A Day in the Life of a Debut Author

So, you want to know what a burgeoning author does during a typical day? Are you sure? All right. Fine. You asked for it.

(This is where I place a disclaimer stating that if you are easily bored or fall asleep while reading, continue at your own risk.)

I’d like to say that I spend all day long perched before my trusty laptop sipping coffee while birds chirp outside my window. I’d also like to tell you I have a housekeeper who comes in every week and thoroughly scrubs my beautiful, luxurious home and a nanny who arrives each morning to make breakfast and leaves every night after making dinner. Lastly, I would love to say I have a bank account in Switzerland and drive a new car every year.

But just because I’d like to say those things doesn’t make them real.

My typical day begins in the morning after I wake up my youngest daughter for school. I get her breakfast which is usually a bowl of cereal or oatmeal. Then I eat something and pour myself the first of 2 large travel mugs of coffee. I turn on the television and watch GMA until it’s time to drive my kid to the bus stop.

The gym is next where I generally do 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of circuit training. (Need to get into book signing shape.)  Then it’s home to take a quick shower and get ready for work.  After my allotted hours earning my paycheck, the drive home is the only time, other than breakfast, where I have time to decompress and relax.

When I get home, I either make dinner and we eat as a family or (if I’m lucky) my hubby has dinner waiting for me. While someone else does the dishes and cleans up, I head off to my laptop and begin working on either my latest book or the edits from my lovely editor.

Now, when I have the occasional day off I usually do multiple loads of laundry, go grocery shopping, hit the gym and continue to work on my book and/or edits.

That’s it. Fun, right?

But you may notice some things are missing.

What?! This ISN'T the litter box?

What?! This ISN’T the litter box?

My bathrooms rarely get cleaned. I can’t tell you the last time I vacuumed my house. My daughter’s school paperwork piles up for weeks until I finally go through it and realize we missed a meeting or school event. I couldn’t tell you where we keep our feather duster.  I play Schroedinger’s Cat with the mailbox until the mailman starts giving me dirty looks. My cats remind me that I haven’t cleaned their litter in days by leaving me presents on the floor outside the cat box. My DIY projects, including my new dresser and daughter’s bed frame, have been collecting dust for weeks. And while my husband usually reads, watches TV or plays with our daughter, I’m sequestered, hunched over my 5-year-old laptop, trying to follow my dreams.

Do-it-yourself project that I started over 4 months ago. There are 4 other projects that are waiting to be started taking up room in my garage.

Do-it-yourself project that I started over 4 months ago. There are 4 other projects that are waiting to be started taking up room in my garage.

It isn’t the glamorous life most think of when they think “author”, but mine is the reality that is shared by numerous other writers. Most writers aren’t lucky enough to become a J.K. Rowling, Stephen King or Stephanie Meyer. Most of us keep full-time jobs and write in our spare time. We don’t have maids, nannies or even personal trainers. Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to have a husband who doesn’t mind picking up the slack around the house so I can follow my dreams.

The one thing all new authors share is the desire to get our stories out there to the people who want to read them. Most of us don’t get into writing to become millionaires. In fact, some end up losing money during the process. But there is one thing no one can take away from authors like me…a sense of accomplishment at seeing our dream through to fruition.

Success is all in the eye of the beholder.

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