Dawn of Humanity / Laws of Nature / Teacher-authors / writing

My Writing Day

During my promo for my latest prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature. one of my wonderful hosts posted this article  I wrote about how I break up my day with a timeline. In case you missed it, here’s a revisit:

***

I thought this was a good time to share how my writing day has changed my teaching day. Some of you read my post about the busy-ness that was my teaching when I went to a school rather than taught remotely. Truly, I don’t know how I did it! Now, my days are more likely to be structured around my writing. Here’s how that works:

Much of my day is spent writing, either freelance articles, client reviews, guest posts, or working on one of my many fiction and nonfiction WIP. Any leftover time goes to marketing what I’ve written–trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. That includes outreach, responding to inquiries, interactions with fellow writers, and exploring new marketing channels.

Since I work out of my house, I like to break my day into three parts:

morning

afternoon

evening

I consign tasks to each portion of the day, stopping for lunch and dinner and a few breaks to pet the dog. Because I’m not writing to a deadline (as is required by agents or publishers), I don’t count words like some writing efriends. I count what I get done.

Here’s a rough list of tasks that I sprinkle throughout my writing week:

  • review for edtech websites I work with
  • updates on existing edtech manuscripts, books
  • a monthly article for #IWSG–the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
  • ongoing work on the next Man vs. Nature book
  • research for a future book
  • write about eight posts a week on my three blogs, WordDreams, Ask a Tech Teacher, and USNA or Bust
  • reviews of books I get from NetGalley and much less often Amazon Vine

Here’s what a typical day breaks out as:

5 am–wake up

5:30–read for fun, caffeinate myself, catch up on news with husband

6:30–answer emails and SM

9:00–take a walk; Miriam Hurdle (over at The Showers of Blessings) and I cheer each other on with an app she introduced me to called Strava

9:30–work on my next book

11–lunch

Noon–3:30–work on current ms, reviews for edtech websites or writing outlets

1 pm–coffee break–to perk me up!

3:30-5:00–reading for fun and research

5:00–dinner

5:30-7–Posts, marketing

Every 15-30 minutes, I take a break to walk around the house, check the yards, visit husband, or anything to get me out of my chair and moving.

If you’re curious about the daily schedules of other writers, here’s an article on the daily routines of twelve famous writers, one by a NYT best-selling author, and an interesting personal narrative by a cooperative writer.

#writingday #writingroutine #amwriting


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Shadows of Giants, Winter 2022.

80 thoughts on “My Writing Day

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing routine, Jacqui. Your days sound very organised, and it’s very sensible to take frequent breaks to care for yourself physically and also mentally. Is that your set up, three screens? If so, wow. Thanks for sharing the writing schedules of other writers. I’ll have to check them out as I’ve always been curious about how other writers write and keep up their writing and life routines 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Counting the total words you got done for the is a good idea. I’ve been debating myself if I should aim for a daily word count but right now that’s hard to do when most of your work is revising a book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your dedication is quite inspiring, Jacqui. It makes me happy to see anyone throw themself into their passions, whatever they may be. I appreciate learning about your typical day.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are so right, Damyanti. The structure is calming–I forget that at times.

      I just finished The Blue Bar. I loved your first book, but this one is even better. The characterizations are amazing. The plot never stops, but I don’t get lost. Such a good read. I’ll have more to say in a few weeks!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I enjoyed hearing about the way you approach the days!
    I am going to click the link about the famous writers and their schedule –
    And right now – my approach is what I call the semi truck-
    Where I get a lot done at once – and maybe pour 20+ hours into a project in a couple days /
    So the truck is cruising – I let it roll at 55mph as opposed to the stop and go with a city drive…. even tho it is not always possible to work like a semi! Ha

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well I am
        Not sure the analogy is mine / because I glean so much everywhere I go
        But I learned it in grad school because I was trying to write papers a little each day – one hour here and two hours there.
        But it didn’t work – so Dedicated Saturday and Sunday to all writing and it worked!
        The analogy really came back to me when we were coming home from the airport and it was 3 am
        We were on this road and there was a semi truck carrying a huge concrete pipe
        Why was it out at that time? No clue
        And as we were in our lane coming up to jt – my spouse said “hey – watch this / he is not going to be able to stop for that red light
        And sure enough – he tried and rolled right through it!
        Why? Semi trucks don’t stop on a dime
        Similarly – and this is really what helped me see I write like a semi
        They don’t start fast- but once they get rolling it is power
        And so we all know if you have a choice to not get behind a truck at a light – it is better to move over because they take so long to get going –
        And when I had papers due A suddenly all the dreaded or non-urgent matters became urgent
        I’d be cleaning the garage cupboards and spouse would ask “have a paper due?”
        Hahah
        Maybe it is different with personal books and passion projects

        Thanks again for sharing what you do!

        Like

  5. I break my day up into morning, afternoon and evening too, but my schedule is different from yours and I don’t achieve nearly as much as you. Eight posts a week! That’s four times what I do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got very little writing done when I had those two activities. My life is pretty settled which means little interferes with my schedule. Well, the electricity goes out at times!

      Like

  6. Thanks for your many posts, reviews and feedback, Jacqui! Your routine sounds like a wonderful way to keep the little gray cells peculating as we continue on life’s journey. My wife still questions why I rise early and hit the keys even though I don’t have to do anything except read and relax. For my routine, piecing together the puzzle of storytelling still excites me, and sharing with others is the frosting on the cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: My Writing Day — – uwerolandgross

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