A Day in the Life of a Writer: Renee Dahlia

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According to her official bio, Renee Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men, and her books indeed reflect this. She is also a very busy woman combining her career as an author with her work, family life and volunteering, including holding the position of secretary of Romance Writers of Australia.

I’m thrilled to have Renee here to share what exactly she gets up to during her day.

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A Day in the Life of Renee Dahlia

A typical Thursday

5am – My partner wakes up to catch a flight to work (this doesn’t happen every Thursday, but it did today! It does happen at least once a week on average). I get up as well to take advantage of the hour, and shower. Over the next two hours, I open my laptop, stare at it, spend ages on social media, then write a few words (usually about 500).

7am – get the kids up and ready to school. The teens are pretty good at sorting themselves out, but the other two need a bit more encouragement! We have a whiteboard with a list of tasks that everyone refers to – eat breakfast, make lunch, brush teeth, etc. Then I chase them around saying ‘do your list’, ‘where are you up to?’ 😊

8am – walk to school with the younger two (the teens go a bit earlier to catch the train to high school).

8.30am – sit down at my favourite café, have coffee and write another 500-1000 words (plus some social media, because everyone has a vice and that’s mine!)

9.30am – meet a couple of friends for a chat about life, work, children, and shoot the breeze. Thursday is my day for talking to real people – on the other days of the week, this time is dedicated to my freelance work in the horse racing industry.

11am – walk home, do some boring chores like laundry, and write some more (try to hit the 2300/day target I’ve set myself).

1pm – lunch (sometimes I do the grocery shopping in my lunch break)

2pm – the last half hour before I have to leave for school pickup, so I’m either still writing, or I do business stuff like updating website, marketing, and what-not.

3.30pm – home again, this time with four kids making a lot of noise. They eat, I try to get more work done, mostly stuff that can happen with kids around, so marketing stuff, volunteer stuff (for RWA and the local cricket club)

5pm – in the summer, the kids have cricket practice three nights a week. With four kids in five teams, we are fortunate to only have three nights with some teams doubling up! In the winter, they play in the back yard or read books. We have a no devices rule on school nights and homework is not something we focus on. The teens are responsible for their own deadlines, and the younger two do it if they want (mostly they don’t, but they are good readers, so it doesn’t bother me).

7pm – home again to cook dinner* and attempt to have everyone in bed reading by 8pm. Lights out for the younger two at 8.30pm. During this part of the day, my partner usually arrives home unless he’s doing an overnight trip to somewhere (usually he goes from Sydney to either Brisbane or Melbourne. A day trip to either of those means leaving the house before 6am and being home by 8 or 9pm). *If he’s away on a sport night, I’ll often get takeaways – one of the great things about inner city life is the availability of excellent healthy take out options. If he’s in Sydney, he’ll try to get home by 6.30pm to start cooking so we can eat as soon as we get home from sport.

9pm – lights out for teens. If it’s just me, I’ll usually do more writing, but if my partner is home, we chat with the telly on in the background. We usually watch house renovation shows, food shows, or the weather channel!

10.30pm – bed time

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Renee Dahlia Merindah Park

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The Hot 5

What’s your favourite thing about being a writer?

The flexibility. Having four kids in school is a juggling act and it’s incredibly valuable to have a flexible job that can be structured around their needs. As far as the actual writing goes, I love the way a story comes together on the page. Often a book starts from a premise, a what if question, or a funny meet-cute, and I enjoy seeing how the characters grow from there.

Who are your favourite or most inspiring authors?

Courtney Milan

What’s the hardest thing about the writing process?

That bit between half-way and three-quarters when the characters have to go from ‘hey chatting to you is such fun and wow the chemistry between us is incredible’ to ‘this is love’. It’s hard work to write because it requires the emotional digging into why they want to spend the rest of their lives with this person, what makes this person special and elevates the relationship from fun to forever.

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

I don’t like crumbs in my keyboard, so I don’t eat while writing. During the day, I’ll drink water, but if I end up writing in the evenings, it’s usually with a nightcap of bourbon.

What’s your number one tip for aspiring authors?

Keep going. Read a lot. Practice. The difference between talent and success is practice.

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About Renee

Renée Dahlia is an unabashed romance reader who loves feisty women and strong, clever men. Her books reflect this, with a side-note of dark humour. Renée has a science degree in physics. When not distracted by the characters fighting for attention in her brain, she works in the horse racing industry doing data analysis and writing magazine articles. When she isn’t reading or writing, Renée wrangles a partner, four children, and volunteers on the local cricket club committee as well as for Romance Writers Australia.

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Connect with Renee Dahlia

You can buy Renee’s novel, MERINDAH PARK from:

https://books2read.com/u/4NGvwz

You can find out more about Renee at:

Website: www.reneedahlia.com

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