A week in the crazy life of an author, part 2

Writer's FrustrationWriting takes precedence over everything. My daily writing goal is 1,500 words per day, six days a week. I always strive to do more, and often I do.  On the seventh day, I write my blogs for the week.

However, this schedule goes out the window when a new book is published. The weeks before, during, and after a book release are nothing short of crazy-making. I kept a diary the week before the launch of The Goddess’s Curse, my new fantasy/sci-fi romance, to chronicle what my work life is like.

I am usually at the computer by 5 or 5:30 a.m. and work until about 4 or 5 p.m seven days a week – but with breaks in between. I have a tacit agreement with my husband that I will quit work by 4 or 5 p.m., so if I have a middle-of-the day appointment that cuts into my work time, I can’t play catch-up in the evening. However, if there is something urgent, I’ll make an exception.

The week I chronicled coincided with the change to Daylight Savings Time and  the start of physical therapy for a torn rotator cuff. I live an average of 45 minutes from anything in town, so any errands or appointment cost me an hour and half in drive time, plus the time required to complete the errand itself.

Read part 1 here

Tuesday, March 10

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00014]I’m at the computer at 6 a.m. I do my usual morning routine: check/answer email, check my stats, my blog & Facebook. When I get done, I figure I have 40 minutes to write before I have to have breakfast and take a shower so I can be out of the bathroom when the housekeeper comes at 8:30 a.m. In the 40 minutes, I read over yesterday’s work on Rod and Cane 6, make some edits and write 350 words. Today is a special day because I am having lunch with a friend/neighbor. We haven’t gotten together in six months and have been talking about doing lunch for a couple of months and last week we finally scheduled it for today. I head to take a shower and realize I don’t have any clean pants – not the ones I want to wear anyway, so I throw a load of laundry in the machine, take my shower, and throw on some old clothes. We’re also out of milk. My husband likes to clear out when the housekeeper leaves, so I ask him if he’ll go the bank to make a deposit and stop at the store and get some milk. He agrees.

I also caution him, “whatever you do, don’t tell my mom I’m having lunch with Carole.” (Refer to Part 1 for the reason).

The housekeeper arrives at 8:20, and I head to my office and write an additional 1650 words, bringing my daily total to 2K. I quit at 10:45 to change my clothes, put on makeup. I take out some frozen salmon to thaw for dinner. The housekeeper and I both depart at 11:30.  I have a good lunch with my friend. We have a lot of catching up to do. I give her a couple of postcards of my latest books. I get home around 2-ish, talk to my husband for 15 minutes, then head into my office check email. I do an interview for a guest blog for The Goddess’s Curse and email it off. I pay some bills, and record those transactions that are tax deductible. At 4 p.m., I write this day’s diary. At 4:30 p.m., I take a half hour break and play a game on my Kindle. At 5 p.m. I start dinner: salmon, basmati rice and broccoli.  I’m done working for the day.

Wednesday, March 11

I hit the computer at 5:30 a.m., so I’m getting back to my normal start time. I usually begin my day at 5 a.m., but Daylight Savings Time has thrown me off my schedule. I check my email. I’ve received the line edits to The Goddess’s Curse (yay!). I answer an email, check Facebook, my blog, and Triberr, and then get to work on the edits. After completing them, I send The Goddess’s Curse to my Kindle to proofread it one more time. Mid-morning I take a break to shower & have breakfast, then finish up reading. Around noon, I send the proofed version off to the formatter.

Today is my monthly neighborhood ladies’ lunch, but because I took time off yesterday to have lunch with Carole, and we are out of nearly everything (groceries), I skip the lunch, grab a bite at home, and go grocery shopping. I get back at 2:30, and my husband I go for a daily walk, which we haven’t done in while due to bad weather. But it’s warm and beautiful out, so today we have no excuse. I get back at 3:30 p.m. I put chicken in a marinade for dinner and answer some personal email. At 5:15, I call it quits. I’m not happy that I didn’t get to write today, but I did do the most important thing—finished the edits to The Goddess’s Curse. The release is in four days.

Part 3 coming on Friday, March 27

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12 Responses to A week in the crazy life of an author, part 2

  1. You crazy lady, you! Talk about Manic with a capital M. It’s a good job you love what you do LOL. Hope the physical therapy went well – poor you 🙁

    • Cara Bristol says:

      When I don’t have a book coming out, it is not this crazy. And the timing was bad–starting physical therapy a week before launch didn’t help. I should have postponed lunch with Carole too. I have another PT appt today. I’m about halfway through my sessions now. I’m not sure if it’s helping or not.

  2. Roz Harrison says:

    Hi Cara, I’m enjoying reading these insights into your day. Wow, talk about crazy busy! You are so disciplined in your work. I’m sure I would find distractions too easily. I love that despite the craziness you fit in time to catch up with your husband during the day and even have a walk together.

    The injury sounds painful. I hope the physical therapy helps.


    • Cara Bristol says:

      Thank you, Roz. The injury isn’t that bad. It’s a minor tear, which is why I’m having PT only instead of surgery. I just can’t reach the bowls on the high shelf with my right arm.

  3. Uh oh…I have a feeling the warning to your husband re: your mom isn’t going to end well.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Actually, it ended okay. He never said a word. But I had imagined my mom calling while I was out, and him telling her, “oh, she’s having lunch with a friend.”

  4. I love hearing about how other authors do things. I try to be disciplined like that, and some days it works. Most days I seem to wind up at the pediatrician’s office for hours followed by the pharmacy. Excited about your new book!

    • Cara Bristol says:

      That happens to me too–not the pediatrician’s office, but sometimes I have to take my mom to her appointments.

  5. Laurel Lasky says:

    I don’t know how you do it. You must have a high energy level. Mine is a bit low, I wake up have a cup of coffee and take a nap to rest up for lunch.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      I’m a morning person. I always have been, and I said in post a few weeks ago, I love being an author. It’s the best job in the world. When I worked in the corporate sector, I hated getting up in the morning and going to work. Now I can’t wait to get to the computer.

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