I came to writing my previous post How I Write My First Draft Of A Novel In 3 Months after having been asked many times how long or how fast I could write a novel. So in this post, I will let you in on my writing life and show you what my typical day as a writer/author/publisher is like.
Depending on whether I am in the drafting or publishing phrase, every day can be different in terms of what time I wake up or how busy I get.
(*Names have been changed for privacy purpose)
7am: Good morning. I wake up and first thing I do is go on my personal group chat where I keep in close touch with two of my childhood friends, *Coco in Malaysia and *Winnie in Australia. We have a tight-knit, unbreakable bond, and no distance can break that. Anyways, we chat every single day, and I wake up every morning to their messages. I would spend ten minutes replying to them.
7:10am: As much as I love my girls, I have to leave them and climb out of bed to get my son ready for school. He’s not hard to wake up. Sometimes he’s already up before me. I always have a quick shower in the morning for a fresh start. It wakes me up instantly.
7:25am: My son and I are already in the kitchen. It doesn’t take me long to get ready if I don’t have someplace to be in the morning, such as my work taking me into central London. My son has a quick bowl of cereal. As for me, depending on how I am feeling, I would decide whether to have my Starbucks’ filtered coffee which I can prepare at home or grab the one at my son’s favourite bakery.
7:35am: No matter what, my son and I are out the door at this time. We then head our way via walking to his favourite bakery. We live seconds away from the bustling streets of coffee shops and bakeries, but there’s one that we go to every school morning.
7:40am: We are at the bakery getting my son’s favourite chicken pasty, one for breakfast and one for school. After then, we hurry to my son’s school bus which is at a waiting spot only a few minutes away. The bus leaves at 8am sharp.
8am: I am home by this time. I prepare my morning weekdays favourite breakfast, hash brown and runny eggs alongside my second round of coffee. I then bring my breakfast up to my office room and eat it at my desk in front of the laptop. While I eat, I check on my many emails.
8:20am: I am a fast eater. Once breakfast is finished, I go straight to work. If I am working on drafts, I like to usually work in bed. I also don’t just work on one draft of a novel alone. I tend to work on two to three maximum. So I will split my time doing about an hour on three chapters each, depending on how much there is to write on one chapter alone. There are times when I have to proofread/edit my authors’ work. In that case, I put their work first before mine and work on them for as long as I need to. I don’t usually take more than two weeks.
11:45am: Lunch time for me. During the weekdays when I am working, I like to have healthy homemade egg noodles with chicken and salad for lunch. I prepare it the evening before as I like to have it at a chilled, overnight temperature. Every now and again, I would have some chocolates after my lunch to give me the bit of energy boost. I am not a fan of healthy snack bars or the energy ones. Besides, like the saying goes, life is too short not to have chocolates, right?
12:10pm: Once again, I am a fast eater. After lunch, I relax a bit and check my group messages from Coco and Winnie and reply to them.
12:15pm: I go back to work.
*There are days when I catch up with my fairy godmother aka editor on work and personal stuff over the phone.
3:15pm: I stop working here and get ready to pick up my son at his bus stop. If he has swimming practice (go Team GB!) I would then have to pick him up at school. From now until 9pm is ‘mommy’s time’. I give my son all the attention and spend time with him, whether it’s watching him swim, going shopping, or having ice-cream. My mother-son bonding time is very important to me, and I would always put him first on top of everything else.
9pm: It is my son’s bedtime. Once he’s tucked in bed, I continue with some more work. This time, unless I am proofreading/editing, I will have Netflix on. As mentioned in my previous post How I Write My First Draft Of A Novel In 3 Months, I cannot work in a quiet environment when writing. I will only have the TV on while working at night, and during the day, I will have the music on. Also, I am very much a night owl. This is the time where my imagination becomes extremely active. And I tend to write more in the space of an hour than I usually would in an hour during the day.
11:40pm: My husband is home from work and we spend a few minutes catching up on our day.
12:10am – 1am: I go for a run or fast walk on my treadmill (sometimes up to an hour). I find it hard to workout during the day. I just can’t set my mind on it. I would workout five days a week.
1:15am: After a nice shower or bath (I would take about twenty minutes in the bath) I go back to work. Yes, my mind is still active at this hour.
2:30am: Here is where I stop working and watch Netflix or read a book in bed. Occasionally, I will message Coco and Winnie.
3am/4am: The lights go out. Goodnight and see you at 7am.
It does seem like I’m working in the comfort of my own home, which is good. However, every work that I do have deadlines. And I’m used to the little sleep I get. It’s waking up and doing what I love and being who/what I am that gives me the boost and motivation to keep on going.
So there you have it, an example of my ordinary weekday.