A Day in the Life of a Writer: Lisa Ireland

Lisa Ireland is an Australian author whose fifth books The Art of Friendship, was one of my favourite reads of 2018. Her ability to craft such realistic characters and write a story that could be unique, yet relatable to so many, is something to be admired. So without further ado, (or anymore fangirling), here’s what Lisa Ireland gets up to in her busy day.

A Day in the Life of Lisa Ireland

There is no such thing as a typical day for me. It depends which part of the writing process I’m in. I recently submitted a new novel to my agent and I’m taking a break before I start the next project (partially because I don’t know what that new project is going to be!) So, although not typical, today shows what a writer does when she’s not actually writing.

6.30 Read emails and listen to voice messages in bed. Check inbox three times to see if there’s anything from my agent re my latest submission. There isn’t.

7.00 Get up, make sure youngest son is awake and that eldest son has left for work. Middle son is at uni in the city, so I don’t have to worry about him.

8.00 Think about going for a run but decide I don’t have enough time this morning. Instead, I walk my dog to my favourite coffee shop for my first caffeine hit of the day.

8.45 Pack a book into my bag (an advance reading copy by a debut author) and head to the hairdresser. I usually write at the hairdresser but today I’m going to relax and enjoy my book.

10.00 Leave hairdresser and go to my other favourite coffee shop. Coffee in hand I head to the beach to spend some time thinking about my new plot. (Don’t get excited – this hardly ever happens!) Waste approximately one hour in the car at the beach talking to my author friends via a voice messaging app. Two friends are trying to convince me to start using Scrivener (a writing program). I am resisting! No work is done on my new plot.

11.00 Come home, clean up and pack a gazillion boxes. We’re moving in three weeks and I am going on tour to WA for a week before moving day. I am starting topanic that I’m not going to get everything done before I fly out to Perth.

2.00 Stop for lunch and look over the content I’m writing for the WA tour while I eat. Message Sally Hepworth and Rachael Johns (who I’m touring with) about the prize packs we’re putting together. Admire the photos of the tour mugs we’ve ordered that have just arrived at Rachael’s house!

3.00 Remember that I need to start work on this post. Waste twenty minutes looking through old emails to find out exactly what I need to do.

3.45 Locate email and read. I’m just about to start writing when youngest son arrives home. Stop to chat and share a snack. Youngest son is soon followed by his older brother and his dad. No more work for now. (It was a mistake to work in the kitchen rather than my office today!) Make myself a coffee while I chat to the family.

5.30 Start work on dinner with youngest son.

6.30 Dinner. Rejoice in the fact that youngest son has located his missing school jacket and that we don’t have to fork out for another one.

7.30 Relax on the couch with hubby.We watchTV. I’m currently loving Dead to Me and Catch 22 (Netflix or Stan – can’t remember which one is on which platform!)

9.30 Husband heads to bed. I finally get started on this post!

12.30 Let the dog out for a run, tidy up and get ready for bed. Read a few pages of my book. (It’s really good!)

1.00 Sneak into bed, trying hard not to wake husband. Fail.

The Art of Friendship Lisa Ireland

The Hot 5

What’s your favourite thing about being a writer?

Without a doubt the friendships I’ve made with other authors. The bonus of having author friends is that I get to hang out with my buddies and call it work. This month I’m going on tour with two of my closest writing friends – Sally Hepworth and Rachael Johns, which will be a hoot.

Who are your favourite or most inspiring authors?

This list changes constantly, depending on what I’m currently reading. Right now, I’m obsessed with Sally Rooney. Still, I do have some longstanding favourites. Geraldine Brooks wrote my all-time favourite book, Year of Wonders. I’ve always admired Jennifer Weiner, both for her writing and the way she has advocated for women’s voices to be taken seriously. There are too many great local authors for me to name them all, but I’m continually inspired by the work of Australian authors, and excited that I get to call so many of those authors friends.

What’s the hardest thing about the writing process?

Pretty much all of it. I have very little self-belief and I struggle with every aspect of the process. I am always amazed when I manage to turn in a completed book and I’m forever convinced I’ll never be able to do it again! If I had to pick one thing that I hate the most, it’s doing structural edits. I always cry before I read my editor’s notes. I figure I might as well get my emotional meltdown out of the way before I start work on them. Somehow it seems more efficient to do it that way!

What’s your go to food or drink during writing?

Coffee, coffee and more coffee. I mentioned my local baristas in the acknowledgements at the end of The Art of Friendship. I said I couldn’t have written the book without them and that statement is absolutely true.

What’s your number one tip for aspiring authors?

Write. Get that first draft down. It’s sounds so simple but getting the words on the page really is the trick! I know so many aspiring authors (some of whom write really well) who are yet to finish a first draft. My advice is to stop talking about writing, going to craft or business workshops, or starting new projects. Write something all the way to the end. Then (and only then) go find out how to fix it.

About Lisa Ireland

Lisa Ireland is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She’s fascinated by relationships of all kinds and her superpower is eavesdropping on interesting conversations.

In 2014 Lisa was a finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards in the category of Best New Author, and the following year went on to be one of the top ten debut fiction authors in Australia. Her rural romance, Feels Like Home, is an Australian bestseller. Lisa’s fifth novel, The Art of Friendship, was published by Pan Macmillan in April 2018.

Lisa lives on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula with her husband and three (big) boys. She loves eating but not cooking, is an Olympic class procrastinator, and (most importantly) minion to a rather large dog.

Connect with Lisa (and buy her books!)

Website

Book Links

Facebook

Instagram @lisairelandbooks

Twitter @lisaireland66


Check out all the other fabulous authors featured on my Day in the Life of a Writer series.
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9 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of a Writer: Lisa Ireland”

  1. Loved this! As a fellow writer I am always curious about others’ habits, and this was v validating for me – both re coffee consumption and also how little hours there seem to be before it’s time to start making dinner. Hope the tour is a huge success. Tour mugs? I didn’t realise some authors had merch!

    • Thanks, Laura. I’m glad you enjoyed the read! I’ll try to post a photo of the mugs on my author page a bit later. I can’t remember how this started but Rachael, Sally and I often get mugs produced to give to booksellers and librarians who host us for events. We also use them as reader prizes. People seem to really like them!

  2. I love this and I enjoy this series Jodi. It’s nice to find that authors (or those we aspire to emulate) struggle also with motivation and inspiration.

    I follow Lisa on social media and really do love the friendships she has with other writers. I love the camaraderie see between them (let alone what goes on behind closed doors, or via… DM / Facetime etc).

    I think it’s easy also to underestimate the ‘thinking’ time needed to empty one’s headspace so that you can focus on the writing task (book etc) at hand and not have other things playing on your mind.

    • Thanks Deb. It’s good to know authors are only human too 😉
      And thinking time is such a huge part of writing. It took me a long time to realise that staring at the computer and thinking is actually working! True!

  3. I totally agree, Lisa Ireland is one of my favourite Aussie authors and I’m hanging out for her next novel, so here’s hoping it finds a publisher soon! Thanks for featuring her 🙂 It’s so heartening to hear that published authors struggle with the same fears that unpublished authors do! Thanks for your honesty, Lisa… and thanks for all the beautiful fiction friends you’ve given me 🙂

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