An Honest Day in the Life of a Writer

We’ve all read the interviews with famous writers about how they conduct their days. I always find them either boring or a little smug. How about if a writer was honest about what a day in their house looked like?

Here’s a sneaky little peek into my writing day diary. Some of this may be exaggerated. The parts you think are, probably aren’t.


Woken by The Husband who is lovely enough to say goodbye as he leaves for work to do proper grown up stuff.  Love him and scorn him in equal measure for being sweet enough to want to kiss me goodbye. Soon get over it as sleep comes back and then some.


Curse the cat for her morning bounciness upon the duvet, using my body as her personal trampoline. See this as time to get up. Work my way towards it…


Curse myself for allowing sleep to reign. Resolve to write extra amounts to make up for losing time. Decide to get out of bed, not faff around, and get the writing going.


Getting annoyed with own self for allowing faffing to get in the way of writing. Everything suddenly became more important, particularly checking social media. Despise self for being Facebook’s bitch and Twitter’s whore.


Ready to start writing now that the shiny pictures on Instagram are all looked at and loved.


Swear at the friend who sends a message on Whatsapp. All messages ping on the phone as if a klaxon is going off. Berate need to check all messages immediately especially as this is just some goon telling me a crap joke.


Open up writing document. Look at the vast white space and wonder what the hell I was not doing with it yesterday.


Decide to work on a different writing project that actually has some words in it. Scan through and realise that white spaces are kinder than the crap I wrote here. Mentally torture first draft self for giving myself permission to write as freely as possible. Go on Facebook to tell the world how much I hate editing and revising.


After getting caught up in a bitch fest about how revising and editing make writers want to cut their fingers off, decide to face the writing again. Oooh, what about a new writing project? Get excited.


Decide not to start a new writing project right now as it will be lunchtime soon. Would rather start something after having a break.


Look at first draft and hate that it is sniping at me. Get into a verbal sparring match with a page of writing for having the audacity to exist, laden with typos, plot holes bigger than the Bermuda Triangle, and poor characterisation.


Decide to make lunch so it will be ready for 12 noon. It will only be a sandwich but procrastinate in making this the longest sandwich making gig ever.


Time for lunch. I need a break. Just for a few minutes.


Make the mistake of turning on the television whilst eating lunch. Get caught up in crappy daytime TV and despise self for becoming a participant in bear baiting type talk shows.


Feeling tired after all the shouting at the plant life on TV. Fight the compulsion to have a nap, knowing bugger all work has been done today. Start typing incoherent sentences due to fatigue.


Decide a cheeky little nap is good for the brain. I’ll just grab 10 minutes.


Shit. Why didn’t someone wake me up? Oh, that’s my responsibility.


After copious amounts of coffee to revive, I write like Roadrunner on speed. I need to get something done before The Husband comes home. He will not check output because he’s good like that but my inner guilt means I cannot look him in the eye and tell him I’ve had a busy day when I haven’t and he’s saved six lives today at the hospital.


Written practically a novel. Gave self permission to write freely as always do with first draft self. Forget how much I hated myself this morning for doing this. Add this piece to the ‘First Drafts Folder of Doom’. It is the place where all first drafts go to die, never to see the light of day again. Wonder why I have not been published yet. Blame the world for not understanding me.


Sneak in a cheeky look at social media, sharing how hard I have worked today. Suck up the praise and envy from fellow writers.


Joyous at the return of The Husband as this now means that my writing day is truly over.


Decide what I have written today is crap. Fight the compulsion to go back and rewrite it. Have a hard time understanding why I want to write when I shouldn’t and not when I allocate time to it.


Despise television for showing amazing dramas I wish I had written.


Go to bed for an epic reading session. Annoyed with writer self who nowadays picks books apart and cannot read without critiquing an author’s writing choices. Secretly am jealous that they did not leave their book languishing in the ‘First Drafts Folder of Doom’.


Spurred on by what I’m reading, I promise myself that I will get the novel finished and published soon because (a) I can do better than this pile of horse shit or (b) I want to make it as freaking amazing as this book is. Continue reading.


Bite off The Husband’s head for daring to suggest it might be a good time to sleep. Know he is right as I’ll have to nap tomorrow to make up for it. Cannot give up on the book. 287 pages to go. That’s not much. I can crack that in 30 minutes.


Decide I cannot read as fast as I used to. Last few chapters. Must make it through.


Get annoyed with book for being rubbish and taking up so much of my life. Turn off light.


All the brilliant ideas for my novel invade my mind in a tsunami of imagination. Turn the light on to jot them down. Feel sorry for The Husband who thought he could finally go to sleep without the light on.


Oh, must write that idea down too.


Have the most amazing dream that could be a novel. Decide it’s so vivid I’ll remember it in the morning.


Awoken by loving husband. Go to tell him about incredible dream that will be my breakthrough bestseller novel. Can only conjure up the memory of falling from a cliff. Annoyed with 4am self for not writing it down and for dreaming in clichés.

The Rest of the Day

As yesterday and probably tomorrow.




About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

10 comments on “An Honest Day in the Life of a Writer

  1. You missed the bit where the writer (me) spends 45 minutes trying to take a cute photo of the cat playing, ending up with scratched hands and a blurry shot of fangs. Otherwise, perfect!

  2. This is awesome! XD And so much like my typical day, too, in some ways… At least the procrastination side of things. I made myself a schedule to follow but have so far failed at doing so today (yesterday was a bit better.) Here’s to hoping we can continue to fight against the Procastination Pull and get some words done!

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