Thursday, 15 January 2009

A Day In The Life ... - Sally Nicholls

I know we've done a lot of blog posts about procrastination, but I thought you might be interested in this piece on a Day in the Life of an Author, which I did for the Manchester Book Award website.

I've only been a full-time author for about a week and a half, so I'm hoping I'm going to get better at it, not least because there's no point being at home all day if you do all your writing in the evening. We'll have to see.

8.30: Boyfriend’s alarm clock goes off. Boyfriend turns it off and rolls over. I mutter something uncomplimentary about people with proper jobs and go back to sleep.

8.40-9.30: Repeat the above step at ten minute intervals until boyfriend admits defeat and wakes up. Open the curtains and wonder about getting up. Decide against it.

10.20: Boyfriend looks at watch, says, “Aargh! I’m late!” and goes to have a shower. I wander into the kitchen and make some breakfast.

10.35: Boyfriend kisses me goodbye and runs out of the door. I curl up on the sofa under my duvet and eat my porridge.

11:00: Turn on laptop and start checking my email, playing WordTwist and seeing if anyone has bought my book on Amazon. This is called ‘preparing myself to start work’.

1.30: Start to get hungry and realise with horror that I haven’t done any writing yet. Tell myself that I’m not allowed to eat until I’ve written some words. To prepare myself, I make a cup of tea and put some music on.

3.00: Having finally written about 200 words, I make some lunch and get dressed. Reply to emails from my website, read threads on several writing websites and get depressed because no one has sent me an email in the last ten minutes.

5.00: Flatmate comes home from work and we have another cup of tea. I start to get into this writing lark and begin a new chapter. It’s interesting. It’s good! I play a quick round of Spider Solitaire and keep writing.

7.30: Boyfriend comes home from work and asks me if I want something to eat. I say, “Mmm. I’m writing,” and carry on tapping away.

8.30: Boyfriend points out that if we don’t start cooking soon we won’t eat before nine. I sigh, close down my laptop and go and see if we have any beans left.

9.00: Eat beans on toast and watch The West Wing with boyfriend. Am grumpy or cheerful depending on how many words I’ve managed to write.

10.40: Go to bed with a book. Chat to boyfriend. Feel guilty about all the things (like housework and tax returns) that I haven’t done today. Resolve to do them all (and write 1000 words) tomorrow.

11.30: Sleep.


Nick Green said...

Now I'm curious about what job your boyfriend has that lets him leave the house at 10:30am!

Sally Nicholls said...

He's really not supposed to ... but he does work late to make up for it.

Lucy Coats said...

Ah Sally. Welcome to the ranks. And remember, guilt is another waste of time. Fancy a game of Lexulous? :-)

Anonymous said...

ABBA is, of course, all about giving us yet another Firefox tab to click on when we aren't quite ready to get down to/stick with writing... All so true.

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books said...

That sounds like a day off to me not a job.How the other half live?

I like the idea thoe.............

I always think you should read a little bit more.................

Lucy Diamond said...

Hmmm, this sounds horribly familiar... Must tear myself away from the blogs and do some work!