Last blog I asked what you’d like to see in future blog posts, and I received a whole lot of interesting questions. So over the next couple of blogs, I’m going at answer some of them–and of course, I’ll start with the easy ones first
Host says: I would like to know what your daily routine looks like, how you manage to get all the writing done.
Well, compared to some of the other dames, I’m actually something of a slacker! I only write two books a year, so really, I have a pretty easy writing life. Although it wasn’t always that way—there was a time when I was writing three or four books a year, but a stint in hospital with insane blood pressure soon cured me of that.
My writing days are all basically the same. The morning starts with breakfast, after which I walk the dogs. Then its into the gym gear and down to the gym for a good workout. I don’t actually begin writing until after lunch, and then it’s bum on seat and hands on keyboard until I get my allotted pages done. That can take two hours or it can take five or more. I aim for a minimum of five pages a day, five days a week (although I often write on the weekends as well. Depends on what else I’m doing.) When edits and stuff come in, I still try and get those five pages done–although sometimes the turnaround times are so tight that continuing to write is just impossible. That’s the problem with living in Australia—everything takes so much longer to get here and send back!
Even when I was working full time as a chef I had a regular writing schedule. I used to get up a little earlier in the morning to write, and then I’d write when I got home at night (more to relax from the stress of then job than anything else.)
I think key to getting a consistent amount of pages done is simply getting into the habit of doing it every single day. It doesn’t matter if your goal is one page or ten, all that matters is that you sit and do it. Life will always get in the way, and it’s very easy to use it as an excuse not to write. But if you want to make a career out of writing, you have to teach yourself to write no matter what is going on around you.
Jessica S. says: I would like to know what you do when you’re not writing. When the rare time comes and you find yourself with some down time, what do you like to do? What kinds of books do you read, movies you like to watch? Or do you do something else?
As much as I think its important for a writer to sit down and actually write, I also think it’s important that they spend time away from their computer, mixing with friends, family, and the world in general. I’m a big believer in refueling the creative well, and I think getting out and doing other things does this. So, aside from my regular lunches with my writing mates and meeting with my fab crit buddies at least once a month, I have a whole bunch of other things I like to do.
Hobby wise, I have a huge garden and I love getting out there when its not raining, pulling out weeds and planting new stuff. Which doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun, but its very relaxing. I’ve also recently gotten into photography, and love going for a drive and finding interesting things to photograph.
But honestly, I’m most likely to be found in front of the TV, watching a movie or TV show. I have a big TV and a kick arse sound system, so there’s nothing better than kicking back and watching a show. I love series like NCIS, Torchwood, Being Human and Blood on the Wire, as well as most British lifestyle programs. When it comes to movies, give me something big, loud and actiony. And if it has a good looking male actor, all the better. Movies like The Bourne Trilogy, LOTR, Aliens, Crank, Gladiator…the list goes on. But I also love a good romantic comedy and have watched more than my fair share of BBC period dramas (and will debate the merits of the different Darcys at a moments notice!)
When it comes to books, I don’t read anywhere near as much as I used to. I have a massive TBR pile, and while I don’t read much that doesn’t stop me from buying, so the pile keeps getting ever larger. Right now, I’m on a Eloisa James kick, and have just finished A Kiss at Midnight (which was great fun). But my main reading is done via audio books, which I’m listening to in the car. Right now Ive got all of Matthew Reilly’s book loaded onto my iTouch, and I’m currently on to the last of his Scarecrow books, Hell Island (love the Scarecrow character! And Mother just rocks ) Reilly’s books may be a little over the top, but they’re fabulous fun!
So that’s it for me. Boring, huh? More questions answered next time