Is it possible to count an author as one of your favourites if you’ve only ever read one book of theirs? What are there rules in this situation?
Whatever they are, I’m ignoring them.
I’m breaking them, in fact.
BECAUSE I’M A RULE BREAKER.
After I finished This is Shyness by Leanne Hall (my review here, if you fancy a gander), I realised that there aren’t many authors who can write like Ms Hall. There aren’t many writers who can create a heroine as vibrant as Wildgirl. There aren’t many writers who can create a world like Shyness. And there definitely aren’t many authors who can create a hero as
omgomgomgomg I want to kiss him all over …. um…lovely as Wolfboy. So I would be stupid not to ask her to tell us what a day in her life is like, wouldn’t I?
And I’m a lot of things but stupid is not one of them.
OK, I may be a little bit stupid.
Over to you, Leanne!
I should say upfront that I don’t think I have a typical daily routine as a writer. My days can swing wildly from high-blood-pressure-inducing hard work, to complete and utter torpor, depending on the time of year, and whether I’m working to a deadline. I also still work two days a week as a children’s and YA specialist in an indie bookstore – a job which I love. I also try to reserve Fridays as my `personal admin’ days where I answer emails, prepare school talks, harass accountants etc. But here’s what my average writing day is like at the moment.
Wake up, throw on an outfit befitting a Fame cast member, and cycle to yoga class. Winter is fast approaching in Melbourne, and this cold pre-dawn journey has been made bearable by my new winter coat, which is basically a sleeping bag with arms. I haven’t included this info to prove how virtuous (insane) I am, it’s actually important. I spend a lot of time stationary at a computer, and also working in retail, and my back can get quite stiff and sore. Yoga is literally what makes me able to stay still at my desk and focussed on my writing.
I’m usually back home and fed by this time (yoga class always morphs into a long tea-drinking lady party afterwards)…and then I crawl back into bed with my laptop, crank the electric blanket and try to bang out as many words as possible before I get distracted. The bed theory is this: I’m working, but AM I REALLY? Work feels less like work from the comfort of my bed.
At the moment I am definitely in the bang-out-the-words stage of my work in progress. I’ve done a lot of research and planning on my new novel, now I have to get that first draft down on the page. I’ve plotted the whole thing in Scrivener, and I am tackling it scene by scene, mostly (but not always) chronologically. In this stage I have to resist the urge to make things pretty and grammatical, and sometimes even any good. There’s lots of XXXX’s where I don’t have enough facts, or haven’t come up with a minor/surprise character’s name yet, and lots of incomprehensible notes to myself like [FIX UP LATER REWRITE USING BITS FROM DELETED SCENE].
By this stage I have lolled about as much as I can bear and I spring from bed, eager to procrastinate and get the hell out of the house. This usually takes the form of walking the dog (or as we say in my house, W-A-L-K the dog, so she doesn’t get preemptively excited).
Walking the dog looks a little bit like this:
After that my procrastination usually takes the form of housework. I have an impeccable house when I’m writing a book!
When it really can’t be avoided I sit down for an afternoon of writing. Who am I kidding? My best work was done in the morning and it’s all downhill from there. I prolong my productivity slightly by liberal application of SNACKS.
At the moment I am emotionally and motivationally dependent on double dark chocolate yerba mate tea, salt & vinegar chips (I believe you call them `crisps’ there, right?) and choc-orange date bars.
When I can write no more, and when I’ve cranked out anywhere between 1000-2000 words (although sometimes I write 500 genius! words, or 3000 crapola! words), I do other forms of work, such as:
Nathan Fillion nnnggghhhhhllllmmmm
This is what I’m reading at the moment. It’s brilliant.
From then my behaviour rapidly devolves into watching YouTube animal videos, singing in the bath, and making costumes out of tin foil. In my defense I believe I suffer from a condition `writer’s brain’, and cannot be held responsible for my actions. And that’s it! It’s all glamour, glamour, glamour.
A huge thank you to effervescent Leanne Hall for writing such a fascinating post. I can safely say that I would use actually use my yoga pants for yoga if Leanne was in my class. What about you?
ALSO…. is anyone else foaming at the mouth and looking at that pile of books for clues like a YA LITERARY DETECTIVE?
You can find Ms Hall lurking in various corners of the internet.
Until next time…