The perpetual struggle to be productive #MFRWwriter

Time once again for the Marketing for Romance Writers blog. This week, the writing prompt is:

A Day in My Life

I’ve left the rat race, so my days tend to be similar.

An ideal day:

I didn’t stay up too late reading last night, so I’m awake and raring to go by 9:00. (You early risers are probably scandalized, but  I am not an early bird.)  I go the gym and then devote the rest of the morning to practicing my oboe and making oboe reeds.

If it’s one of the days we babysit the grandson, I play with Wesley around lunchtime, or maybe we take him to the play area at the mall.  If it isn’t one of his days, I talk with my caro sposo or read for a while.

Then I sit down to write.  I totally ignore the Internet, paying no attention to e-mail, baseball scores, or the news until I’ve written my daily quota of words. That quota varies, but 1500 to 2000 is typical; 4000 is better.  Right now, though, I’m working on my To-Do list of rewrites of a recently finished MS, so word counts are irrelevant.

After dinner, I take Twiggles to the dog park or for a walk, weather permitting; this time of year, the Arizona heat and summer monsoon season mean she doesn’t get walks or to the dog park as much as she likes. After I fix dinner and eat a leisurely meal while chatting with the wife, it’s back to the computer for more writing, e-mails, and a teensy bit of wasting time.

A less-than-ideal day

I stayed up too late, so I’m not up until 11:00. Still wearing my PJs, I think about the gym or the oboe. Nah, too much effort.

I sit at the computer instead and waste time until dinner. I do cook dinner (usually), but then I sit in front of the TV, go shopping, or waste more time on the computer.  Poor Twiggles uses our big back yard instead of going anywhere.

Around 11:00 pm I realize I’ve wasted the whole day, so I frantically write or work on marketing.  If I’m feeling really guilty, I stay up too late but nonetheless end up with a word count of 78 words.  Rinse, lather, and repeat.

How about you?  What’s your typical day like?

Click here to check out the cool romance writers taking part in this blog hop.



  1. If you can words down on your MS, you’re a winner – even on a less-than-ideal day!

    1. It doesn’t feel like it, though, if you know what I mean.

  2. Sherry Lewis · · Reply

    I must admit, your ideal day had me worried. I was even having gender-biased thoughts about how much easier it must be for male writers to focus and get the work done. Your less than ideal day set the record straight, however, and wiped all those nasty gender-biased thoughts away. Love the 78-word day! Obviously, all writers are made of the same stuff. Enjoyed your post 🙂

    1. LOL. Your opening remarks reminded me of an exchange I had with Connie Willis in the writer’s lounge (i.e. the bar) at a SF con several years ago. (If you aren’t familiar with her, Connie is a megastar SF writer.) I’d been telling another guy writer how hard it was to find writing time because both my parents were nearing the end and I took care of them. Right after that, I overheard Connie saying how male writers have it sooo much easier than women. I looked at the other guy and laughed.

      When Connie found out what we were laughing about, she apologized over and over. Although I won’t deny that guys probably have it easier, the stereotypes always have exceptions.

  3. You have a pretty full schedule for a guy with no day job!

    1. And I left out a lot of little stuff. Shopping, yard work, cleaning (yes, I do quite a bit and all the cooking), fixing things, etc.

  4. First off, I want to set the record straight on something. I am NOT a morning person. LIfe works on day shift hours though and since my husband is the primary breadwinner, I HAVE to get up. I would prefer to sleep in and stay up till 2 in the morning. But, it doesn’t work. So I have resigned myself to this schedule until the hubby retires.
    SEcondly – I am envious of your word count. I would occasionally have days where I had 6- 12K of words, but my daily average used to be around 2500. Since cancer, I went for a few months there with zero words.Chemo brain is a very real thing and I felt like I was stoned out of my gourd. I was ecstatic last week to get words down. My daily average now is about 1200, I’m hoping that will increase as well.
    Cool that you play oboe – I used to play oboe and sax. Haven’t picked them up since college, but I was pretty good once. Makes me want to buy some reeds and find another jazz band!!
    Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Jennifer Lawrence, too — she played oboe in high school. I played sax in high school, though I soon concentrated on the oboe. On sax I was one of a huge crowd; with roughly the same skill level on oboe, though, I was a star. So I specialized.

      Like you I gave up playing after university, but around seven years later I picked it up again and haven’t stopped since. For decades, music was my creative outlet and I didn’t even think about writing.

      Re: word counts. You’re jealous of 78 words in a day? Sad!

  5. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Sounds like a busy day! I like the non typical one lol!

    1. It’s frighteningly typical, I’m afraid.

  6. For the record, I’m not a morning person, either, though I usually manage to drag myself out of bed at 7-7:30AM. But 5AM? Fuhgedaboutit!

    Having a daily word quota is a good idea, as long as you’re not in editing mode. I need to get back to that idea soon. Need to start another project.

    1. We all do, we all do. Start another project, I mean.

  7. LOL I know about the AZ heat. My father-in-law is a shamefully early riser. It’s nuts. So he’s up before the sun for his morning walk.

    The 78 word count day made me feel a little better about myself. LOL When you said your goal was about 4000 in one day??? Color me jealous for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever managed to write that much in one day. If I break a 1000 I feel like I should be in the Guinness World Records or something.

    1. I should really have described days when I write nothing. When I finish a project there’s usually a protracted fallow period before I’m mentally ready to start work on something new. And then when I had some health issues last fall, I didn’t write a word for five months, even though I was in hospital for only 8 days. The psychological side of being productive is hugely, massively important.

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