A day in the life of a writer actually begins the night before — nestled in bed, dreaming about writing, determined to have a long writing session and turning out the lights, content and confident.
Morning wakens and I with it. I yawn, stretch, and remember my writing goal. Jumping out of bed, I straighten the sheets and check my phone for any notifications. After spending those few minutes that turn into a half hour on my phone, I set it aside. I won’t look at it again until lunchtime.
I make my breakfast and wolf it down while waiting for the kettle to heat water for tea, and once done I pour myself a cup and head back to my desk.
But wait. I need to brush my teeth. Feeling orderly is essential in convincing myself that I take writing seriously. Brushing my teeth turns into taking medicine, which leads to organizing the haphazard bathroom sink, which prompts me to remembering I need to buy some qtips and a new soap dispenser…I should really start a list.
Okay, okay. Back to the bedroom. Everyone else is up and clanging pots and blending coffee grounds, but I’ll shut my door to drown out the sounds. I’ve just sat down at my desk and am about to play some music, when —
I open my door to reveal two little brown eyes staring up at me, as though I startled her. I bid the dog to come in, but she continues to stare. And stare. As I’m about to lose my patience, she trots away. I shake my head and close the door, returning once more to my desk. Earbuds in, music soft, word document opened.
Hold up. I need my Pinterest board. I can’t write without my inspirational images in the background. Oh, look at those new pins on my home page. They go well with my story. *Add to board*
No more diversions. Pulling up my story board…what pictures will go best with the scene I’m about to write? *scroll, scroll, scroll* Ah, perfect. I situate the Pinterest board behind my word document and hit the shift button to start a new sentence.
Go away, Cayenne…
“Cayenne, not right now!”
With a sigh I jump up from my desk and tug the door open with a hand on my hip. The dog goggles at me and patters away once more. I dare to close my door again.
This time, I hide behind the door as I open it. Cayenne enters cautiously, making for the heater on the other side of my room. I sit back in my seat as she rummages around my feet before settling behind me. I remind myself not to roll my chair backwards.
What was I just writing? Oh, right. Nothing. I better read the previous paragraph to get my bearings again. Now, where to continue? I chew on my nail and look to my left. Cayenne has silently moved from her warm, cozy spot by the heater and is sitting in front of the door. Whining.
We have a glaring match.
I get up and put her on my bed. After sniffing defiantly, she curls up, casting a haughty look in my direction.
Enough distractions. Time to write. Music in. World out.
I will not check my phone.
Just one little peak. Coupon emails.
I’m obviously too distracted to write. I need to get in the zone! I pull up Pinterest again and begin surfing. I’m finding so many great pins to add to the storyboard. This is good — wait, what’s that? Oh, that sparks an idea for a new story. I have to flesh this out. At least create a board to come back to later. I’ve just thought of a scene. And a main character!
After toying with this new story idea…it’s lunchtime. But that wasn’t a total waste of time, was it? I grab my phone and check notifications as I make lunch and watch a TV episode with my dad; then it’s right back to the grind.
I think I finally know where to go with the next part of the story. The morning stress is over, bellies are full and satisfied, and the dog has finally crashed on the couch. I’m able to write…and write…and write. My stomach rumbles around 4PM, and reluctantly I refuel my tea and grab a quick snack.
I’m gone for 5 minutes, but my oomph is gone. How great would it be to relax for a bit and eat my snack while watching Netflix? Just a 25 minute episode. Oh, the next episode in my current show is a two-parter…
5PM. The attitude of the house changes; dinner looms. I’m ready to start writing again, but I should rejoin the household… I’ll just finish this one scene. I write feverishly and am just getting back into my groove when…it arrives.
How I hate the sound. The cry for food always arises when I’m at my peak writing point. Just a few more minutes…nope, I’m summoned again. I close my laptop, my grouchy side rearing it’s ugly head as I help with the finishing touches on dinner, but I’m soon back to my old self as we eat and watch an episode of I Love Lucy. I clear my dishes and rush back to my desk.
My fingers hover over the keyboard.
Not only is my motivation gone, but the irritation is back. What was I trying to say when I last stopped writing? I had the next scene written out in my head, but now it’s gone. I try to convey my thoughts to the written word, but it’s not happening. I want to cry. I slam my laptop closed and don’t know what to do with myself. I lay down in bed, get up, pace, find Cayenne, and snuggle.
Clarity hits. I run to the computer, hoping as my old, slow laptop reboots that I don’t lose this fervor. The document appears — I ready my hands — I hit the keys — the words flow.
Only when my eyes blur to the point I’m typing blindly do I squint at the clock. Midnight! I’m overcome with that late night queasiness as my body switches into automatic, and I stumble to the bathroom, brush my teeth and take my medicine.
I fall into bed and turn out the light…a hundred ideas flood my brain. Light beams once more into my eyes as I grasp for one of the ten notebooks scattered on the floor by my bed. Scribbling ideas to paper without a thought as to where they might end up on the page or how legible they’ll be in the morning, I write until I can write no more and once again the room switches to darkness. My brain mulls over tomorrow’s plans…
And I begin again.