• Jess Newton

A Day in the Life of an Author

It's one of those weeks where I don't have much actual writing to do, so I'm concentrating on doing all the other, less glamorous but equally essential, bits that come with the job. I never realised how much I was going to need to use MS Excel in this line of work! If you'd like a sneak peek behind the scenes at what else an author does besides writing, then today's your lucky day.


06.45 - Get up, shower, get kids up and dressed, breakfast, school run.

(Please note - the kids are not an essential part of the routine. You do not need to equip yourself with children in order to be an author)


9ish - Get home and make coffee. Turn on computer, hang up laundry, wait for coffee to be ready to plunge. Noodle on Twitter/Instagram while waiting for the computer to fire up. This sounds like faffing but for me it's actually a good way to check in with my social media in the spare minutes I have first thing without wasting hours on there.


9.30 - Computer is probably ready to go by now. Put down phone and log off Twitter. Log into Twitter on the computer. (Seriously, why do I do this?!) Check emails and cry slightly into my now cooling coffee that nobody has emailed me to say yes to any of the many submissions I have out in various places.


If I've got writing to do, now is when I'd get started on that. Mornings make up the majority of my productive work time, so I try to get started as soon as I can. If I'm working on edits, I'll crack straight on from where I got to last time. If I'm writing, I'll often read through what I wrote yesterday to remind myself where I've got to, maybe tweak a couple of things, then get started again. I've often got notebooks with various scribbles all over the desk, reminding me to check out certain bits or work on a a specific section (This is a close as I get to plotting!).


If I've not got writing or editing to do, I'll work on something else. This can be anything from writing a blog post or a newsletter, checking my stats or updating my website, researching possible bookshops that might like to stock my work, researching agents that might like to represent me, researching publishers that take unsolicited submissions, looking into magazines/anthologies that accept short stories, etc etc. I have a lot of spreadsheets. Sometimes I'll play with graphics, making images for one or other of my books, and sometimes I jump around between a lot of these things because it's easier to focus if I switch it up.


12.30ish - Make and eat lunch. I try to give myself a break from whatever I'm focusing on, which is easier said than done! Maybe I'll do some more chores, maybe play an instrument or a computer game. Yesterday I went climbing which is a great way to break up the day, but takes just a little too long if I'm deep in the throes of a book.


1.30ish - Back to the computer. If I'm writing I'll probably take a shorter lunch break, because my head tends to stay working on things while I'm eating, but it's super easy to give myself burnout if I do that. Check emails again (nope, still nothing). Post on Twitter/Insta/Facebook, reply and engage with stuff that interests me. After lunch I've often got a clearer head, so I find this is a better time to send emails and reply to people than mid-morning. I often check in on my writer forums after lunch, where we share resources, feedback and encouragement (and commiserations, but we'll skip over that part).


2.30 - Turn off computer, tidy up, head to school to retrieve munchkins.


I don't get to work much in the afternoons or the evenings because of my family schedule, which is why I try to cram as much as I can into the morning. I try to check my emails occasionally until about 6pm, in case there's anything urgent, but after that I'm off the clock.


I'm super lucky in that I get to do this most days (I do work freelance in theatre, but we're ignoring that for the purposes of this blog post and pretending I haven't got a diagram with ridiculous amounts of LED strip sitting just to my left). It varies a lot day to day, depending on what I'm working on and what stage I'm at. My editor is taking a look at Posterity at the moment so I'll be getting stuck back in with that when he's done in a couple of weeks, then we'll be working on promo stuff for the launch. It's never the same two days in a row, which keeps it interesting!


I hope this was interesting/enlightening/insert appropriate adjective here, and thanks for checking in!



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