A Day in the Life of a Writer

butterfly and woman

There are typical days for writers, days of editing and wordsmithing, and there are blindingly brilliant days with awards and confetti. There are days you feel you have something to say and days where you wonder if it’s only inevitable you’ll be cancelled. Days where you wake and work from warm bedsheets and those you hardly remember you’re a writer.

That is to say, there is no typical day.

But this seemed like a good one to share.

6:30 AM – Wake to the hands of a five year old peeling back my eyelids to see if I am sleeping. I doze back. 

8:30 – My husband is off to his office downtown, just seven or eight blocks from home. The kids and I eat oatmeal and I look over my schedule and goals for the day.

9:30 – I walk the kids to swim lessons and on the way there, my son finally does it. He runs faster than his legs will allow and he goes down in a terrible tumble. 

A kind neighbor has pity on us and bandages my son up on her stoop. 

Swim lessons take place with no further injury and I read Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for the tenth time. The dreadful ball at Manderly has just ended when family friends show up in the real world for their own swim lessons and we get a moment to chat.

We make our way home on foot.

10:30 – The kids are dry and do worksheets from their summer activity books and then we all take turns playing Animal Crossing.

11:30 – We have left over brats and hamburgers from a cook out the previous night. I get anxious because though I’ve worked all day, I’ve done no work related to my career.

12:30 PM – The kids are gone with my husband and I crack open my calendar. I respond to some e-mails and get started.

The first order of business is a happy one. My sister and business partner, Nicole Van Den Eng, earned a silver honorable mention from the Writers of the Future Contest for a short story. I make a graphic to share the good news all across social media. She and I e-mail about the winners and trends we’ve noticed about the contest recently.

1:30 – I spend entirely too much time making a TikTok revealing the cover of Dangerous to Heal, a video which will have 9 views 3 hours later. Though a week ago, I was feeling chuffed with daily videos getting 1k views, I now lick my wounds and press refresh.

I update Goodreads, BookBub, and Amazon with details about Dangerous to Heal. I make new headers for Twitter and Facebook and write in my planner to update those tomorrow. I eat some grapes. The hardcover image for the 

book is lagging on Amazon and the softcover digital proof isn’t ready for review, but at least I moved a few more things toward publication.

2:30 – I have a slice of toast and get the mail. I’m thrilled because there’s a package I think is my hardcover proof and I decide to open it tonight with my family.

I open a letter instead and start crying. I’ve received a notecard from a friend who recently got a copy of my book.  I worried she wouldn’t like it because she doesn’t read science fiction. She wrote “I am not exaggerating when I say that I often couldn’t put it down and on a few recent nights I stayed up well past midnight to stay with your story.”

3:30 – I go for a walk and listen to a brief mindfulness exercise from the wonderful Joy Jordan to clear my head. Then I get partway through an episode of Shit No One Tells You About Writing and head home.

4:30 – I write this very blog post and take a moment to give gratitude for wonderful things and accept the ups and downs of a day. Still on my work list is to write a review for another Peace Corps Volunteer’s memoir and finish writing up character sheets for the sequel to Dangerous to Heal. My husband and kids will be home in two hours. Friday nights are always festive for us. I hope to have ice cream.

And, of course, to open that book-shaped package.

Picture of I'm Rebecca Zornow

I'm Rebecca Zornow

A science fiction author living in Wisconsin, I love traveling, eating good food, and reading long books.


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