Being an indie author, at least when you’re starting out, isn’t always glamorous. Author H.M. Clarke shares her story and her daily schedule that many of you can probably relate to. Don’t miss the great advice at the end!
Do you ever dream your book?
When I go to sleep at night, my mind is buzzing with whatever story I was working on and I fall to sleep dreaming of my stories.
And occasionally my waking dreams help me work through whatever plotholes had been bugging me the day before.
But this article is supposed to show a day in my life as an indie author….
So, if you don’t mind bullet points, I’ll begin. (But I will warn you in advance – this is not as glamorous as it sounds. There is a lot of hard work, annoyed family members and friends, occasional rushed dinners, lunches and lost sleep.)
I will write about today – a typical Tuesday, so if you are still with me, let’s begin.
The Map of My Tuesday
- My alarm wakes me at 6:40am. After I’m sure that my consciousness is fully awake, I grab the notebook I keep on my bedside table and jot down anything I want to remember for later from my waking dreams.
- I then get up, shower, dress, check my daughter to see if she needs anything, tell my husband he’s a lucky so’n’so for being able to sleep in and then zoom off to work.
- I then slave at my desk job from 8:00am to about 12 noon. As many indie authors will be familiar with, a good percentage of any type of author (whether traditional or self published) still has a ‘day job’ to help pay the bills.
- Here I will either read while eating, or write while eating. I only have a thirty minute lunch so I usually alternate this.
- I then slave again from about 12:30pm to 4:30pm and then I go home.
- On the way home I either run any errands (groceries etc) I have to do on the way home from work. It saves time having to go out later (or on the weekend) so that my writing does not get interrupted.
- Get home and rush to get dinner ready. While making dinner I have either my tablet/laptop open, checking my email, social media and my website. I use buffer to schedule my twitter and Google+ posts and I check how that is going. (I usually schedule all my posts through Buffer on Friday nights.)
- Between 5:30pm and 6:00pm we all eat dinner (very exciting).
- 6:15pm: Kids arrive for babysitting. (I babysit for friends every Tuesday night)
- From 6:30pm to 8:00pm I am keeping three children under five entertained, fed and watered. Then just before 8, getting them ready for bed with milk and stories.
- 8:00pm to 12 midnight I write (and occasionally check on the sleeping children). My writing usually ends up being crap (but that’s what rewrites and edits are for), and if for some reason I can’t write, I will work on either book marketing or helping to promote other authors and their work.
- 12 midnight. Once the kids have been collected by their parents, I am off to bed to start the whole process all over again on Wednesday (minus the babysitting).
My Monday to Fridays are always like this. My weekends are usually spent spending time with my family and going out somewhere on Saturday if the weather is good. Then the rest of my time is spent either writing, on book covers and editing (usually a back and forth with third parties), marketing, catching up on emails and any webinars/courses/podcasts I have signed up for.
And weekends are also when I publish my finished works to kindle, Createspace, Smashwords etc.
As you can see, my daily routine is all very unexciting and unglamorous. Any other author out there can probably see their own routine reflected in the one I have laid out above. The key is to do something every day. Whether it is a little bit of marketing, writing another section or chapter of your book, or the endless other tasks that go along with being an indie author, the key is to just do something every day.
H.M. Clarke is an Australian writer based in Ohio. She is the author of the Scifi novel, The Enclave, The Way to Freedom series and several paranormal novels. You can find out more about Hayley and her books athttp://www.hmclarkeauthor.com/ and you can stalk her on Twitter @HMClarkeAuthor and Google +.