Today might be the final in the current ‘A Day in the Life of a Writer’ series, but we are finishing off with a bang. Please welcome A.L. Tait (aka Allison Tait) to the blog! I have been a long time fan of Allison since I started following her little blog many, many moons ago. Not only has she been one of my favourite bloggers and writers, she has also been a huge inspiration throughout my own writing journey. So, please excuse my fan-girling 😉
A.L. Tait (aka Allison Tait) is the bestselling author of the middle-grade children’s adventure series THE MAPMAKER CHRONICLES and THE ATEBAN CIPHER. She lives on the south coast of NSW with her family, two goldfish and a very cheeky border collie.
A Day in the Life of A.L. Tait
I would like to be able say that I have a typical writing day. That I sit at my desk at 9am, write faithfully until 3pm (when my boys get home from school) and then sign off until the next morning when I do it all again.
Unfortunately, this never happens.
My writing day is intertwined with my working day, my family day and my general-living-kind-of day. But I will give it my best shot.
This is a basic overview of a day in the life of A.L. Tait
7am This is the latest possible time I can roll out of bed and still manage to get the boys to school on time with as little stress as possible. I wish I was one of those people who could rise early to write, but I’m not. It’s good to know your own body clock and go with it.
8am Everyone leaves the house. I drop Mr13 at high school and then return home to pick up my faithful writing companion Procrastipup for our morning walk. We usually swing past our favourite outdoor café for a coffee and a chat with the regulars – it’s often the only face-to-face human interaction I get until 3.15pm.
9am In an ideal world, I’m at my desk at this point. In reality, I may be running a few ‘must do’ family errands to get them out of the way before I begin.
9.30am Now I’m really at my desk, ignoring household chores. After many hard-won years’ experience as a freelance writer, I’ve learned NOT to do the housework when the house is silent and empty. The washing up can wait.
I check and update my various social media platforms, including those for clients, trying not to allow myself to be distracted…
10am Depending on the day, this is often peak hour for podcasting – I’ll try to schedule author interviews at this time, or I will record So You Want To Be A Writer episodes with Valerie Khoo.
If I’m not podcasting, I’ll schedule interviews for articles or time to be interviewed now. I find I’m nice and alert at 10am, and it allows me to get the talking part of my day over.
As an aside, having an ‘outside task’ scheduled also helps with the aforementioned ‘getting distracted on social media’.
11am This is writing time. I spend an hour writing blog posts or articles – anything with a deadline. On a couple of days a week, I spend this time marking assignments, providing feedback or creating new courses in my role as online tutor for the Australian Writers’ Centre.
12 noon I break for lunch around now. I have to make a conscious effort to walk away from the computer now to eat or I find I’ll forget until 3pm.
12.30-3pm Depending on where I’m at in the publishing cycle, this might be editing time, proofreading time or writing time. I used to do most of my writing at night but with the boys both well and truly at school and my published novel count growing higher, I can justify fitting it in to my work day.
3.15pm The boys burst in the door and the ‘officially working’ part of my day ends. This does not, however, mean that the work ends. As I ferry them about to their various after-school activities, I’m often responding to emails (not while I drive, promise) or taking the opportunity to write while I wait.
9.30pm With the boys in bed and my husband (a builder) not far behind, I spend some time scheduling social media posts for clients. It’s something I can do with the tv on in the background and the dog at my feet.
If I’m in the middle of a first draft, I’ll often do some writing at this time (not with the tv on in the background, but still with the dog at my feet). I do love going to bed with that feeling of having added words to my work in progress, even if it’s only 250.
Allison’s favourite thing about being a writer
I like everything about being a writer. As I say to kids when I do school visits, “I get to sit at my desk every day and make stuff up.” What could be better than that?
You can connect with Allison Tait most places on the web and find out more about her awesome middle grade books too.
A huge thank you to all the amazing writers who shared their days. You can find the full list of blog posts here.
I hope to bring the series back for round 2 in 2018, so stay tuned!