So one of the things that I keep getting asked at interviews and appearances this winter is: What does your typical day look like? Since it’s typical for me, I don’t find it very interesting, but in case anyone out there was wondering, here is the ideal version of my typical day.
~7:30 I wake up briefly when Laura gets up and goes off to herd faculty and teach physics. I give her a kiss goodbye and go back to sleep for half an hour to an hour.
~8:00-8:30 I get up.
~8:00-10:00 I stagger out of bed (still not awake) and start infusing caffeine into my system, either diet cola or black tea followed by the other. I do this while putting in an hour-and-a-half on the treadmill reading my email and morning news blogs on my laptop. 2013 addition: I now start the caffeine drip in the hot tub.
~10:00-11:00 I actually wake up. I do all the not-writing work that’s accumulated, like answering the email that I read and prioritized on the treadmill, posting to this blog, any promotional stuff that needs taking care of, breakfast, etc.
~11:00-12:00 I read through and revise the ~2,000 words I wrote yesterday. (Note, this is ideally, as the 8:00-11:00 stuff often spills over, especially if I’ve had a book launch recently and that can mean getting started later or that I wrote less yesterday)
~12:00-4:00/5:00 I write till Laura gets home.
~5:00-10:00 we do couple stuff together.
~10:00 Bedtime. Laura goes to sleep and I do research reading for another hour or two.
1) I almost never write on the weekends. Writing is my job. It’s a job I love, but it’s still a job. That means building break time into my schedule.
2) I used to write more of each day and I used to write more words in that time, but I also used to have to do a lot more revision and throwing away of words. These days, first draft is about what a beta draft used to look like.
3) I don’t write every day or follow this schedule every day that I do write. I’m the spouse with the flexible schedule and that means I run life-support activities including the vast majority of cleaning, most of the joint meal cooking, and all of the vet appointments and the like.
4) I can and do occasionally compress everything else or let much of it go by the boards if I’m writing fast or on deadline.
And that’s about it.