Today’s post for the Day in the Life Series is author KM Herkes author of novels like Flight Plan, and her soon to be released novel Novices. (Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited on June 23rd)
A Day in the Life of KM Herkes
I have three workday categories, and writing is only primary in one of them. Perhaps it’s un-writerly of me to put writing second (or third, or fourth) in my life, but I’m comfortable with it. I’m an author, but writing is only one vital activity of many that make up my days.
Since I self-publish, I also must find time to edit finished drafts, develop blurbs, communicate with professional editors and artists, maintain my author site, develop marketing materials, and market through social media and in the real world. That’s unbelievably time-consuming and draining.
Then there’s Life Stuff. Most of the household duties fall on my shoulders. I can’t find any house elves to take over. I rely on Spouseman (my superheroic patron and beloved alpha reader) to pull his weight, but his job is full-time-and more, and his work can’t be done while folding laundry. Some of mine can.
All my days start with tea & toast, dinner prep, making Spouseman’s commuting tea and getting him out the door with his kit and caboodle. I need structure in my life, and I like our comforting ritual. Then the variations start.
LIBRARY DAYS — I work two mornings and an evening. Writing and all the other tasks of self-publishing) have to happen in the between-times, or late at night after Spouseman retires to bed. If I cram in 3 hours of authorwork on these days, I feel rich, and if I can focus an hour of that on putting brand-new words to page, there’s cause for celebration.
GARDEN DAYS: on one of my non-library days, I work as a horticultural volunteer. It’s only a half-day, but transportation eats up large chunks of time. So does cleanup, as “horticulture” is a fancy way of saying “crawling in the mud and digging up weeds.” I’ll squeeze in a couple of hours total authorwork on these days, usually writing on the couch in front of the TV, doing research and tinkering with ad designs in front of the week’s recorded television. (Scandal! Arrow! Gotham! Elementary!)
WRITING DAY. My one day a week with no outside time-sucks. Inevitably, emergencies, appointments, and repair visits fall on this day. If I manage to plant my butt in a seat as soon as Spouseman is out the door…I might not surface until he walks back in. These are jammie-pants days. Inspiration days.
Weekend days are wildcards. Often it’s Together Time, doing exciting couples activities like running errands. Just as often though, Spouseman has video gaming to do. Then I get hours of heavenly nothing-but-new-writing-allowed time.
This rhythm of not-quite-a-routine works for me because thinking about a plot, rolling its pieces around in my head, testing out dialogue bits and alternate futures—all that can happen while I garden, wash dishes, or wait in line.
Putting the ideas into word form is the tricksy part. I need tons of time to get reacquainted with my work-in-progress every time I sit down with it. Chipping out blocks of an hour or more for the making of new words takes creative time management and flexibility.
I make a point of writing every day because craft discipline prepares me to ride the tides of art as they ebb and flow. What I don’t do is count words. I don’t judge. Any words will do. Goals of time, not output, work for me. Most importantly, when I miss those goals—and I do, for the world is full of Facebook distractions—I try to not punish myself for imperfection.
These are the compromises I make for a balanced life. At the end of a day, when I look back and say, “I did that,” it’s all good.
Want to check out more on KM Herkes or maybe check out her novel Flight Plan? Click the links down below!
Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/author/kmherkes
Author site: http://storysculpting.blogspot.com