A day in the life of someone who (ahem) “doesn’t work”

Someone recently said to my husband something on the order of, “Well, your wife doesn’t work…”

Needless to say, my reaction when he shared this with me this was something along the lines of MUSTSTABKILLSLAYOMFGWTF???

Ahem. After I calmed down a smidge (and, trust me, a smidge isn’t very much at all) I considered the reasoning for the REALLY STUPID AND RIDICULOUS remark. I mean, after all, I don’t actually GO anywhere for work (except for the occasional convention, though those have been referred to as my “vacations”. Yes, more STABKILLSLAY moments ensued.) I sit at home on my butt (why, yes, that’s usually how one sits) and “play” on the computer. And, my writing-related income has been approximately $0.00 since last July thanks to the change in publishers. (Though, since the new contracts were sent back a few weeks ago, that should change very soon. Whew.)

So, since I’m not allowed to do any actual stabbing and slaying and killing, I’d like to go into what my normal weekday has been like this past month (and will likely continue to be through most of February.)  See, I have a deadline of March 1st for the third Demon book, which is contracted to be approximately 100K words. (Let’s just say that I’m not there yet.)


Wake up 5:30am. Let the dog out. Make coffee and toast. Get the newspaper. (Doesn’t this sound so homey and domestic?!) Drink coffee, eat toast and read paper for twenty minutes. Check email and do my blog-surfing for about half an hour. Wake the Kid and get her ready for school. Walk the Kid to the bus stop. Put the Kid on the bus, walk home. Have conversation with the husband, then kick the husband out of the house (nicely!)

By this time it’s about 8am. Respond to emails that have to be responded to. Open the file for Book 3 and skim through what I was doing the day before. Find my notes on what scenes still need to be written. Get more coffee. Start writing. Oh yeah, breakfast would be nice.

Get more coffee. Write some more. Oh, crap, it’s 10:30 already? Grab a snack. Let the dog out. Get more coffee. Respond to more emails that need to be responded to. Ignore the phone for all but a select few phone numbers. Look at the scary white board with the To-Do list on it that says “Promo stuff for Blood of the Demon.” Oh crap, I have a release coming up and I’ve done NOTHING. Also on the To-Do list is “Answer interview questions for [various blogs.] Oh, double crap. Coming up with witty and interesting interview answers takes me hours, and I’m too stressed about the status of book 3 to be willing to take the time out to do those right now. Maybe tomorrow. No, really.

It’s noon? How the hell did it get to be noon? Make another pot of coffee. Heat a can of soup up. Look at what I wrote this morning and decide that maybe it doesn’t suck too hard. Dive in to the next scene that needs work. Write some more. Snarl at dog for interrupting me simply because he has to pee. Why the hell can’t he use the cat box like the rest of the animals in the house?

2pm. Wow. Have managed to write almost 3000 words. Makes up for the day before when revisions of the previous chapter gave me a negative total for the day. Pour last cup of coffee that I can have and still maintain any hope of getting to sleep tonight. Go back through previously written stuff and realize that there is a Giant Gaping Plot Hole of Doom. CRAP! Fret and fume. Look at the clock and realize that it is too late in the day to start a total plot overhaul (which involves the majority of my living room wall, a lot of butcher paper, and many different colors of sharpies) because at 3pm I need to stop writing so that I can ride my stationary bike for half an hour before showering (yeah, haven’t done that yet) and then leaving at 4pm to go pick the Kid up from aftercare and take her to her karate. Bring laptop to karate and work on edits while Kid is doing her class. Come home and accept that there won’t be any uninterrupted time to write for the rest of the day.

Do evening stuff with Kid and Husband. Tell myself that I’m going to get to sleep by 9:30 so that I can get a full night’s sleep. Actually get to bed around 10:30. Lie awake for half an hour worrying about the Giant Gaping Plot Hole of Doom.

Wake at 5:30..

 But, y’know, I don’t actually work.

8 Responses to “A day in the life of someone who (ahem) “doesn’t work””

  1. February 3, 2010 at 12:31 am

    *bows low to the Queen*

    My Demoness, the ignorance of the few is greatly outweighed by the adoration of the many. Not only do you work your butt off, what you produce is incredible.

    Thanks once again for sharing. If I’m ever lucky enough “not to work” like you, I will remember not to stab people who say it.

  2. February 3, 2010 at 1:31 am

    “Sandra Wickham”… Do I know you from somewhere?

    Anyway, fantastic post, Diana.

    Because we all know real work is getting up at six and commuting three hours to your office cubicle job. Not sitting at home unsupervised with a net-capable computer. Right? I thought so. 🙂

    More seriously, thanks for sharing your daily routine. I’m sure some aspiring authors out there have decided to work at McDonalds instead. I like how you juiced it up to discourage the competition. I now have a .000000…1% better chance to get published.

  3. February 3, 2010 at 1:32 am

    Haha, my html worked… finally. Sweet.

  4. 4 Terri-Lynne
    February 3, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I elected to be a stay-at-home mother to my four kids (five, for a while before my stepson outgrew the household.) I started writing pretty much ‘full time’ once the youngest started school. I still had all the housewivery jobs to accomplish, kidcare/kidcarting stuff to do. I ‘played’ at my computer from 9-2–with breaks for laundry. I’ve written upwards of 25 books in the last 13 years (albeit most of those…yeah…not so good! I consider it my education that I never had time or money to attain formally.) I did my mom stuff after.

    I’ve never worked a day in my life. Isn’t that a hoot? Four kids. A house. 25 books. No paycheck. That seems to be the clincher.

  5. 5 mlronald
    February 4, 2010 at 9:25 am


    No, really. WHAT.

    “Doesn’t work” my sorry butt. Hell, I consider myself working two full jobs because I’m writing. My husband’s a musician, so he occasionally gets a little of this, even though his schedule is more cluttered and convoluted than mine — and that’s even before practicing is taken into account. It’s been pointed out that he doesn’t so much have a job as an entire lifestyle, one that takes just as much if not more time and energy.

    If “real work” doesn’t include creative work or stay-at-home work or all the other things brought up, then the definition of “real” here is flawed.

  6. February 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

    You know, the body of the misguided individual who thinks that you “don’t work” could be used to fill in the Giant Gaping Plot Hole of Doom.

    So could the Dog, for that matter. Just point him in the right direction the next time he asks to go out….

  7. 7 di
    February 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

    The thing with the ‘real’ workers is that many of them don’t get as much done in their day but because they are officially ‘at work’ all their time there counts. At least in their minds.

    And they just can’t imagine that anything you do at home is work. Like writing. Or child rearing. (Just wondering if that is when you kick your kid in the behind… 😉 Or any other of the millions of things you can do from home that are creative and/or earn money.

  8. December 13, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Work is over rated. Work can be in many form and there is no such things as real work or not real work. Enjoy life!

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