I know you probably don't want to hear about how I spend my days, but as this is my first second post being back, I figured I'd start with that. Nice and easy.
I'd like to get something straight before we start. I am NOT a stay-at-home Mom who writes. I am a writer who happens to work from home. I have nothing against SAHM's, I was one. Believe me, it's the hardest job a person can have. But when the Monster started school full-time, I started writing full-time. This isn't a hobby for me, it's not a job I just clock in and out from, I have a schedule, and deadlines, and goals, like any other career oriented person working in a major corporation.
The Schedule -- I am up before dawn, usually around 5am. I make a cup of tea, and head downstairs to my "office" (a corner in the playroom where I keep all my "stuff". I can't wait to move, I'll have a real room for my office.) I get on the computer and check my email accounts (3), make my one Tweet for the day, and then check my stats on my books. Depending on what mail I need to answer, I do that, then I try and get on the blogs to see what I've missed. At 6:30, I wake the Monster, fight with her to get ready for school, and out the door by 7:30. I'm back by 7:45 and again at my desk. I share my ritual morning email with my crit partner, and then I go into "work" by 8am. I write until 1:30 when I have to go pick up the Monster from school. (In the pick-up line I get a 45 minute break where I read something everyday.) Back home by 2:30, I do the Mommy thing, the house thing, the supper thing, and then back to the computer around 7pm for a round of edits on what I worked on that morning. And then do it all again the next day.
Weekends are a bit different. I'm up at 5, but I generally work on blog posts and paraphenalia for my books. I don't tend to "write" unless I'm all caught up on the business end of things.
The Deadlines -- I try to write at least 2500 words a day. Of course, it's not a hard and fast rule, some days I write just 100, with 4 hours spent doing research, and others I can break 4K when the words are flowing. But by and large, by the end of the week I like to see myself with between 25 to 50 pages. I also made a promise to the Monster that I wouldn't work during her vacations so that I can spend time with her. So I get the bulk of my writing done from the end of August - November. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, it's crazy nuts, so last year I wrote a short story. In January I go back to the major work and stay with that until Easter break. (And hopefully it's done. This year, with my dad sick, left a lot to be desired, so the deadline for that particular book has been moved.)
However, I worked on the final edits for REMEMBERING YOU, put THE DUKE'S DIVORCE out to paperback, and am in the final stages for THE LADY'S FATE and REMEMBERING YOU to paperback. Am also in the process of finishing up another short story for the Regency line. Over the course of last summer, I did nothing but read. I went to the beach, found the beginning of a women's fiction novel and that was it. This summer, with moving and getting both houses situated with paint and repairs, I don't think I'll be doing too much writing either. But once the Monster is in school again, I'm diving back into THE LADY'S MASQUERADE (which I'm afraid is going to be a complete rewrite and not just a revise) and will hopefully have that done and out in all formats by Thanksgiving.
The Goals -- I read once, that you need to have your writing goals listed for the next ten years. I won't bore you with mine, only that my goals are pretty simple. Two books a year, plus two or three short stories. Some books are harder to write than others, which is why I'm constantly shifting my focus. I always have two or three projects going at the same time, so when I get bored or frustrated by one, I can move to another, until that gets snappy, then I can move to another. I find this works for me because as I'm working on whichever, I'm letting the other stories rest, and when I finally do get back to them, I'm looking at them with fresh eyes. Last year, I met my goals, and this year, I'm hoping to do the same. I keep telling myself life would be easier with a laptop, but I'm not so sure. We'll see.
And so, there you have it. My Writing Life in Increments. (And as I'm sure you know, real life can and does intrude from time to time, so all of the above is generally thrown right out the window.)
Tell me -- How do you write? Do you work full-time and grab whatever time you can? Or are you a full-time writer? What are some of your goals? Do you have deadlines? What time constraints are you under?