A Day in the Life of an Author

This is based off of a random Monday I dedicated to writing, as I now work part time to give myself a day or two to write. Other days are a mad scramble to try and get 2,000 words done before I head off to work.

G Benson with a cat on Lesvos 2016

Distracted while trying to write. How unusual.

0800: I make myself wake up. It takes an alarm I hit snooze on multiple times. Finally, I get a coffee (or my delightful better half brings me one before she rushes out the door to go and actually adult) and I usually laze for an hour going through social media. I love Tumblr. I am also really, really not a morning person.

0900: Sometimes I eat breakfast, sometimes I have another coffee. Trying to get a handle on my caffeine addiction, I´ve taken to trying to have only one a day. This particular Monday I fail this goal and have a second. No regrets. Mmm, coffee.

1000: Oops, I get sucked into a Facebook discussion. Then Tumblr again.

1100: With my phone in my bedroom to stop myself giving into temptation, I sit down in the study with my laptop. I do a very quick (okay, not so quick) catch up with the Facebook discussion I got lost in, reblog a meme on Tumblr, then flick my laptop to flight mode. Determined, I open up Scrivener (a great writing program) and do a happy wiggle at the word count progress bar. It´s very much green. In fact, it keeps hitting my goal and I have to increase it. It just keeps getting longer. Sorry, Astrid.

1130: Groaning , I realise I´ve forgotten to download my beta readers´ comments and notes on the last chapter. I´m really not known for my organisation. So, I open up my browser and download them. Completely accidentally, I go on Tumblr to see what I´ve missed. Considering no time has really passed, surprisingly, I´ve missed nothing. I hit flight mode again, determined once more.

1200: After going over my amazing beta readers´ notes and reading through what I wrote the day before to get back into the story, I set my document to full screen. Finally, I actually start to write.

1230: My cat jumps onto the desk and lies behind my lap top, his razorblade claws appearing around the edges to try to attack my fingers. Because I´m a sucker, I play with him for ten minutes, and forget where I´m up to with the scene I´m writing. Totally worth it. I put the cat on the floor, read my last sentence and just as I start writing again he jumps back up and tries to lie on my keyboard. I put him back down. He jumps back up and nuzzles my forearm. Cute, but difficult to type. This goes on for twenty minutes before he gets dumped in the hallway, looking at me utterly shocked and apparently with no idea about why he has suffered such an indignity. I throw his ball down the hallway and he runs after it. I decide it´s a great time for a snack. And I should really check Facebook.

1330: My lap top is back on flight mode and I´m actually writing. Words on the screen! They´re flowing! This scene is genius! Damn. What time does school finish in the US? That means I need to google. I fall into a pit of Wikipedia articles, somehow ending up reading about school reform in the 1800s. To me, it doesn´t sound like much has actually changed. Whatever.

1430: Lunch time! I love food. I wander out and make some pasta. With cheese. I love cheese. My roommate/best friend appears and asks me not to laugh at her because she has a question a 25-year-old apparently shouldn´t have. I make no such promise. She asks me how to eat a pear. Apparently she´s never eaten one before. I laugh. She even asks if they have a stone. I laugh harder. I wish I could adequately explain the confusion on her face. While I eat my pasta, I check my phone and see my girlfriend is asking how the writing is going. I skilfully avoid the question and ask her how her day is. At least it´s not the type of Monday I spent all morning on my Xbox.

1530: Full and sleepy, I plop back into my desk chair and glare at my lap top. I check my word count for the day, full of optimism. It must be nearing the several thousands. I wilt when I see it´s at 450. I reread the last scene and start writing.

G Benson's cat

Not attacking my hands. This really is unusual.

1630: I´ve somehow hit 1,500 words. I feel like I´ve achieved something. Not enough, but this has earned me a Facebook check. Oh, America is waking up and has joined the discussion from before. I actually have notifications. One is a comment from my publisher implying she knows I´ve achieved nothing on a dedicated writing day, considering my Facebook footprint. I quickly hit flight mode as if I can feel her glaring through the screen.

1700: Forgetting my goal of drinking less caffeine, I have another coffee. I drink it while delving into articles, blogs, and forums about writing characters of colour. My two main protagonists are both WOC (Teens of Colour?) and I don´t want to accidentally write anything insensitive. Once again, I get lost and end up reading about POC in Medieval Europe. It´s highly educational and has nothing to do with what I´m writing.

1800: I panic, realising I haven´t actual accomplished much. Once more, flight mode is activated and I write solidly. My cat ends up on the desk again, joined by the other who sits under my chair glaring at everything; but that´s just his face. He´s a sweetie. Thankfully, the other goes to sleep and doesn´t get lured by the clacking of keys as a type.

1930: Half covering my eyes, I check my word count and sigh with relief: it´s at 4,500. I type fast. I have a theory I could achieve a lot if actually applied myself during this entire day I have to write. Still, 4,500 isn´t bad and I give myself a pat on the back. I´ve earned a beer.

2000: It´s Spain, so I find a terrace easily for a caña. My girlfriend joins, who really has adulted all day, and then some friends join. We have dinner around 2100 (I love Spain) and they all ask how writing was. I grin convincingly and say, “Great.”

Originally from Australia, G Benson currently lives in Spain, speaking terrible Spanish and going on as many trips to new places as she can, budget permitting. This means she mostly walks around the city she lives in. G Benson has just published her second novel “Flinging It” with Ylva Publishing.

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