No Such Thing as "Typical."
There is really is no such thing as a “typical” day when I’m busy writing a book, actually. Some days the words flow. Other days it feels like wading through mud. Some days the phone won’t stop ringing. Unexpected visitors appear at the front door. There is an urgent email demanding a reply. A few days ago I spent a whole day working on my tax return. Like everyone else some days are consumed by mundane chores like shopping, paying bills, or running errands. On days like that little writing gets done.
Writing is a craft but I also try to treat it as a business. Ideally, I try to get in two writing sessions a day. During the evening session, I write by hand in a notebook. I don’t seek perfection here, just let the words flow onto the page. Then the following day during my morning session I type what I’d written the previous evening and polish it a little. I continue with the same process until I complete the first draft.
Since I have the luxury to spend my days writing now, I can usually finish a first draft quite quickly. On average, I write the equivalent of a chapter, sometimes two each day, five days a week. That works out to about six weeks to complete a first draft.
I’m in the middle of the next Malone book right now. It’s going pretty well. The first draft is about thirty percent finished. I expect to complete it by mid-April. It’s rough. During the second draft I’ll be checking to see that the plot works. The second draft also sees me polishing the prose, fixing plot holes or faults in chronology. I also use the second draft as an opportunity to add flesh to the bones of my characters.
The third draft is what my editor sees. Here I focus on the pace, check for errors in chronology and geography again. I look to make certain I have the desired consistency with things like how I’ve used numbers and punctuation throughout the manuscript.
Independent authors wear many hats. Besides the writing we also have complete responsibility for marketing, advertising, formatting, creating or having covers made, and deciding on distribution. Then there is time that must be spent on maintaining a social media presence. I found keeping up with it all a bit overwhelming until I came up with the two writing sessions per day system I mentioned above. It allows me plenty of time for writing, but frees up my afternoons to keep up with the business aspects of being an author entrepreneur.
There you have my “typical” day as a crime fiction writer, at least as typical as my days ever get.
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