Thursday, August 25, 2011

California Dreaming

Thinking about Thursday

In honor the first week of school, this is a re-post from January. It just still seemed appropriate. 
 California Dreaming
(Or is it gray? Did you know there is actually a website devoted to answering that question?   

             I am not really dreaming about California, but I felt like giving  a nod to The Mamas and The Papas anyway. Today, like most days when I am flat tired from my day job, I am dreaming about the life of a full time writer.
           I picture it like this :
  1. I send the kids off to school with a smile because I haven't spent the morning yelling things like,    "When you are late, then I am late! I don't care the socks don't match. Put them on and let's go!"                 
  2. I walk an hour on my treadmill while analyzing my plot points, constructing my character arcs and composing witty, believable dialogue. Added benefit: I lose 20-75 pounds while  working.                                                                                                                                                        
  3. I walk through my clean house with no dishes in the sink and no mound o' laundry poised to avalanche on to the kitchen floor to my computer.
  4. I write uninterrupted for hours as the words flow freely in the silent buzz of the empty house. I pause only to smile at my four legged companion who likes to sleep on my feet. Several thousands words a day grace my work in progress.  
  5. I have a quiet, peaceful lunch with my husband without having to remind someone not eat with her face in the plate like she is a dog. We also discuss sensitive topics without converting the conversation into "hide -the- true -meaning- from- the- kids" code which neither one of us can understand, but the kids can decipher with little effort. 
  6. I go back to writing for hours when he returns to work. Then easily shut down the computer when my children arrive home. Confident I have written my best and expended my creativity for the day.
  7. I spend the evening guilt-free. I cheerfully help with homework and prepare dinner instead of trying to write, microwave chicken strips and recite spelling words.
  8. I check homework, make the costume for the school play and remember snacks for the Girl Scout meeting because I am focused and organized without the added responsibilities of teaching
  9.  I check my email, converse with my friends on twitter, and prepare my blogs.
  10. I climb into bed at a decent hour, knowing all my ideas will wait. I have all day tomorrow to write. There is no need to stay up until all hours of the night.
*SIGH* So that is my dream. I know nothing is ever like you think it will be and my dream probably needs a reality check.

So tell me, what do you picture being a full-time writer to be like? If you are a full-timer, what is your day like?
( Be gentle. It is the only bubble I've got, don't burst it too harshly)


Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Well we don't have kids running around the house, but I do dream of getting up early, cooking breakfast for my wife and I before seeing her off to work, then sitting down to write for the day. There have been times when I've completed all the writing I want to for a given day before the afternoon ends, and those evenings are so chilled-out.

But because I can never know exactly how much time I'll be able to make each day for writing, I rarely enjoy that blissful state for long.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Oh, yeah that's a perfect day! Today I did my walking outside, to plot... came home with nada! lol

Tressa Green said...

During school, my day is like this:

Get up waaaay too early for my taste. 7am is early for a night owl. Pull some clothes on while hoping the boys are ready to walk out the door the moment I've got my shoes on. Drop them at the junior high, drive back home. Depending on whether or not I had time to start a pot of coffee, I'll stop by the corner store and get a cup there before heading home. At home, I feed the cats, rummage for something to eat, usually a granola bar, and pour some coffee. Sit down at the computer which is already on because boy2 plays flash games during his extra time in the morning. Check all my regular sites... twitter, FB, G+, forums, etc. Check them again, because social media waits on no one. Keep going back and forth between social media sites and reading articles/blogs. Look up stuff I'm interested in not related to writing or art. By this time I'm getting miffed at myself I haven't written a damned thing and usually tweet about it. Get distracted by a blog post someone tweeted. Rummage around for lunch... usually something not very healthy. I might throw in a load of laundry at this point. Eat. Beat myself up some more about not writing. Open my WIP. Write a few hundred words. Feel better about myself so tweet about it. Get distracted by social media again. I may or may not get back to my WIP. Boys come home around 3:40. Wash yesterday's dishes while waiting on supper to cook. Eat. Help with homework. Mess around on the internet until 9-ish until boys go to bed. Talk to the Mr on the phone for about an hour (he's a truck driver). Go back to the internet to see what I missed. Very occasionally, I may write a few more words. Notice the time and start shutting down the house for the night. After the animals are fed, the door's locked and the lights are out, I sit in bed and write the day's entry in my paper journal, usually bemoaning my lack of self-discipline when it comes to writing. Depending on the time and my level of tiredness, I may do a couple word find puzzles before finally turning off the light and going to sleep. Next day, it starts all over again.

I honestly wish like crazy I could live the writer's life... I lack the self-discipline to get any real work done most days. However, when I do hit "the zone", all I do is write; but that's infrequent except during November for NaNo.

Loree Huebner said...

I work full time, so I'm a part-time writer.

Dreaming, I see myself in a cottage on a lake, typing away.

Of course, I'll probabaly do things the same, except not work full time - writing in bed until all hours of the night on my laptop, or when I get up in the morning.

I wonder why I have a desk at all?

Dawn Alexander said...

Paul~ So sweet of you to want to cook your wife breakfast. I love it when my husband does that!

Jessica~ I do my best plotting while I am driving and, of course, in the bathtub. Both aren't the best places for making notes! :)

Tressa~ I have a feeling your day is closer to what my reality would be if I could write full time.

Loree~ I hear you. I have a beautiful roll-top desk that I never use.

Anonymous said...

My current day is a bit like this:
Wake up at 6, shower, feed cats, make lunch for the day, leave for work. Work until 4pm, home by 4.30, check my twitter, etc. Dinner & cats fed around 5.30pm. Ideally, writing between 6-8pm, but right now I'm between stories so it's brainstorming/querying/etc. during that time. Bedtime by 9.30.

My ideal day:
Wake up at 7-8am, shower, eat breakfast, feed cats.
Check sales from Amazon, etc., look at money coming in so I don't have to work a full time job.
Rest of the day- write, have lunch, write, go for coffee/volunteer, home for dinner.