An Average Day of Full-Time Writing
A question that comes up a lot is how I spend my days as a professional author. Obviously I can’t just be writing the whole time from 8-5 every day, because not even my aggressive release schedule would account for that many words. And the assumption is correct, even if time permits it there is really only so much you can wring out in a given day before mental fatigue and headaches set in, which lowers the quality of the work even if you wanted to push through it. So you spend your day on other tasks, of which there are plenty. For today’s blog, I’m going to peel back the curtain and give you a look into the average day of a full-time author, or at least one who works for Thunder Pear Publishing.
6:00: Wake up. Curse previous night’s self for this pounding hangover. Roll out of bed, stagger to fridge, find either a bottle of cheap champagne or some fizzy booze drinks to cut through the initial edge of pain. Small sips, until I’m sure the stomach can handle it, then I move on to the swigs. Once precious relief is obtained, turn attention to necessities like making coffee and feeding the dog, who is looking at me with judgement in his eyes. Well the joke is on him, I’ve watched him to try to eat his own poop, so who’s the irresponsible shitshow now?
7:00: Time to write! And I mean that literally, this is the only time I have to write, in that sweet spot where the hangover is beaten back but a proper buzz is not yet achieved. With carefully selected booze and a cup of coffee at my side, I begin the process of letting the meticulously thought out plot lines unfold on the page.
7:05: Hangover is creeping back, so I upend the bottle and drink it all, then crack another. Looks like this will be a “write whatever comes into the brain” kind of day, or as I like to call them: blog days.
10:00: With the day’s required writing done, it’s time to hit the gym. Except there are several open bottles at my feet already, so driving is off the table. Guess I’m jogging to the gym instead. In the Texas heat. During summer. Fuck.
Noon: Stagger back into the house after what would be generous to call a jog and a few futile attempts to move heavy objects in different directions. Resolve to try and get the culture moving back to a place where being hefty signified wealth and status so that I can cut this part from my day. Fall into shower, beer in hand, resisting the urge to weep from relief as hot water washes over me. Realize I forgot to take the gym clothes off before climbing in. Decide that if I’m getting out, it at least means I owe myself a fresh beer.
1:00: With the day’s prime responsibilities handled, it’s time to switch to some of the more variable stuff. Sometimes this will be edits, if I have them to go through, or cleaning up an Authors & Dragons podcast if we recorded that week, but for this fictional day we’ll assume it’s one of the lighter weeks and go with research. Since the publishing market is constantly shifting, there’s no shortage of new marketing and branding techniques to learn. Time to log onto the internet, check the current state of publishing, and see where trends are leading from here.
2:00: Oh… I forgot you all were here. Crying? No… why would I be curled into a ball in the corner, desperately hugging a jug of wine and sobbing freely? Right, I looked at the publishing industry for more than ten minutes. Well, that feels like about enough industry research for today, don’t you think? Instead, let’s look at some current trends in the world to see if any of them can be mined for interesting ideas to add into upcoming books. Add a layer of contemporary context to make the world even richer!
4:00: I’m going to level with you; I’m not sure where the last two hours went. I watched two videos talking about fidget spinners, went downstairs, and chugged half a bottle of what I think was some sort of Transylvanian tequila. Which, now that I remember Transylvania hasn’t existed for years, is a little concerning. Oh well, maybe I’ll get vampire powers or something. Not like I go outside in the light all that much anyway. Since we’re nearly to five though, this feels like a good time to knock off of work for the day. There’s still more to do, however, because being an author doesn’t stop when the computer work is done. Time to go out and experience the world so that I can better understand people as a whole, leading to more rounded characters who speak with natural dialogue.
5:00: So I’m at a bar. Not sure where, I barely remember talking to the Lyft driver. I think that Transylvanian tequila is starting to really take a toll. Better drown it out with old-fashioned beer to counteract the effects. Spinning around in my stool, I turn my eye to those around me, paying careful attention to each nuance so as to better capture what it means to be human.
6:00: Someone is throwing up in the bar sink while another person gets a handy in the stall. Maybe I should have picked a better bar for this. Or the human condition is kind of a nasty one. Either way, time to pay my tab and go in hunt of more interesting interactions to witness. There’s a group of people drinking in the corner who invited me to a dinner party that sounds fun. They only drink red wine and are really pale, but whatever, I’ve had goth friends before, no big deal.
8:00: Yeah… if you guessed they were vampires and that the “dinner” was me, then kudos to you. Somehow, I didn’t see that coming. Jokes on them, though. Turns out, my blood is so polluted that it works as a hallucinogen, and not one of the kinds that leads to friendly trips. They all got a single sip in before reeling back, coughing and spitting, trying to get the toxic liquid out of their systems. Last I saw they were all tripping balls really bad. I’m a little beat up from the bites, but I raided their liquor cabinet (more Transylvanian tequila!) so all in all it’s an even trade. After running through a field, arms full of stolen hooch; I dive into a Lyft and scream at him to drive.
9:00: Home at last. Make a quick oven pizza, feed the dog, bandage the wounds, and then do a few shots to make sure there are no infections. Best way to fight bacteria is in the blood stream, as the saying on the Hayes family crest always reminds me. Watch the news and see reports of a bunch of pale people wandering around through downtown; walking on walls and talking in spaced out riddles. Apparently people think it’s a performance piece.
10:00: Another shower, this time I skip the breakdown, and then into bed to pass out. After all these shots, I’m sure I’ll wake up with a hangover, but that’s a problem for Tomorrow-Drew.