There are many misconceptions about what it's like to be a writer, as my fellow Smack-Dabbers have illustrated. But I think one of the biggest ones I personally had, before I began writing full-time about two years ago, was that a writer spends most of her time, well, writing. I honestly had visions of being able to sit down at my computer at nine in the morning, and write write write until lunch, take a mini-break, and then write write write until my fingers gave out completely or it was time for dinner, whichever one came first. I did not, by any stretch of the imagination, believe that everything I typed during this daily writing marathon would be good, or even usable. But I did, quite seriously, believe that the majority of my work day would be spent writing. After all, I was a "writer." That's what writers do.
So what do I do when I'm not writing? That's a good question. I spend a fair amount of time doing school visits, or scheduling school visits (which can take almost as long!). I do Skype visits too. I outline. I read proofs of my books that are in the works. I read other people's books, for inspiration. I do research, online or at the library. I update my website (I am horrible at this, so it takes me forever). I fuss over promo materials. Occasionally I write blog posts or articles. I do interviews. I talk to my agent about ideas. I send LOTS of emails about everything from book jackets to meetings with my editor. I sit and stare at my computer screen and think. I talk over ideas with my fellow writers. I (yes, of course) goof off and take breaks. And sometimes, like for my upcoming middle-grade novel A TANGLE OF KNOTS (hitting a bookstore near you in February 2013!), I do things that might strike other people as bizzare, like bake over two-dozen cakes in a six month period. (The book has several cake recipes in it, so I had to do a lot of experimenting.) Here I am enjoying the fruits of my labor, an avocado chocolate cake. While the cake recipe, sadly, did not make it into the finished book, the cake itself was AMAZING.
And speaking of things that writers do besides write . . . I'm hosting a giveaway! To celebrate the release of the paperback edition of SOPHIE SIMON SOLVES THEM ALL, which just came out this Tuesday, I'd like to give away one copy each to two lucky readers. To enter, simply fill out the form below. Winners will be selected at random on October 5th.
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Now, fellow writers, please tell me: What do you do with your work day besides write??