Welcome to the fourth Day in the Life of a Writer series. If you’d like to check out all the featured writers, please click here.
Audrey Wick is an American author of contemporary romance. She is also an English professor at Blinn College in Texas USA and has written and published numerous articles in magazines, newspapers and journals. It’s safe to say Audrey loves to write! So here she is sharing just one of her writing days.
A Day in the Life of Audrey Wick
7:00 a.m. Rise and shine! Since it’s Saturday, I get to wake up without an alarm and don’t have to report to my day job—which means I can devote today to my writing life. But first, it starts with coffee. Cheers to my morning cup!
7:05 a.m. Cat meows for her breakfast. I fill her bowl as I take my first sip of coffee.
7:10 a.m. On the weekend, I try to make a hot breakfast. Today its blueberry muffins. While they are in the oven, I check email from the online college classes I teach. My students work all hours, so there’s no telling when I may get a question or submission. I respond to what’s there but save the grading for Monday when I return to my work office.
8:00 a.m. Cat has been pacing underfoot, but finally settles into her pet bed where she’ll sleep eight hours straight. I go to the dining table with my laptop to start on my latest WIP (work in progress). I’ve been toying with a revision of a manuscript that I want to reset in a new location due to some editorial feedback I received. So I start the hard work of revisions.
8:30 a.m. Break to refill my coffee cup. Then, dive back into writing for two hours.
10:30 a.m. Errand time. I close my laptop and grab my purse, which is usually some version of a cloth tote bag. I stop by the public library (I’m always reading something), the local farmers market on the town square, and the grocery store. The bag comes in handy for all those stops.
Noon Easy lunch of salads and leftover soup I made earlier in the week. When I cook a pot of soup, my family can usually eat on it for three days. What a timesaver!
1:00 p.m. I grab my laptop again and this time check Submittable, the platform I use for sending short stories and articles to various outlets for publication. I got a “Yes!” There’s a collegiate journal that wants to publish a piece of flash fiction, which is great news considering it’s been rejected over a dozen times by other outlets. Publishing is so subjective. I inventory the spreadsheet and still curse the outstanding submissions from all the way in 2016 that have gone unanswered . . .
1:30 p.m. Back to the WIP! I keep my Emotion Thesaurus handy as I write to look for opportunities to change “show” to “tell,” especially in dialogue markers.
3:00 p.m. Seems that I’m using the phrase “she knew” too often. Running a digital “find” for the phrase in Microsoft Word reveals 57 uses in a 250-page manuscript. I now have a new revision task.
4:00 p.m. Cat is just waking up, so I snap a digital photo and upload to Instagram, hashtagged with #Caturday. I try not to get distracted by social media, but I am unsuccessful today as the Instagram vortex has sucked me in.
4:30 p.m. Close the laptop, turn off the phone, and commit to going for a run around the neighborhood. I change into my gear, grab my earbuds, and listen to a podcast about writing.
5:30 p.m. Back home, but before I hit the shower, I use freeweights in the garage to give my arms a workout. My fingers already had theirs for the day . . .
I’ll check work email and my online classes one more time, have dinner, and then settle in for the night, with cozy pajamas, a blanket, and a good book.
The Hot 5
- What’s your favourite thing about being a writer?
- I love the challenge of it. Taking a project from story idea to final draft is exciting, and it’s especially fulfilling when the writing gets published and others start to interact with it.
- Who are your favourite or most inspiring authors?
- I have favorite authors to read and favorite ones to teach. But a few are crossovers, like Sandra Cisneros. I equally love reading her work and talking about it with my college students. Even if her writing isn’t in my assigned textbook for class, I try to find a way to incorporate her, as students consistently respond well to her work. Aside from her, I love reading and teaching Ernest Hemingway and Nathaniel Hawthorne for short story writing, and Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, and Richard Rodriguez for essay writing.
- What’s the hardest thing about the writing process?
- Everything is hard! Writing brings me a lot of joy, but it’s not easy to sustain stamina when it comes to ideas, revision, and rejection. But I have thick skin and a desire to share through written words, so this mode of creativity suits me. I keep going with one project or another; I’m always writing something!
- What’s your go-to food or drink during writing?
- When I write in the morning, I have coffee. When I write in the afternoons, I have candy. Preferably, I keep Haribo gummi bears nearby.
- What’s your number one tip for aspiring authors?
- Write short, and write long. If you’re a novelist, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break to try your hand at a short story. And if you tend to write short, push yourself to try long-form. I started out as a short story writer, and it was curiosity with a story idea that propelled me into long-form writing. But I find the balance of the two helps keep my ideas fresh and my skills sharp.
Audrey Wick writes for Tule Publishing and is a full-time English professor at Blinn College in Texas. Her writing has appeared in college textbooks published by Cengage Learning and W. W. Norton as well as in The Houston Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, and various literary journals. Audrey believes the secret to happiness includes lifelong learning and good stories. But travel and coffee help. She has journeyed to over twenty countries–and sipped coffee at every one.