Monday, September 29, 2014

Writing is more work than you might think.




With only a few weeks week remaining until the release of DEAD: Reclamation (the 10th book in the series), I am starting to get that pre-concert rush of adrenaline. That's really the best thing I can equate it to. Having been the lead singer for a few garage bands, I always got that little surge right before taking the stage. That was usually accompanied by me wondering if I would remember all the words. Of course, once the show goes live, there are no fixes...no do-overs. The release of a book is the same. Add in that I always worry if this is the one where all the readers will roll their eyes and say I have "jumped the shark." Still, while I may not be raking in the big bucks, I do well enough that this is my life, my job...my dream realized. 

One of the new events in my life is the way I get to answer when somebody asks me what I do for a living. There is something very groovy about being a writer for a living. Lest anybody thinks it is all fun and lazy days...I start my day at four in the morning. My wife is an accountant at what many of you would refer to as a real" job, I make her lunch, which I pack in a little lunch box I bought for her, fix the coffee  and make her a light breakfast. Then I get in my first writing or editing session of the day if I don't have too many emails to answer (which is almost never, just so you know).

Once she is out the door and I have had at least one more cup of coffee, I sit down for my next session of editing whatever project is on the docket. (Currently I am blessed to have the new Monster Squad by Heath Stallcup. Next up is Caldera also by Heath Stallcup.) After my editing session, it is time to let my OCD run wild. I get in some house cleaning, laundry, and take the dogs for a walk. 


After that...it is time for a writing session. Currently, I am wrapping up the 10th book in the DEAD series, Dead: Reclamation. I tend to write in 1,000 word blocks. After each session, I get up, take out the dogs and clear my head for ten or fifteen minutes before going at it again, rotating the rest of the day between editing, writing, and cleaning sessions. I stop around noon for a light lunch and a little time with my guitar to clear my head. 

After lunch, it is back to the grind. I like to do the editing when my head is not into being creative, that lets me focus on mechanics. I usually have a dozen or so links up on my screen to various grammar sites just in case I have a question about a particular rule. It is like instant replay in football.


Once I have edited to my target page (I divide a project up into pages-per-day sections that consist of a specific number of pages that I have to do to reach my deadline), I set it aside. Sometimes it is really hard to just quit...especially if you are in the middle of a great scene--which Stallcup seems to sprinkle liberally. However, with that done, I get to take another walk or run (depending on my training day) with the dogs and then come in for my afternoon writing session.

By now, it is closing in on around four in the afternoon. That means I need to start getting dinner ready. With Denise working out there where the people exist, I like to make sure that she has a good dinner waiting when she gets home.  


Saturdays are a bit more relaxed. I have a lot of the same schedule, but Denise tends to the house and the meals on Saturday. She tends to work around the house or at her computer and I try to write with college football on in the background unless it is a big game or my Oregon Ducks. 

Sundays are football. Period. It is a big deal for me and brings me a lot of happiness. Denise watches bits and pieces with me, reads, or naps. It is a lazy day by comparison. So there you have it...a very encapsulated version.

That is my day in a nutshell. Not as glamorous as some might think.





8 comments:

  1. It may not be glamorous, but it sounds like heaven to me. :) Have a great day Todd.

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    1. I will, and you do the same. Get on HtH III!

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  2. sounds like a perfect life! I do think that being a writer and making a living at it may be one of the most difficult, albeit rewarding, jobs there are. Happy you do it ! :)

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    1. I am living a dream come true. And as cheesy as it may sound, it does not happen without the readers. I am thankful for each and every one. You make this possible.

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  3. all work and no play - hmmmmm where did we visit lol!

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    1. Oh, you better believe I clear my calendar for special occasions, and your visit was exactly that...special.

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  4. Honestly that is how I basically pictured a writers days to be. It sounds great to me.

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  5. I'm just happy you write, sure has been a pleasure for me since I found your books

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