RW1: Day in the life

The first post of the inaugural request week (rw) was suggested by Rebecca:

Ooooh, and a day-in-the-life thing, kinda like Maureen Johnson had up the other day.

Someone asked me to describe my average working day a while back and this is what I came up with:

Today I typed, yesterday I typed, tomorrow I will type. Words were written, words were deleted. Dictionaries and thesauruses and Scott (do Americans say “poxy”?) were consulted, as were various other reference books, and things were googled. Then there was more typing. And around about five or six I gave up and had a glass of wine, unless it was an alcohol-free day (curse them!) in which case I merely contemplated the glass of wine I’d be having on the next non-alcohol-free day.

Very little has changed in the two years since.

So Maureen’s day in the life is more interesting than mine. Other than Maureen, most of us writers do not lead glamorous, exciting lives. What we mainly do is type (except for the crazies who use pens—you know who you are, Mr Vandermeer).

We also procrastinate. Writers are probably the world’s best procrastinators.

Some of us procrastinate by imagining that the characters we write about are real and take them shopping, others put together loopy spreadsheets to chart their progress, and still others talk to their published books. (Gotta say the last one is by far the weirdest. Poor Scalzi.)

But no matter how loopy we are, or how much we procrastinate, the main thing is the fingers on keyboard. Type, type, typetty type.

Not very interesting, is it?

Some days I go over copy edits or page proofs, but mostly it’s the typing thing.

I’ve never flown a helicopter, or wrestled crocodiles, or been a spy, or had children. The reason I’m a writer1 is so that I can live vicariously through my characters2 who have very interesting lives indeed. It’s much less dangerous than the aforementioned things what I haven’t done.

I’m still taking requests so keep ’em coming. Even the silly ones from deeply deluded English cricket fans.

  1. And, you know, because I really like writing. []
  2. But not in a buying-them-presents, talking-to-them, or baking-them-cakes kind of a way. []


  1. marrije on #

    oh bollocks. nobody’s buying that, ms larbalestier. typetty type indeed. i’m sure you do fabulously james bond-like things all day long and are just too blase and/or honour-bound to tell us about them. betcha mr vandermeer could write your secret life no problems (with a pen. weirdo).

  2. Justine on #

    Heh hem, Marrije, it’s Dr Larbalestier, not Ms. I slaved for that “d” and that “r”—do not take them away from me!

    I did eat a fruit salad today. And the pineapple wasn’t quite ripe and the raspberries had a tiny bit of mold on them. Is that exciting and dangerous and secret life enough for you?

  3. marrije on #

    sorry about the dr! will not forget about that again. the fruit sounds fabulous and risque!

    oh, and i saw a mangosteen (actually several) at a local supermarket last week. they called them ‘mangistan’, which looks very weird indeed to me. like a dusty country where everybody goes around looking really scruffy. did not buy them, since they were hideous expensive and not that fresh looking and you told me to watch out for that. see, i do remember some essential things.

  4. Justine on #

    Look at the cap—if there’s some green going on there they should be fine. If it’s all brown then forget about it.

    You are forgiven. This time.

  5. veejane on #

    I have still never seen a mangosteen in person. For a while, I had in my head this image of a mango wearing a studded leather collar and smoking a butt outside a club.

    My query for the day’s progress is, exactly what PJs are you wearing today, Doctor L.? If you are going to have a coffee table book about PJs, you are going to need to practice your flannel-descriptive (linen-descriptive?) skillz sooner rather than later.

  6. tim pratt on #

    I’m still waiting for my characters to bake a cake for *me*. lazy ungrateful bastards.

  7. Justine on #

    Veejane: blue silk pjs what I got in Bangkok. Yummaliciious.

    Tim Pratt: Characters are selfish bastards. We give them life but what do they do for us? NOTHING! I spit at characters. Yes, even Elizabeth Bennett. What did she ever do for Jane, eh?

  8. alisa on #

    hi. 🙂 i’ve been blog-stalking you. just thought you should know. in case you, uh, cared.

    also? heehee about elizabeth bennett. *g*

Comments are closed.