A Day in the Life of an Author

Published February 4, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

Lately, I’ve had a few people ask me what my process for writing is and how I get inspired for my stories. Sooooo, this is for the rest of you curious people, and, yes, this is honestly how my “free” days go. I don’t write this much every single day—I’m not a total hermit!—but on my more productive days, this is about it.

The life of an author:

8:00 am: Wake up. Lay in bed for an hour thinking and plotting, while also trying desperately to get a few more minutes of sleep to make up for a late night of thinking and plotting.

9:00 am: Decide it’s useless to lie there any longer, finally accept the inevitable, and get up to make breakfast. During breakfast, read a book or chew on the story that was devised around midnight the night before.

11:00 am: (hair might be brushed by this time) Water garden. Either listen to music for inspiration from the “Inspiration” playlist on the iPod, or take advantage of the silence by mentally moving scenes around and devising new characters and ideas for other stories.

12:30-ish pm: Eat lunch. This time is usually reserved for reading.

1-2:00 pm: Generally when the actual writing begins, sometimes lasting well into the evening—with a break for dinner with the family, of course. This time can produce anywhere from zero pages—on a very unproductive day spent revising and reading previous chapters—to twelve pages of new work. This kind of productivity usually only happens in the middle of very exciting or intriguing scenes.

8:00 pm: Try to tie up loose ends of whatever was produced during the day and prepare for nighttime shows, game night, or an evening movie with everyone.

12:00 am: Lie wide awake in bed because the total silence has caused the floodgates of inspiration to be opened wide. Spend the next hour mapping out tomorrow’s writing and thinking everything through, almost against your will. (Unfortunately, this happens a lot, but it’s when I get some of my best inspiration!)

Right now my sisters Elizabeth, Katie, and I are blowing through seasons one and three of the show Castle. There’s this hysterical saying that the author in the show does at the beginning of each episode, and I thought it might give you all a chuckle. He says something like, “There are two types of people who spend their days thinking up ways to kill people: Psychopaths and mystery writers.” Thankfully, I fall into the latter category. ^__^   

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2 comments on “A Day in the Life of an Author

  • I love when the midnight thinking begins! It’s probably where I work out my biggest plot problems. I tried an inspiration playlist on my ipod once, then I forgot my ipod… not my brightest moment!

    Like

  • Right?! That’s what I’m going to call it from now on–my Midnight Thinking. Unfortunately, I can relate. Usually, I have to scour the house for my playlist when I need the inspiration, and that sometimes takes the better part of an hour. I bet Hemmingway never had that issue! 😉

    Like

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