Prior to becoming a novelist, I rarely fielded questions about my career. Actually, I can safely say, I never fielded questions about my career. But once I told family and friends that I was writing a novel, the inquiries flooded in. “How’s the novel going?” “When’s it gonna be published?” “Can I buy it in stores?”
After Amor and Summer Secrets sold (to Kensington for publication in September 2008), and I began working at home as a full-time writer, the questions changed. Suddenly I began hearing, “Wow, you have the life. What do you do all day? How do you fill the time?”
Trust me I’m busy. So I’ve decided to take the opportunity of my first blog entry to answer this question.
This is the honest unedited life of a recently turned 30 young adult author:
I wake up at 9am. I don’t have kids and I’m not a morning person, so sue me. I make breakfast (that means a Special K bar), I flick on something from DVR (usually the Daily Show from the prior night) and start up my laptop. God bless Gateway, because my laptop is on approximately 14 hours every day.
Then I begin navigating my online ritual. At any given moment, someone can contact me digitally in 11 different ways:
• I have two Instant Message accounts.
• I have two personal e-mail accounts.
• I have an old corporate e-mail account that I use for my ongoing consulting work.
• I contribute to three different online writers’ discussion boards.
• I check my MySpace account, accept/reject new friends, answer any MySpace messages and comments, and send a couple of friend requests.
• I regularly receive messages from BU alumni asking for publishing advice through our University’s advisory network.
• Then, of course, there’s the good old-fashioned cell phone/text messaging machine that’s glued to my side.
After I’ve completed a full cycle through my online routine, I do the normal things: showering, teeth brushing, bed making, etc. And then I turn my attention to my writing.
Right now, I’m conducting historical research for a work-in-progress (WIP). Last week, I was reviewing copy edits for Amor and Summer Secrets. Next week, I’ll be sketching out the plot of my WIP. By the end of March, I’ll be meeting face-to-face with a contact who can elaborate on my historical data. When I get to working on the rough draft, I write no less than 3,000 words per day. When I’m editing later drafts, I go through at least 20 pages per day.
I usually do all this work from my home though sometimes I go to Philly Java Company (as seen in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) not far from the gym I frequent at least three times per week. I make dinner. I watch CNN’s election coverage. I work on my Spanish using the latest in computer learning tools (“los ninos estaban corriendo”). I read four different writing related blogs. I scan philly.com. I feed my cat; her name is Lupi.
Once my husband comes home (he too puts in far more than a 40-hour week), we watch primetime TV over our side-by-side laptops. I often spend my evenings completing projects for my consulting business, or planning my book launch party for September, or fleshing out marketing ideas for my books. Then I go through my cyber routine all over again.
I usually don’t turn my computer off before 11pm.
That’s what I do all day. I’m a writer. And I love it.
POP-CULTURE RANT: Lost
Since when do I need an advanced degree in Quantum Physics to watch primetime TV? If you’ve been following Lost, you’d know that this season is getting into some pretty heavy topics. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it. But I’m not sure I’m prepared to add academic prerequisite reading material to watch a TV drama. On a separate note, SNL has been awesome. I loved Tina Fey last week and if you want to get a taste of the show’s post-writer strike flavor, check out this clip. It’s the best thing about There Will Be Blood.