Lauren Morill is one of those online friends who I’ve “known” for so long, I’m not even sure how we first found each other. We have a lot in common, though: Tennessee-born writers who were misplaced on the East Coast then recently found our way back to the South, married politics geeks, and are obsessed with athletic pursuits and awesome TV shows like Nashville. We’re even the same age! Lauren also leads a fascinating double life as Mona Mour, roller derby rock star with some impressive battle wounds to show for her exploits. Thus, when Lauren nabbed a three-book deal for a YA series she wrote (my favorite genre, as you know!), I just had to hit her up for a guest post. And you better believe I downloaded it on my Kindle the second it was released yesterday! For all you aspiring writers out there, here’s a glimpse at what a day in the life of a published author really looks like.
No day is really ever the same for a writer (I’m sure Kristin can tell you that!), and these days my life is even more insane. You see, while writing my first two books I was working full-time in admissions at Harvard. I’d work a full day, then often stay late at work, shut my office door, and write for another hour or two. But in July, my husband and I packed up our lives and moved to Macon, Ga. He’s heading up public radio for Mercer University’s new Center for Collaborative Journalism, and I’m now a writer full-time. I’m still trying to figure out what that means. Sometimes it includes a lot of outlining and drafting, but lately it’s been a lot of promo getting ready for the release of my debut YA novel, Meant to Be.
After my social media extravaganza, I usually shower and get dressed like a grown-up. I’m much more productive if I don’t live in my jammies. But after that, it’s back to the Internet. Twitter has become sort of a second home for me. It’s filled with my fellow author friends, editors and agents, and all my awesome readers and fan. I spend some time checking in and catching up with folks. I also have to spend some time going through emails, which usually include my editor, maybe something from my publicist, a whole list of emails from my debut authors group, and book bloggers who are requesting interviews or sending reviews.<12pm. Macon Magazine photo shoot.
Today I have to spend a little time getting gussied up, because a photographer is coming over to take a portrait for an upcoming feature in Macon Magazine. Getting my picture taken is my least favorite part of being an author, but the photographer is a pro. He makes me comfortable, snaps a few photos, and is gone in twenty minutes. Perfect!
Now it’s time for a much-needed break, which usually includes some time spent reading (I’m currently sucked into Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series), or catching up on Hulu. Today it’s an episode of The Vampire Diaries, my newest obsession, followed by Nashville. Anyone else all over this show? I downloaded a bunch of the songs, which are serving as my writing soundtrack for Only the Lonely. And if you’re a Vampire Diariesfan, you should look for me in the background of Episodes 6 and 7. I got to be an extra since the show films in Atlanta!5pm. Actual writing.
I spent my entire day with my author hat on and didn’t get to actually do any writing! So now it’s time to sit down, pen in hand, and work on the draft of Only the Lonely. I do a lot of long-hand writing, something I started after reading Stephen King’s On Writing. He argues that long-hand is good for drafting, because it forces you to slow down a little. I like it because I can type really fast, which means my thoughts and hands are almost always moving at the same pace. When the thought runs out, I’m left staring at a blinking cursor. Writing long hand gives my brain time to plot out the next paragraph as I’m frantically scrawling the last, which means I never have those moments of being stuck.