Monday, May 18, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Writer

This post is not because I think my life is so super interesting, but rather because lately I've been wondering what other writers' days look like. And in my wonderings, I started looking at my own days.

My hope is that this post will spark others who blog to capture what An Ordinary Life of a _______ looks like. [Insert: plumber, ballerina, lawyer, landscape artist, et cetera.] There are always people who are interested in your lifestyle choices and how it works for you on a daily basis.

For instance, when I home-schooled my children, I poured over home-schooling/creativity blogs to gather ideas of what to do with my own kids at home.

Maybe it's because we are all voyeuristic and nosy, but the fly-on-the-wall-cam is one most people I know would sneak peeks at from time to time.

So, without further adieu, here's what last Friday looked like for me:

  • alarm rang at 6:10 a.m.; hit snooze twice
  • let dogs out; woke son for school
  • showered and dressed
  • fed dogs
  • made lunches for three people
  • checked the garden to see if it needed water
  • made myself tea and toast; checked emails
Okay, that was the boring part. Here's where it gets more writer-ly:
  • drove my son to school, then went to a coffee shop to meet a friend for chatting
  • read a couple blog posts and articles; re-posted them on my author social media sites
  • opened up Scrivener files and wrote on novel manuscript while I waited for my friend--1000 new words!
  • visited with my friend for an hour
  • went home and snacked; read a magazine article and Facebooked a teeny bit (Honest!)
  • worked on a manuscript review for a client for two hours
I tried working in the office, but the dogs stood and stared at me until I joined them on the couch.

That was my "work" part of the day. Here's the crazy mom part: (Please note that my work day is considerably shorter than the crazy mom part, which begs the question, "If the majority of my day is spent doing one thing, how can I call myself another thing? I don't think my business cards would be as accepted if they said Valerie Willman, crazy mom.)
  • picked up my son and his friend from school
my son, the plague doctor

  • stopped at the farmer's market on the way home and picked up my raw juice order
  • when home, called the vet because one of the dogs ate my vitamins and supplements that I'd set out to take that morning, and forgot
  • vacuumed all the floors in the house--except my children's. You just don't go in there.
  • took a ten minute break with wine
  • greeted oldest child fresh home from school and watched them perform a dance routine they are learning at school
  • lead son and his friend in a snack-finding mission
  • unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and wiped down the counters
  • fed the dogs
  • started dinner
  • texted with a friend trying to get a group of us to go to the movies that night
  • watched oldest child again (different dance routine section)
  • aided oldest child in snack mission
  • checked on dinner
  • started baking bread in the bread machine
  • contemplated mopping the muddy dog prints off the solid surface floors but yearned for the hot tub long enough that the urge to clean was mostly passed
  • swept the carport instead, and took out all the trashes
  • wondered if I should clean off the dining room table, but--it being 6:00 p.m.--decided I was too tired for anything boring like that and yearned for Netflix and Hulu alternatives.
  • Remembered the hot tub...and then that I was taking my oldest to a play a student friend was performing in, and that I still intended to henna my hair that night. Nix on the hot tub.
  • Drank more wine in hopes of an evening plan forming.
  • Acknowledged the swiss chard still needed to be prepped for dinner and silently whined to myself. I took another sip of whine--I mean wine.
Here's where I deteriorate into madness--but in a jolly sort of way:
  • Craved chocolate; had a small can of peaches instead.
  • Craved chocolate and ate two handfuls of chocolate sprinkles out of the baking cupboard.
  • Noted that this was all because I wanted to get in the hot tub, but couldn't yet--hot tubbing requiring nudity, and nudity and driving my kid to the Wildish Theater didn't mix.
  • Checked the chicken and rice again.
  • Tried to find a game for the younger teens to play. They ignored me and listened to weird military cadences on their smart phones. They decided to give the Wii a try.
  • I pulled the chocolate sprinkles out of the cupboard, because I hadn't actually eaten them yet, just written about it because it seemed like something I'd so. Recognized that since I hadn't actually eaten them, I could still make the healthy choice to NOT eat them, but told myself that since I'd already written I had, I needed to be true to the original sentiment of the daily entry, and ate them. (That's impeccability of word for you. Isn't that one of the Four Agreements?)
  • One dog looked at me as if asking to go outside; I remembered about the chard again. I didn't want to make it. None of the kids would eat it, I was sure. Did I want to make it just for me?
  • I let the dogs out.
  • I went on a hunt for batteries so the boys could both play with the Wii.
This is what peace and quiet for crazy moms looks like.

  • Closed the back door. Remembered my propensity for locking dogs outside and checked the house to make sure all three were inside.
  • I marveled at the teens all talking and hanging out together without freaking out and smiled at my 14-year-old's deep voice, then worried that he said "bitch" to his video games too much.
  • Checked the dinner again. It was done.
  • Decided it was too late to make the chard. Felt lowly and guilty for not eating my healthy greens and hoped that my healthier partner wouldn't find out I ditched my veggies out of laziness again.
  • Informed the kids that dinner was ready and convinced myself that my parenting duties were fulfilled for the day and I could be done. WooHoo!
  • Closed the back door, because somehow it was open again.
  • Checked the house for all three dogs again. One was missing. I let him in. He was looking in the window of the living room for me. <3
  • Ate dinner while watching the last half of a West Wing episode I'd already started.
  • Dropped off my oldest at the play.
  • Knew that this would be a perfect time to henna my hair, but wanted to watch another episode first.
  • Craved chocolate again, so I shifted from wine to hot chocolate with marshmallows. 
  • Watched two episodes of West Wing waiting for my kid to text me they were done with the play.
  • Washed dinner dishes and wiped counters again.
  • Changed t.p. roll in the bathroom and took recycling out.
  • Henna'ed hair.
  • Picked up oldest from the theater.
  • Sat in hot tub.
  • Showered to wash the henna out.
  • Went to pick up partner at airport at midnight.
  • We visited a little, then brushed our teeth and went to sleep.
Imagine this, only at 1 a.m.

I was pleased with the day. It really was one of my favorites. I think this was because it was so well balanced. It was long, and I didn't sit down much--except for the West Wing part--but most of the aspects of my life were lovingly attended to. 

I was creative and worked on my book. I socialized. I worked on client work. I hung out with my awesome kids. I cleaned and cooked, looked after my dogs and garden, and still had time for personal grooming and relaxing. It was great! Here's hoping to re-creating that type of balance in future days. [sound of wine glass clinking with a hot chocolate mug]

What do your days look like?

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