Time Management

A Day in the Life

In case you think that we authors live a leisurely life in our beach-side writing retreats, punctuated only by fresh coffee and the cry of seagulls, here is snapshot of a day-in-the-life of this novelist-with-a-day-job. I wrote this post last year, based on a day when I was lucky enough to be a guest at this book club.

A Day in the Life

5:15am Alarm, followed by shower, breakfast, drive to work. Yes, it’s totally dark.
7:00am Start work – I’m fortunate to be employed at Stanford University in a role which definitely exercises other parts of my brain than writing women’s fiction… I’d better not say anything else about that here, as the pay cheque comes in very handy while I’m waiting to hit the best-seller lists. 😉
12:00pm Lunch at my desk, followed by:
1:00pm Chai tea with a lovely friend and former coworker at Stanford Bookstore. I rarely do ‘real’ writing at lunch time, but I’m a big believer in getting out of the office for fresh air. I might also read a book on writing technique or ponder plot points. Occasionally, I even give my legs a workout at the Stanford Dish.
4:15pm Leave work, drive home.
5:00pm A quick snack, show my face on social media, write a guest blog post, and approve the final audiobook of Saving Saffron Sweeting.
6:45pm Drive to book club, where I attempt to talk eloquently about writing, novels and British quirks. Answer all kinds of random, but enjoyable questions.
9:30pm Leave beautiful Half Moon Bay to head home to bed.

You might notice the missing element here: I didn’t do any actual writing for my next book. That’s something I’ve addressed in the last couple of months – I’m spending less time on social media and promotion of Saving Saffron Sweeting, and am working heavily on its successor. I’ll be sharing the first peak with my newsletter subscribers next month.

If you’d like to have me visit your book group, either in person or by Skype, please check out some suggested discussion questions (spoiler alert!) and contact me.

This post is part of the Hump Day Blog Hop hosted by Julie Valerie. Click here to return to the Blog Hop.

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18 Comment

  1. Reply
    Tony Grant
    March 26, 2014 at 2:49 am

    I get up in the morning and go to bed at night too,Pauline.

    Just wondering,do you ever come back to England for a visit?

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      March 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Tony, yes, of course – but not quite as often as I’d like…

  2. Reply
    Julie Valerie @JBValerie
    March 26, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Never a day goes by that I don’t wish for more hours in the day and perhaps a day between Saturday and Sunday that no one knows about but me.

    Actually, if I knew how to access a secret day between Saturday and Sunday – I’d share that knowledge with you, Pauline. But you’d have to promise not to tell anyone.

  3. Reply
    Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
    March 26, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for adding this blog post to the Hump Day Blog Hop. But now I’m afraid everyone’s going to learn about our plans to find a day between Saturday and Sunday that no one knows about but us. (My earlier comment.) We were going to get so much writing done. Now if everyone knows, we’ll have to find another day. Hey! Maybe another Friday.

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Friday . . .

    Or maybe we can add a second hump to Hump Day. Yeah, I like that idea.

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      March 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      No, 2 Wednesdays would be terrible. But another Saturday would be lovely, so if you can sort that out, count me in!

      1. Julie Valerie @Julie_Valerie
        March 27, 2014 at 9:29 am

        I gotcha, girlfriend. Two Saturdays it is!

  4. Reply
    Libby Mercer
    March 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Glad to hear that you’re getting some writing done, Pauline! That’s one thing I find so challenging–seems I can either promote or write, not both. And at the moment, neither. Eek!

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      March 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm

      I know, Libby. I’m currently trying to do a scene a day (first draft only, you understand) and it feels tough but invigorating. Much like swimming in the sea on Christmas morning, I suppose!

  5. Reply
    Brea Brown
    March 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Oh, if only… “leisurely life in our beach-side writing retreats, punctuated only by fresh coffee and the cry of seagulls.” I, too, have a day job that fills at least 45 hours of my week with things other than fiction writing. It pays the bills (which my writing does NOT do), so I am thankful for it. And I’ve often wondered if my writing paid the bills, would I still enjoy it as much as I do? I surely don’t think of it as a hobby right now, but it’s not a JOB, either. If it were a job, would it become a chore? That’s what keeps me thankful for my current arrangement. Because if I ever saw writing as a chore or a job or an obligation, that would be a very sad day, indeed. Great post, Pauline. Very thought-provoking.

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      March 26, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Brea, as always, you make great points. I just finished a great book – ‘Writer With a Day Job’ – and that made some convincing arguments for the many benefits of a day job. Sounds like you’re already in that happy place of appreciation, though. 😉

  6. Reply
    Barbara Barth
    March 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    My time is my own – but I have found I tend to lollygag more! I am up late at night writing – social media and promoting other authors during the day. It is a way of life I love – but most of it done at home, at my computer, and I rarely get to travel to promote my own books because I live with six dogs. Love this blog hop and meeting new authors. Enjoyed the post and comments -and – it is 2am in metro Atlanta and I am on my computer again.

    1. Reply
      March 27, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Barbara, I adore that word, lollygag, and plan to use it often! Yes, I’ve heard a theory before, that the more time there is at one’s disposal, the easier it is for it to slip through our fingers.

  7. Reply
    April 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Great post! I definitely can appreciate the juggle of holding a full-time day job, while pursuing other creative endeavors! You are doing a great job keeping all the balls in the air (and deserve a medal for waking up that early!!)

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