Today I’ve chosen to share with you a day in the life of a crazily obsessed, easily distracted, newly published author. (That would be me.)
7:15 a.m. I roll out of bed, make sure my youngest daughter is up and getting ready for school, and head downstairs to turn on my computer. Then I check my personal and professional e-mail accounts, answer what needs answering and delete what needs deleting.
7:30 a.m. I hand my daughter her lunch, kiss her good bye, and, as she walks to the bus, yell motherly things like “Work hard.” “I love you.” And “Don’t walk through the grass. Your feet are going to get all wet.” (She doesn’t listen – at least to the walking through the grass part.)
7:35 a.m. The crazy obsession begins. You see, to a new author, (well, to me in particular) it’s all about the numbers. Sales rankings on Amazon. Likes on Facebook. Followers on Twitter. Friends on Goodreads. Stars on reviews. Words written per day. And lately, pounds on the scale. (Because writing is, after all, a sedentary occupation. One that makes me crave chocolate. Can someone please explain that phenomenon?) Oh, and the most important number of all, the due date of my next book. (August 1st in case you’re wondering.)
My goals for the day:
1) Add an additional 1,500 fabulous words to my manuscript
2) Begin work promptly at 8:00 a.m. (Which means I have 25 minutes to do my first Internet loop of the day.)
Facebook – I catch up on my personal page and look for any new LIKES on my author page.
(Maybe I post something witty. Maybe not.)
Twitter – I read the timeline, check for mentions, and look for any new followers. (Since I’m there I may as well tweet. If I want to master social networking, I have to be social.)
Amazon U.S. – My Kindle edition is finally up for pre-order! I check the sales ranking. (Why aren’t more people buying it? Maybe they’re waiting for the paperback. Or maybe it’s because I haven’t yet done a formal announcement with the link – since I, too, am waiting for the paperback to go up for sale.) *By the time you read this post the paperback will be up for sale on Amazon and eharlequin.com.
Amazon UK – I check the sales ranking of my Kindle e-book and paperback. (If either goes lower, and thus closer to #1 bestseller on Amazon, it means I sold books!)
Amazon Germany – I check the sales ranking of my paperback.
Amazon France – I check the sales ranking of my paperback. (And by checking the sales ranking I mean I also compare my ranking to the rankings of some of the other medical romance books to make sure I’m keeping up. I am! Whew!)
Mills and Boon UK – I check for any new reviews. (Or to see if my book has sold out! Not yet.)
Mills and Boon Aus – I check my book. For no other reason than to check my book -because this site doesn’t have reviews. (I also check out the top ten list – just in case.)
I’m done at (uh oh) 8:25. Maybe I should throw in a load of laundry and have breakfast so I’m ready to work without interruption at 9:00.
9:15 a.m. I’m back at the computer. I check my e-mails – you know, just in case something important came in while I was away.
9:30 a.m. I bring up my manuscript. I read through and edit what I wrote the day before. Heaven forbid I need to check the spelling of a word or use the online thesaurus. Because once I hop online, I can’t help but notice the number of e-mails in my inbox, and I can’t help but check them.
My plan is to write for three hours straight. It never happens. I hit a snag or can’t decide what happens next, I hop on the Internet while I’m plotting my next move. (I don’t recommend this.) Maybe I’ll find inspiration on Twitter. (Hey, it could happen. But it usually doesn’t.) And since I checked Twitter, let me hop onto Facebook for a minute.
10:30 a.m. Back to my manuscript. I. Will. Not. Go. Back. Online. Until. I. Write. 1,000. Words.
10:45 a.m. I can’t think of the right word. I hop onto thesaurus.com. (And I bet you can guess what happens.)
11:30 a.m. I get up to walk around. (I don’t want to risk developing blood clots from sitting in one position for too long.) I change the laundry. Check my telephone messages. Schedule appointments. Package up books and promo items to be mailed out.
12:00 p.m. I check my e-mails. My editor works in London, so my 12:00 p.m. is her 5:00 p.m., and I wonder if maybe she sent me something before she left. (With my editor gone for the day, I kind of feel like my work day is over, too. But it isn’t.)
Between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. I must bathe. (I need to walk the dog and I don’t want to embarrass my children any more than I already do.)
Between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. I take my dog on a nice long walk (weather permitting – ideal conditions: no rain, no humidity, light breeze, around 70 degrees) while I get some badly needed exercise and plot where my story is headed. Then I eat lunch.
2:15 My son comes home from high school. (After ten minutes of interaction, tops, he heads for his room.)
2:30 p.m. I’m back on the computer. (And since I’ve been away for a while I check my e-mails and perform the Internet loop.)
3:00 p.m. I’m working on my manuscript.
3:15 p.m. My daughter comes home from school. (And I feel guilty that I haven’t reached my word goal for the day. Bad mommy. Bad author. Bad. Bad. Bad.) Luckily after a few minutes of interaction she’s off to watch television. And I buckle down.
5:00 p.m. I get the first rumblings of “What’s for dinner?” (Shoot. I didn’t plan for dinner. Again. Bad mommy. Bad. Bad. Bad.)
6:00 p.m. We eat a meal which I’ve either ingeniously pulled together or ordered from a local take out place.
7:00 p.m. I’m back at the computer – because I haven’t met my word count for the day. (First I check my e-mails and do my Internet loop.) It’s harder to work in the evening because my family is walking around and talking. And they usually need me for random things, which has me up and down multiple times. So I usually wind up editing or working on blog posts from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. If I’m lucky I can make some manuscript progress.
10:00 p.m. If I’m under deadline and haven’t met my word count (and am still capable of rational thought), I keep working. I know any new words I write won’t be the best I’m capable of, but I’ll edit them first thing in the morning.
11:30 – 12:00 p.m. Before shutting down I perform my Internet loop one last time, I text my daughter (who’s at college) a few good night messages, and I am off to bed.
To wake up at 7:15 the next morning to do it all again. When I’m under deadline or deep into writing, like I am now, on weekends I modify my schedule to work around family activities. Today, Saturday, I let myself sleep until 8:00 a.m. It’s now 10:30 a.m. and I’ve done the Internet loop once, checked my e-mails twice, and completed this post. Not bad. For some reason, I am much more productive on the weekends than I am on weekdays! Now I’m off to shower and take my youngest daughter shopping.
To learn more about me, or read an excerpt from my second book, ONCE A GOOD GIRL, please visit my website: http://WendySMarcus.com
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(You know I’ll be looking for you!)
And if you’d like to purchase WHEN ONE LIFE ISN’T ENOUGH, it’s available here:
If you buy it from Amazon I’ll know when I see the change in my sales ranking. (And it will make me very happy!)
Do you have an Internet addiction? Are you in need of an intervention, like me? If you checked out my excerpt, did you like it? Are you going to make me a happy newly published author by positively affecting my numbers? One lucky commenter will win the 2in1 UK edition of my book which includes a complete novel by Janice Lynn.
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