Is there such a thing as a typical writing day? Not in my world. My day starts very early. Too early. Our English Springer Spaniel pup, known affectionately as Naughty Nell or Miss Muppet, wakes at around 5.58am. Every morning. But before that, the resident cockerel at the end of the lane begins to crow, so I’ve been lying awake since 5ish, depending on the time of year of course. My typical writing day goes as follows, though one day is never like another… so not so typical after all!
6.00 am: Pull myself out of bed, and share animal duties with Simon which includes three dogs, six cats and two chickens. Plus a game of ball or Frisbee with Naughty Nell who has had a good 8 hours to gather her energy! After a glass of zingy orange juice decide on breakfast, which sometimes can take up to half an hour! Both Simon and I are useless at decision making and worse when we’re half asleep. A quick hoover and mop – with so many animals and a very small casa (house) the dust and hair gathers like mopsy and if not done on a daily basis would suffocate us. And during the summer, water/tend to veggie garden as it gets too hot as the day goes on.
8.00 am Shower and make my list of ‘things to do today.’ Catch up on Social Media, listen to the radio and a bit of UK news and read on line papers to make sure I keep in touch. I write my morning journal, 15 minutes uninterrupted time, using a prompt to kick start my creative juices. I also have a, very small, proper job editing an international journal which is completed during this time.
10.00 am Or before, a Cappuccino and maybe a biscuit – depends if I’ve been good enough. Writing time: Blogs, chapters, rewrites and all the stuff I should have ticked off the week before. If I’m in the middle of a first draft this time will be dedicated solely to that. Rewards include a game of Solitaire or Mahjong.
12 midday: Naughty Nell demands a walk but as the summer approaches this will have to be done before breakfast. It’s good thinking time. If Simon is at home we have our main meal at lunch time, if not a snack. After lunch I catch up on reading; novels, writing articles, writing critques. If I’m alone for lunch I will have done a Killer Sudoko and a Kakuro puzzle – mind gym exercises to prevent further dottiness!
2:00 pm The afternoons are usually saved for editing, when I can concentrate on the nitty gritty (and still miss the typo’s and misplaced commas and apostrophes!) Interspersed with a few games of ball with NN to keep her happy. I try and write at all times of the day, so I might pen a scene or muse a story plot. And afternoons are good for research; characters, settings, markets, competitions then before I know it…
5:00 pm Feeding time again at the zoo and another catch up on the outside world maybe write a letter (yes, with a pen, ink and paper). Another session of Solitaire and Mahjong is on the cards to supplement my addiction and keep the brain from totally turning to mush.
6:00pm A G&T and complete the Guardian Quick Crossword with Simon, catching up on the day and we prepare supper together (NN willing of course!)
8.00 pm After supper and a glass of wine, it’s time to turn off the PC and relax watching a film, or a series. Game of Thrones is the nightly watch of the moment. This is also the time I catch up with family in the UK.
10pm: Yawn! Night time treats for all the animals before bedding down with a good book. And of course so our the other dogs ready for bed. This is just one of two very large Italian sheepdogs… not much room for us.