to work.
Email

First up is email.

Twitter

Then we gotta check with the tweeps via TweetDeck.

Comments

And answer all those awesome blog comments!

French

Brush up on my French très rapidement.

  • And then it’s time for my favorite part of the afternoon!
Coffee Time

Coffee time!

But no rest for the working. Gotta drink it on the job.

  • Once I’ve finished catching up on email and social media, I have about an hour to spend working on other projects. But first I have to touch base with my favorite assistant, who also just happens to be my favorite sister (she’d tell you I say that just because she’s my only sister and, actually, my only assistant).
Assistant

Her questions are usually a little more on point. Usually.

Post

I actually don’t usually write blog posts in the middle of the week. I dedicate a special day to getting most of the posts done at once. But this was an “extra” one.

Late Afternoon: The Other “Big” Project

  • By 4 PM, I try to have all my “extra” work out of the way, so I can spend the rest of the afternoon focusing on whatever other “big” project I have on my plate (the first “big” project of the day being, of course, writing itself). Right now, that project is finishing up final edits on my historical aviation-adventure novel Storming.
Editing With Jelly Beans

I’m splurging with jelly beans for this project. They help me concentrate. No really!

Evening: Done for the Day

  • And now that my work is done, I get to kick back, starting with supper. Tonight, it’s baked chicken with white beans.
  • Then a movie. Right now, I’m doing a Pixar marathon, going through all their movies in chronological order.
Bug's Life VHS

And, yes, I’m still rocking the VHS.

  • Finally, it’s my big end-of-the-day reward: two hours of reading time!
Bookshelf, Kindle, Metamorphosis

The blue thing is a Book Seat–for hands-free reading.

Time to hit the sack and thank God I get to wake up tomorrow morning and do it all over again!

Let’s chat! If you’re a writer, where does your writing fit into your daily schedule? If you’re a reader, where does your reading fit in? Tell me in the comments!

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82 Comments

  1. Fun! That’s a great sort of day, K.! 🙂 Cute pooch, too.

  2. That all sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing. I’m a bit surprised you don’t spend more time “writing” but I do know that the life of a full-time writer is mostly promoting, or else how will anyone know or care about what you write. Out of curiosity, what is your average daily word count if you don’t mind sharing? In between a full-time job, a husband, a house, and life in general, I’m doing good to sit down and write for an hour every day, which gets me between 500-1000 words. Every day I wish I could write full-time, but one can’t just drop a well-paying job and immediately replace your income with writing, you have to work up to it. So I soldier on.

    Looking forward to more posts!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I actually don’t pay too much attention to word-count goals. I’ve found it largely counterproductive for myself. But I’d say I probably average around 1,500 words a day.

  3. I like that you included pics! I wrote a similar post on my blog last year. But no pics, though 🙁 I think it’s interesting how each writer has a unique approach to essentially the same task. Keep up with the writing. I want to read Wayfarer!

    http://alexandermori.blogspot.com/2014/10/197-day-in-life-of-alexander-mori.html

  4. Thank you for letting us inside your world. It’s quite fascinating to read this; and more than a little inspirational.

  5. Sounds kind of familiar. 🙂 Though I need to be better about scheduling my own writing. It’s hard being a bit sis of 7 and still finding the time to get everything done. I mostly just write in really productive, spaced bursts.
    Nice knowing I’m not the only one with candy sitting nearby on certain writing days! 😉

  6. not so terribly different to mine—only ‘cept i don’t usually wake up til 9:00 or 10:00! gasp! and my muse and i play best together more toward the later part of the day into evening! oh, and i have kitty babies, no canine critters.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I wish I had it in me to get up earlier than I do, but I love late nights, so it becomes a challenge. :p

  7. Living the dream Katie. I’ve followed you for awhile and finally took the plunge into fiction writing last year. I’ve put 12 short novellas and one longer book since March 2015 – all around a full time real estate corporate job. I have to be organised.

    I get up at 5.15am, potter around, make coffee then head downstairs to my home office. I kick off my day with social media catch ups, scheduling posts via Socialoomph, the. Head out for a walk (and coffee) at around 6.30am

    Back home by 7.30 I organise breakfast and eat around 8am. In the shower and get ready to head to the J.O.B. A full day of appointments and telling real estate agents how great they are. Exhausting !

    Five pm back home I settle into writing 1000 words in my latest book. Dinner is at 7pm and from 8pm – 9.30 I do book marketing, research etc. I spend 30 minutes before sleeping reading – usually mystery detective novels, the genre I write in
    Repeat

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Good for you for diving into your dream! And good for you for making it work in your busy day. 1,000 words a day is a totally awesome average. I’m happy when I get 1,500 a day–and I’m supposed to be a “full-time” writer. 😉

      • WOW! 1500 words a day is my next goal.

        I love your posts and try to refer as many people I can to your blog.

        Even though I know my reading audience is older, writing can be such a
        great second career or set them up with fantastic passive income in retirement.
        It sure beats packing groceries at the local supermarket or telemarketing when you are 70!

        PS How can I buy some signed copies of your books. I’d love to give them away to my readers. Let me know?

        • K.M. Weiland says:

          I agree. There’s never been a better time to be a writer than right now!

          Thanks for your interest in my books! If you’d like to order signed copies, you can do that right here on my site. Just be sure to zap me an email, so I know you’ve ordered and I’m sure to inscribe them the way you’d like me to.

  8. Katie, I enjoyed this post. It’s highly motivating.

    I think I’ll bookmark it.

    Btw, I noticed you’re reading Kafka. He is one of my two favorite modern writers (non-Christian ones!) The other would be Jorge Luis Borges. Borges never wrote a novel; his short stories prove dense enough.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I’ve never read Borges stories, but I’ve enjoyed his thoughts on writing in general. I’ll have to check him out. Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. Hi,

    I am sure this is a very late response but I am a new writer working on my second book and haven’t even published my first one on Amazon yet. I see comments that people work full time and still make time to write which is amazing! I loved this article very much, thank you. I work full time in Logistics tough field and still at my office all I think of is the next scene I am going to write. It’s an amazing feeling right everyone? Has anyone did any editing or book cover art themselves? I have and submitted to Library of Congress themselves also? I have no agent and I don’t want one. Thank you, -Joanna

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      I’ve done both editing and cover art for myself in the past, but highly recommend hiring a professional for both as soon as you’re able.

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  1. […] Katie shares a day in her writing life. I love this process-y stuff 🙂 […]

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