This is what I thought the average writer did with her day:
Wake up at 7:30 (enveloped in Egyptian cotton sheets—the kind that actually match your pillowcases—and wearing a set of gorgeous, eco-friendly bamboo fiber pajamas).
Kiss Significant Other good morning (he is also gorgeous and eco-friendly, although not made of bamboo).
Check email; respond to party invitations, book signing invitations, key note speaker invitations, honorary doctorate invitations, etc. Scoff at fan mail—enough is enough already.
Shower, slip into artsy writer outfit (linen of course, with ethnic accents acquired during your many international book tours) and head to the coffee shop.
Decline autograph requests.
Order another iced coffee (large, of course, given the size of your last advance); decline further autograph requests.
Write, so brilliantly and intently that you don’t even realize that city’s in a middle of a thunderstorm or that its past noon until your publicist calls and asks if you’d like to her to pick you up for your reading evening.
Invite publicist to go shopping. You and she are best friends because you’ve made each others careers and both drive electric Mini Coopers now.
Shop. Buy new shoes.
Arrive at Barnes and Noble amidst a sea of adoring fans, applause and important press people.
Read from your new best seller. Wink at your gorgeous eco-friendly Significant Other, who’s slipped into the back row and is waiting to take you to the new Stephan Starr restaurant to celebrate.
Eat fancy Stephen Starr food. Drink fancy Stephen Starr champagne, compliments of Stephen himself.
Go home, eat Stephen Starr dessert.
Slip into the bamboo pajamas but head straight for your desk because you’ve had a flash of inspiration that won’t wait till morning.
Write some more.
Go to bed, secure in the knowledge that your rejection letter days are over and that you’ll get to do this all over again tomorrow.
Well, I was wrong.
Maybe superstar writers like Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes sleep in matching sheets and eco friendly pajamas; maybe they order large iced coffees. Maybe they get to spend their days actually writing, but two weeks into this whole self employment thing, I’m feeling rather disenchanted.
Writing, you see, is only half of what writers do. Less than half, actually, at least in the beginning. And there’s nothing glamorous about it. Here is how this writer has spent her day:
Wake up at 7:30 (okay, actually it was 7:50 this morning because I had a long night of Jeopardy, Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory last night) amidst sheets that definitely do not match my pillow case, and I’m not even going to tell you what I was wearing. Not gorgeous eco-friendly bamboo fiber pajamas, that’s for sure.
Kiss no one good morning, bamboo or otherwise.
Drag myself over to my computer. Since going freelance fulltime, my relationship towards email has changed: some days, its great go-skipping-down-the-sidewalk-sort-of-news; other days it’s not. Today was one of those “other” days: more hurl-yourself-off-the-roof-deck than go-skipping.
Shower. Slip into artsy writer outfit (linen, with ethnic accents of course, acquired during one of my many trips to Camden Market).
Slip out of it artsy linen writer outfit. I’ve lost weight since moving home from London last year, which is all well and good but it means that my strapless dresses refuse to stay in place. Heaven forbid I should lose weight somewhere I wouldn’t mind shedding a few pounds.
Write… query letters.
Decline… credit card offers.
Write… more query letters.
Decline… more credit card offers.
Go to coffee shop. Order a large iced chai but only because I’ve already paid for nine overpriced coffees and I get the tenth free.
Write still more query letters, so brilliantly and intently that I get really hungry and have to go home to eat lunch.
Regret going home (my landlords are in the middle of another home improvement project and the tile man is pounding away in the kitchen).
Go to library.
Lug ancient lap top to a table in the corner and write—actual writing writing—for a whopping ninety minutes.
Get writer’s block.
Check out someone else’s best sellers—five actually—even though I didn’t think to bring a bag and now have to carry five books all the way home, in addition to my ancient lap top.
Pay late fines.
Go home. Make my own, non Stephen Starr dinner, which might have been nice if I hadn’t been too busy playing the artiste to have actually bought groceries sometime in the last decade.
Feast upon frozen broccoli and tuna, dreaming about the day when my “fan mail” will comprise of something other than porn spam on my blog.