A Week in the Life of a Writer

Do Not Disturb sign

I could use one of these.

Since I began writing in 2010, I’ve kept a time card of my work. It’s divided into different departments of the business known as Samantha Ann King: studying craft, research, business and writing. Here’s what the week of March 14-20 looked like.*

Disclaimer: My daughter was home for spring break, so I took some time off to enjoy her company.

Craft: 1:50. I’m currently working through Margie Lawson’s Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices and More packet. I like to read a lesson before I start writing then try to apply that lesson to the writing. I worked three lessons last week.

Research: 6:35. Research has been heavier than normal over the last three months because I spend four to five hours a week at the BCSO Citizens Academy. The classes are fascinating, and I’ve connected with a SWAT sniper, who has helped flesh out parts of my WIP. Research is dangerous for me. I enjoy it so much that I can get lost in it. It’s one reason I like to get out of the house to write. The internet is less likely to suck me in when I’m away from my secure home wifi.

Business: 6:45. Unless it’s urgent, business gets done on weekends. This category is a hodgepodge. I’m the guest author coordinator for the Café, so that work goes here. Also, blog posts that I write. Promotional work. Contracts. Writing conferences and meetings. (Haven’t been doing many of those lately.) Last week was a lot heavier than normal for business. One of the guest posts for the Café came in late and one was on time, so I had two posts to get ready. While I was working on those, I realized that I had four days to write my March post. Then I learned that I would be featured in Parade Magazine’s April issue of What People Earn, so I was scrambling to maximize the exposure.

Laptop with books

He makes it look sooo easy.

Writing: 11:40. This is the actual writing of the book. Putting the words on the computer and editing them. Plotting goes here, too. The manuscript. The dreaded synopsis. The query letter.

Total: 26:50*

Is this what every week looks like? No. Most weeks are heavier on writing, closer to twenty hours. When a book is nearing release, it’s more business. If I take a writing workshop online or in person, it can be weighted toward craft.

There you have it. A week in the life.

*No chocolate was consumed. None.


A Week in the Life of a Writer — 6 Comments

  1. I’ve never kept track either, but I find if I have a new release coming out, a lot of my time is spent on business such as writing guest blogs organizing book tours etc. If I’m in full-on writing mode, I’ll binge-write for a while, like I’ve been doing the last month or so as I try to complete the first draft of my current WIP. As I edit the WIP I’ll probably get into a lot of research. I’m a little erratic about craft; I’m sometimes really heavy into it and at other times (like now), nothing. Your schedule tells me I need to pay attention to all aspects of my career all of the time.

  2. Wow! This is a great idea. I’ve never tracked all my time. It would probably be a good kick in the butt to do so. I may try this next week!

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