Friday, January 20, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Writer

A Day in the Life of a Writer

By the time you read this, I will have returned from a writer's retreat to a small condo in a small Ohio town. I take these a couple times a year to focus on a particular writing project. No cable, no working TV, no wife or kids. Not even an Internet connection. The town is so small, there are only two coffee shops, and I don't know anyone there. In short, no distractions.

These writing weekends are where I get huge chunks of work done in a short amount of time. This time, I thought I would keep track to see how efficient I was with my time.

2:00 pm - Arrive at the condo. Set up the computer. No time like the present to start writing.

2:05 - I really hate to leave my bag packed up. Sure, no one will see me, so my clothes can stay wrinkly, but I've never liked it. I'd better unpack.

2:20 - I'll want a nap pretty soon, so I'd better make the bed.

2:22 - I wonder who created hospital corners. They're so efficient, and keep the bed so neat. I should look that up online.

2:23 - Oh yeah, no Internet. That's okay, I need to write anyway.

2:25 - What to write, what to write? Hmm. Maybe a writing exercise. I haven't done one of these since college. Let's see if I can remember how it goes.

3:17 - Whoo, that's a lot of writing. Two thousand words on what life would be like if gravity shut itself off for 10 seconds a day at random intervals. It's not what I'm supposed to be writing about, but it's a good start. Like warming up before a run.

3:18 - I'd better fill in my writer's diary. I want to see if I can find where my peak productivity times are.

3:19 - You know, that gravity piece was kind of interesting. I should polish it up so I can put it on my blog.

3:35 - I wonder how many people have visited my blog in the last 30 days. I should check.

3:36 - Dammit, no Internet!

3:37 - Ooh, the coffee shop down the road has wifi. I should go there. I always work better in a public place anyway.

3:45 - Nothing like a hot mocha to get the creative juices flowing.

3:48 - I should have gotten a biscotti.

3:53 - Better check my email.

3:54 - What's happening on Twitter?

3:55 - Ooh, another email.

3:56 - Ooh, another tweet.

3:57 - Ooh, another email.

3:58 - Ooh, another tweet. (This continues for another 20 minutes.)

4:18 - Okay, time to get some writing done.

4:19 - Writer's diary update

4:23 - I really need to clean out some of these folders. All these videos are clogging up my hard drive.

4:59 - Okay, NOW I'll get some writing-what?! The coffee shop closes at 5:00.

5:15 - Back to the condo. Down to some real writing.

5:16 - Writer's diary update.

5:18 - I'm hungry. There's nothing in the fridge. I'll go online and see if there's a pizza place nearby.

5:19 - Dammit, no Internet! I wonder if there's a phone book around here.

5:25 - Success!

5:30 - Good thing this is a small town. I don't know where any of these places are. I may have to drive around until I find one. I wonder if there is a map around here.

5:40 - No map. Wait, I have a map program on my cell phone.

5:42 - I could have looked up pizza places on my phone. Duh!

6:30 - Back home with a pizza. Nothing like a good pizza and a Coke to get the creative juices flowing.

7:00 - I'm tired. Maybe a quick nap on the couch.

7:02 - There's a DVD player. I'll fall asleep to a movie. That should recharge the batteries.

9:13 - Man, I love Die Hard! I never even fell asleep. That's okay. A good solid three hours of work, and then I'll go to bed.

9:14 - This couch is so comfortable.

10:02 - Must have fallen asleep. I needed that. Okay, NOW I'll get some writing done.

10:05 - Where's my outline? Shoot, did I leave my outline at home? Maybe I can get someone to email it to me.

10:06 - Dammit, no Internet! I don't even know what I'm supposed to write about. The coffee shop doesn't open until 9:00 tomorrow.

10:07 - What else can you watch after Die Hard except Die Hard 2? I'll get my outline emailed tomorrow, and I promise I'll write all day.

My book, Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is available on, as well as at Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.

My NEW book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing is also out. You can get it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million in October, or get it for the Kindle or Nook.

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