A (Scattered) Day In The Life by Mandy Rosko

Okay, wow, I’m beat. Lol

I fell majorly behind in my writing schedule this month, and since I write under two different pen names, that’s something of a problem. Now I find that I’m being forced to play catch up. This involves putting off some work so that I can really grind on others.

Not always fun, and it can make for some long nights, but when I go on long writing benders like this, even when I have no idea where the story is going, it’s a nice reminder to myself that I can do this, and that I’ve trained myself pretty well to get a lot of writing done in a fairly short amount of time so long as I have some small idea of what I want to happen next.

My goal is to get 35,000 words written before the end of the month. That goal started on Sunday. Usually I can crank out 5,000 words a day without much of a problem unless there are other things going on, but, yeah, with only five days, that 5,000 words a day wasn’t going to cut it.

So yesterday I decided to take the 10k challenge to help me catch up. The problem was that I started writing late. Like, after 5pm late. I missed hitting my goal by a little over 300 words, but that’s still an insane amount of words to get written in about 6 hours of writing.

But, I do have to play catch up. Even with the nearly 10k words I got written yesterday, and the close to 8,400 words that I wrote today, I’m still technically 2,000 words behind schedule, so I still need to catch up. Which makes this extra fun is that, as of this writing, tomorrow is my birthday. I wish it wasn’t. I’m counting down the hours and clinging to them, saying that I’m still this age until the exact moment I was born, but really, I need to just let it go, go to bed, and wake up tomorrow with a different number attached to me and get over it so I can get working.

I’ll celebrate my birthday in May 😉

Anyway, I just thought that I’d give a quick Day in the Life. Sort of. What I tend to do when I’m on writing binges for those of you who are writing to compare your own styles, or for those of you who are strictly readers to sit back and laugh at my stupidity.

I am extremely flaky when it comes to this. I would do well to do more planning, but I can hardly stick to any one thing long enough for it to become a habit. I still sleep like a teenager, wake up late, start work late, and then complain when there’s not enough time for videogames.

Because of my lack of a decent schedule, it’s a little difficult to give a proper Day in the Life because each day is so different. I woke up at 10:30 am this morning and was still as tired as though I’d set my alarm for dawn.

Anyway, I had to get up. Responsibilities and all that. For real. I told my brother I’d meet him at the bank, and luckily for me he was pretty good about it when I showed up late.

Anyway, yeah, that tends to be the start of my day. I wake up hopefully not after 11 am, putter around, put the dog out, come inside, get changed, maybe shower and then watch youtube videos while I get in the mood to work for my living.

Pretty sweet, right?

Anyway, on a good day, I’ll start working at noon. On an even better day, I’ll start work at 11 am. That makes it even better because when I get at least a thousand or more words written before noon, that’s when I start to feel like Superman. For real. I’m invincibly when that happens.

When it doesn’t, well, I tend to feel like the day was wasted and that leads to more distractions because, why bother working hard when I already wasted good opportunity?

Dumb, I know, but I can’t seem to help it.

Anyway, my main writing buddy is Write Or Die. Or, failing that, a timer and maybe a little bit of music to set the mood. I can listen to the same song a couple hundred times over and forget I’m listening to it when I get in the zone. It’s awesome.

Anyway, I’ll try to get at least a thousand or two words written before taking the dog out for his real walk at the dog park. This is about a five minute drive away, and the walk lasts about an hour in that park. It’s  huge. Good for me to get some actual sunshine once in a while. I swear, if it weren’t for my animal, I’d be all pale and pasty. He gets me my vitamin D. He’s a pest sometimes, but most of the time he’s the best.

This tends to tucker him out so that he’s not always sitting beside my writing chair, staring longingly at me or nudging my wrist with his nose.

Cats aren’t the only enemy of writers. A begging dog that knows how to look cute and pathetic can be a time suck. Best to take him to the park so that he only wants to nap when we’re home 🙂

Sometimes I skip both breakfast and lunch, so my only meal comes at 5 or so, and I feel guilty for eating it unless I’ve finished writing. Eating takes time, and I can’t comfortably write and eat at the same time, so I’m usually watching Youtube when that happens.

For this reason, my dinners tend to be at 7 or 8 O’Clock at night, when I usually finish work, depending on when I started. I should be so much skinnier than I am now.

Getting 10k words in one day isn’t normal for me. I know I can do it, and even if I can’t, I always come close enough that the challenge was well worth it. Sometimes I love giving myself challenges like those, too, just to make me feel like a powerhouse of writing.

So it’s weird when I give myself a lower challenge, how it can sometimes take just as long, or longer to write 5k words than it can to write 10k. I think it’s a mental thing.

I take tiny breaks between writing sprints to check my email, look up some favorite webcomics to see if there’s been any updates, or play Clash of Clans. The new game I’m getting into is Hearthstone, Heroes of Warcraft :3 Liking that one so far. This can also be a time suck I get stuck into if I’m not careful.

Nights usually end up like tonight. I’m at the keyboard until almost one in the morning, clacking away, trying to finish so I can hop into bed and read to make sure I stay caught up on my Goodreads Challenge. Luckily I’m still ahead, but that’s only with reading mangas and some short stories as well.

I apologize if this day in the life seems kind of scattered, but that’s literally how almost every day is. I seriously need to check my emails and soon. They’re piling up in my inbox right now, and not in a good way. I also have some edits to get done, as well as a cover questionnaire, but I totally need to put that off until tomorrow, otherwise I think I might just keel over and sleep on my keyboard.

So for you aspiring writers, don’t do what I made a bad habit of doing. Not having a daily schedule. Get one. It’s super important.


Mandy Rosko


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About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
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