It’s launch time for my friend Rachel Heffington, who releases her first mystery this month! Check out her description of the writerly life–don’tcha love it? Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!
Have you ever wondered about the life of a writer who also happens to function full-time as a great many other things? About a writer who has managed to write a book while not having hours upon hours in which to visit her muse and gain inspiration from every corner of the globe? Because, let’s face it, there are very few writers in the world who can actually devote 100% of their day to working on that project. It’s not feasible. Sure, there are famous writers who have studies in which to hole up, probably a lovely few who retire onto an English fellside, a truffle wood, a seashore, or a nice putting green.
But then you have the thousands of successful writers who write without all the fol-de-rol. And I think they deserve applause for doing it.
It’s plenty easy to write a book when you have the full twenty-four hours in which to do nothing else. Kind of like the kid who knows French at the age of three, simply because he was given movies in French, a French governess, French books, and allowed to speak (or be spoken to) in nothing but French since his birth.
I’m one of those conquering-hero authors who overcome their full lives and manage to write a novel, and I suspect that many of you share this description. But for the famous ones (or the lucky ones), here is a general outline of my days as Rachel Heffington, the authoress:
6:30 AM – Wake up, check social media, roll onto the floor and trundle through my horrible exercises which never give me abs.
6:50 AM – Get in the shower, try to find a motive for a suspect in my novel. Fail. Exit shower.
7:05 – Begin to put on makeup. Get distracted by blog post of writing friend who happened to get up early and post something interesting, as she always does.
7:25 – Have personal devotions. Try to harness my ENFP attention-span to understanding what I read. End up praying as I try not to think about the motive problem.
7:45 – Head downstairs, get something quick for breakfast, sit at computer and attempt to write. Make it about three hundred words before getting stuck on one mention of the climate of an obscure British town in April of 1933 and having to research it to your satisfaction because there could be a (very picky) reader who has been to Saltburn-by-the-Sea and knows the flora, fauna, and merriweather of the area. Also study poisons and read an article about a sunken ship being discovered. Because…ENFP.
8:20 – Gather my things for a full day of nannying. Try to fix my bangs I forgot to blow-dry. Give up. Head to car.
8:33 – Switch on radio to classical station, which–incidentally–is the only reception I get on this part of the road. Feel like an Austen heroine as I drive past rolling fields to the tune of some obscure reveille.
8:40 – Stuck at red light, thoughts swirl back to the issue of motive. Decide on a tentative motive, onto working on opportunity. Scan radio channels. Christian stations all fuzzy. Manage to find something playing Imagine Dragons instead.
9:00 – Arrive at work. Writing on suspension for most of morning.
11:30 – Little girls say something hilarious. Quickly tap it into iPhone to shove in a book someday.
3:30 – Manufacture story for little girls while swinging. Attempt to simultaneously work on plot holes.
4:30 – Get off work. Get into car. Realize I parallel-parked horribly. Roll down my windows, crank up the country station (which I can get in this part of town), drive back-roads home and muse on the subject of poisons.
4:45 – Occasionally stop at Starbucks. Mean to brain-storm, end up people-watching. This results in flash-fiction, but nothing productive and currently useful.
5:30 – Arrive home. Roped into making dinner. Bring notebook to the grill-side. Nearly burn meat scribbling something I didn’t mean to write and will copy into my miscellaneous writing notebook to be used at another time. Also a good moment for replying to letters.
6:30 – Slip upstairs. Change, haul computer into my bedroom and desk, plug everything in, sit down, manage to get three hundred more words before the call for dinner comes. Only got side-tracked by three blog posts and replying to Facebook messages.
8:15 – Make it upstairs only to see sister brought computer set-up back into her room. About-face and go to the downstairs computer. Realize I wasn’t using Google docs to write. Head back up and email file to myself. Head back down and open up on downstairs computer. Manage 93 more words before getting into a FB conversation with a fellow writer. Instagram lack of inspiration with some useless and clever hashtags.
9:30 – The lure of Captain Hook is too strong. Throw in the towel and watch Once Upon A Time with sisters.
10:30 – Realize I have to repeat this exhausting day tomorrow. Write a few more sentences, scrawl a note to remind myself what I was thinking. Get distracted by reading Henry V when all I wanted was that one quotation. Get in pajamas.
11:30 – Actually wash my face, brush my teeth, and get into bed. Read a Psalm. Check Facebook one last time. Read over what I wrote today and realize it isn’t so bad.
11:45 – Go to sleep thinking over means, motive, opportunity, and poisons.
About the Author
Rachel Heffington is a people-loving Christian novelist. Her favorite pastime is reading, and at twelve, she decided she would write her own books; thus began a love-affair with word-crafting that has carried her past her teen years and into adulthood. Outside of the realm of words, Rachel enjoys the Arts, traveling, mucking about in the kitchen, listening for accents, and making people laugh. She dwells in rural Virginia with her boisterous family and her black cat, Cricket. Visit Rachel online at her blog.
Read my review of Rachel’s The Windy Side of Care
Read Rachel’s guest post, What Writers and Hedgehogs Have in Common
Interested in writing a guest post like Rachel’s? Check out the checklist here: