A Day...er...Night in the Life of a Writer

This was originally a guest post written on the topic of A day in the Life of a Writer. I thought it would be fun Friday post to share it with you here too.

When asked to write about a “day” in the life of a writer, I was stumped.  I sat staring at the computer screen, watching the little cursor blink, mocking me as I wracked my brain, trying to recall what my “typical” day is like. 

While writing is something I take very seriously and look at as my job, it almost never happens during the “day.” Both Immortalis Carpe Noctem and my newest release Immortalis: Hunters & Prey were written almost exclusively at night.

 I can often be found bleary-eyed, late at night, clicking away at the keys of my laptop.  Even us “Housewives” have day jobs.  The house doesn’t clean itself (oh God how I wish it did though), the laundry won’t fold itself … okay, you know where I’m going with this. Seriously though, daytime is when I work on the household stuff , do my critiquing group critiques and posts, and take care of business related things for Rising Sign Books.

As it is, the everyday minutia tends to take up the bulk of the daylight hours, leaving only the calm of the evening for me to “get a few words in.”  Once my daughter is nestled all snug in her bed, that’s when the words spring out from my head.

So let’s start with that. I work nights. My shift starts promptly at 8pm. I crack open a can of redbull (the 12 oz one), open up my current manuscript, and get started.

8:30PM – While writing the start of a lusty scene between my two main characters, my email chimes. I’m a little OCD so I have to know what it is. (I know I should just leave my email closed… *sigh* I’ll never learn.) “Oooh Book Marketing tips. I need to know this!”

9:15PM –  Email led to a quick pop over to facebook which led to a round of “poke wars” and three hundred updates. Whoops!  I finally close  both Thunderbird (email) and Firefox (internet) and realized I have only written one decent paragraph. Time to get back to work.

10:45PM – I need a synonym for ‘ethereal’ and a bottle of water. After a quick stretch and run to the kitchen, I silently swear as I click open firefox. “only Thesaurus.com… no Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn. No Myspace. No blogger…”

11:15PM - airy, celestial, spiritual, sublime, supernal, tenuous, unearthly, unworldly… See, I’m working. I wasn’t surfing the web. Promise.

11:30PM – Kiss Hubby goodnight. He reminds me to come to bed instead of asleep on the couch, no matter how late I finish work. (It’s a bit of a regular occurrence in our house) I swear I won’t fall asleep on the couch.  “Scouts honor.”

12:00AM – Email chimes just as I finish up a rough draft on the lusty scene I’ve been working on.  Perfect timing, an email from my critting buddy (many of them are up as late as me on a regular basis too). I’ll shoot over the pages I just wrote and see what they think.

12:30AM – Delete Delete Delete… Okay, bad Idea to send off something that rough. That scene was crap, but at least I heard it from a friend, right? Time to rewrite it and grab Redbull #2

12:35AM – Stare blankly at the ceiling, wondering if inspiration will strike.  Oooh, was that my email again? Yay Facebook Updates! Oooh new Twitter followers. Awww, some poor man in Nigeria needs me to help him get his inheritance. 

1:00AM – Spin around in my chair to see how long it takes to get dizzy. Maybe I shouldn’t have had that second Redbull. Hmmmm. Maybe a change of location will help.  It’s too late for a coffee shop but I’ve got a laptop I can at least get away from the desk. I hop over to the loveseat.

1:30AM – Back on track!! Words are flying from my fingers to the screen.  Characters are falling madly in love.  It’s getting hot and heavy in their bedroom… Boy, I use the word embrace a lot. I need a new word.  Ut-oh… I silently swear as I click open Firefox. “only Thesaurus.com… no Facebook. No Twitter. No LinkedIn. No Myspace. No blogger…” I can be strong this time. I just know it.

2:30AM – How many versions of that farmer game are on Facebook now? Not that I was on Facebook… for that long.  I mean, does the word snuggle sound too cute? What about nuzzle?

3:30AM – Things are really moving along. I’ve gotten 1k words into the rewrite on my love scene. Getting a little sleepy but I think I can hang until I get it finished.

7:00AM – Hubby wakes me up, looking very disappointed. I fell asleep on the couch again. Time to start another day. I promise I’ll sleep in my bed next time. 

So there you have it, a typical day…er night… in my writing life.  And just for fun. It’s now 11:30pm as I type this and I am already on Redbull #2. It’s going to be a productive night, I can just tell!


Willsin Rowe said...

I'm with you, milady, and I guarantee there are dozens, even hundreds of us out here working exactly the same way!

Stefanie J Pristavu said...

Lol, Awesome, Katie!
I couldn't do this - I love my sleep - I never stay past 2 a.m. and I'd have to have divine inspiration - I write best when I'm pressured for time (so, why not before I have to dash for school? That's how I wrote my entire NaNo novel O:))
Great post!


Mark Feggeler said...

I wish I could put in that much time!

I start most nights at 10:00pm, finish with the online distractions around 11:00pm, then get 500-1000 words done by midnight (12:30am at the very latest). I can do this only 3 or 4 times a week, if I'm lucky, because I get up at 5:00am to hit the treadmill.

Just 7-and-a-half more years and my first book will be finished!

Katie Salidas said...

We all try to fit writing into the time we have. I don't always pass out at 3am but there are many nights where this is the case.

I couldn't imaging fitting in school like you Stephanie, or getting up at 5am to hit the treadmill Pale Rambler, or even spending countless hours working on book trailers like you Willsin. But writing is my thing, so I make as much time as I can for it.

HungryVampire said...

I enjoyed your blog post! Looks to me as if you enjoy time travel just as much as I do! It gets down right frustrating at times though, especially when your characters begin to talk to you. However, it's good to know that I'm not the only one.


Katie Salidas said...

It's good too know I'm not alone in my lack of sleep and writer frenzy ways!

About The Author

Katie Salidas is a USA Today bestselling author and RONE award winner known for her unique genre-blending style.

Since 2010 she's penned five bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, Chronicles of the Uprising, and the all-new Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. As her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

In her spare time Katie also produces and hosts a YouTube talk show; Spilling Ink. She also has a regular column on First Comics News where she explores writing from a nerdy perspective.