My day is pretty much bound by the same routine every day – I have three children, so life does revolve around them most of the time!
My alarm goes off at 6, and once I’ve dragged myself into the shower and got dressed, I head downstairs before everyone else gets up. I try and do a few household chores before everyone wakes up, so I can have more time to write once they’re all out of the house! I usually throw in some washing, make packed lunches for the day and feed all our animals…we have four dogs, two ponies, four chickens and a cat who hates us, so by the time everyone is fed it’s time to get the children up.
I drop the children at school, and then dash back to start writing. I usually sit down at my desk by nine o’clock, although it’s closer to ten o’clock by the time I’ve checked Facebook and Twitter and fallen down the Internet black hole that is cat videos and weird memes.
I check my emails first. I have to respond to emails straight away, otherwise I find that I am utterly useless and end up never responding, which gets me in all sorts of trouble. Then, depending on what stage I’m at in writing the book, I work until around one o’clock.
Depending on where I am I’ll either be researching (reading books on the subject I’m writing about or trawling the internet for information I can make notes on), plotting out my chapters, or working on my first draft. The actual writing of the first draft is probably my favourite part of the process – by that point I have a good idea of how the story is going to progress. I aim for 2000-2500 words a day, which is usually about the length of one chapter. I take a quick break for lunch and then I get back to it until three o’clock when it’s time to do the school run again.
I try not to work once the children come home, but sometimes I don’t have a choice – I can’t leave a chapter half written, even if I’ve hit my word count for the day, so sometimes I sneak back into my office and finish it off while they’re doing homework…
Six o’clock is my cut off time, so I make sure I’m done by then at the latest – if I’m really behind (or that chapter still isn’t finished!) Mr H will very often jump in and cook dinner. We try and eat together every night when we can. Then often, if I’m still at the research stage, I’ll curl up on the sofa and read while the rest of the family watches TV.
By the time ten o’clock rolls around, I’m most definitely ready for bed, preferably with a book I’m reading for fun, ready for that six o’clock alarm to drag me into the next working day!