What’s It Like To Be A Writer?

Once in a while, you get the question from readers, friends, anyone who isn’t an author. “What’s it like to be a writer?”

It isn’t an easy question to answer. Some people are naturally gifted and thus feel compelled to write but don’t really like the process. Some people have already “made it” and are able to financial sustain themselves on writing alone (lucky bastards). And then there are what I believe is the vast majority of writers – those of us who love it, who would write for every waking moment if we could, but we can’t because we are still forced to work outside the writing industry to do such mundane things as put food on the table. I know, I don’t need food, so long as there is a keyboard in front of me, but they do – those other living beings in my life. The Significant Other, the Kids, the Dog.

For those writers, life becomes the ultimate balancing act, and you never really know from moment to moment if you are going to manage to stay on the seesaw or fall onto your head. I can speak to those writers because I am one of them. So if you’ve ever wondered about what a day in the life of an indie author is like, keep reading….

6:15 am: BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Hand slaps the snooze button (which happens at minimum three times). Why am I so tired? Oh right, because I stayed up late last night finishing this blog/writing the next chapter/editing/reading that book by a fellow author that I’ve been dying to read for the past six months but the only time I can find the time is when I really should be sleeping.

Coffee. Laptop. Post blog, tweet it, add it to Linked In, post on Facebook, heck put it on my personal Facebook page. Two hundred and eighty-five friends, you’d think one or two might be interested in reading my blog, right?

Get caught up in social media suck. Oh crap, I’m going to be late for the day job. Oh crap, I have to wake up the kids and husband. Let out the dog. Feed him. Make lunch for the kids. Remind the husband of their after school activities and that the garbage disposal broke last night.

Guess I don’t have time to write anything this morning. Which sucks, because I do my best writing in the morning. Well, there’s always tomorrow.

9:15 am: Oh look, I have three new followers!

10:20 am: Somebody favorited my blog and three other people retweeted it – yippee! Sales are going to go up for sure. Maybe I can finally quit the job that makes the money and focus on my writing.

Noon: Lunchtime. I’m going to eat at my desk so that I can peruse Twitter, check my Smashwords dashboard, see if there are any new likes on my Facebook page.

1:30 pm: Crap, I’d better get back to work. One of these days they are going to pass a policy that no one can have their phones out at their desks. Except if they did, no one would ever be at their desks. Hey look – another new follower!

2:15 pm: Check personal email for the fourteenth time. Maybe one of the publishers I queried three months ago has finally gotten back to me. Nope. Oh well, since I’m on my phone anyway, let’s see what’s going on, on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

5:00 pm: the work day is finally over. With any luck, traffic won’t suck, the kids will be focused on their own little worlds, the husband will make dinner and I can finally get some writing done. I’m never going to make it if I don’t write. This is the argument I give the husband whenever he complains that I am spending too much time with my laptop. Don’t be jealous, baby. You’ll appreciate it when I finally make it, I swear.

6:00 pm: Have to take the kid to his after school activity because the husband has to fix the garbage disposal. Which also means I will have to make dinner when we get home. Writing? What’s that?

Well, at least I can catch up on the latest e-book I downloaded onto my phone, while I wait for the kid’s activity to end. All the other parents who are taking pictures with their phones will assume I’m doing the same, especially if I hold it up like this, assuming the position, but really reading about Alexandra and Hector and their angst-ridden love. This is a really good book.

The kid has to insert himself between me and the phone before I realize that his activity has been done for ten minutes and it’s now embarrassingly obvious that I wasn’t paying a lick of attention. I hope he didn’t do anything that was picture worthy. And if he did, I hope one of those other parents will share the picture via Facebook.

10:00 pm: Kids are in bed. Kitchen is clean. New garbage disposal successfully installed and Husband is now camped on the couch in front of the TV. Just let the dog out and now he’s curled up in his bed. Time to get some writing done! But first, I’d better check social media one more time, just in case. Of what, I’m not sure, but I still have to check anyway.

11:47 PM: Oh crap, I fell asleep without even opening my laptop. And my brain is mush. And I have to get up for the day job in less than seven hours. Well, maybe if I go back to sleep now, I’ll wake up the first time the alarm goes off, which will give me a solid thirty minutes to write in the morning…

6:15 am: BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Slap….

 

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