A Week in the Life of a Writer

Do Not Disturb sign

I could use one of these.

Since I began writing in 2010, I’ve kept a time card of my work. It’s divided into different departments of the business known as Samantha Ann King: studying craft, research, business and writing. Here’s what the week of March 14-20 looked like.*

Disclaimer: My daughter was home for spring break, so I took some time off to enjoy her company.

Craft: 1:50. I’m currently working through Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices and More packet. I like to read a lesson before I start writing then try to apply that lesson to the writing. I worked three lessons last week.

Research: 6:35. Research has been heavier than normal over the last three months because I spend four to five hours a week at the BCSO Citizens Academy. The classes are fascinating, and I’ve connected with a SWAT sniper, who has helped flesh out parts of my WIP. Research is dangerous for me. I enjoy it so much that I can get lost in it. It’s one reason I like to get out of the house to write. The internet is less likely to suck me in when I’m away from my secure home wifi.

Parade Magazine April 2016 CoverBusiness: 6:45. Unless it’s urgent, business gets done on weekends. This category is a hodgepodge. I’m the guest author coordinator for the Café, so that work goes here. Also, blog posts that I write. Promotional work. Contracts. Writing conferences and meetings. (Haven’t been doing many of those lately.) Last week was a lot heavier than normal for business. One of the guest posts for the Café came in late and one was on time, so I had two posts to get ready. While I was working on those, I realized that I had four days to write my March post. Then I learned that I would be featured in Parade Magazine’s April issue of What People Earn, so I was scrambling to maximize the exposure.

Laptop with books

He makes it look sooo easy.

Writing: 11:40. This is the actual writing of the book. Putting the words on the computer and editing them. Plotting goes here, too. The manuscript. The dreaded synopsis. The query letter.

Total: 26:50*

Is this what every week looks like? No. Most weeks are heavier on writing, closer to twenty hours. When a book is nearing release, it’s more business. If I take a writing workshop online or in person, it can be weighted toward craft.

There you have it. A week in the life.

*No chocolate was consumed. None.

This post first appeared at The Contemporary Romance Cafe in March 2016.

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