A Day in the Life of Liz Kessler…
…must ALWAYS start with a cup of tea.
Then it’s straight down to work.
Oh, except I just need to do a few yoga exercises first. (I don’t actually enjoy yoga very much, but it helps keep my back happy – which is important when you spend hours every day at a computer.)
During the yoga, Poppy (my dog) will generally come over and sit on whichever bits of me she can reach. Once she’s bored of this, she’ll go and stand by the door to my study and cry.
Yoga finished, tea nearly cold, it’s up the stairs to my study, where Poppy will install herself on the ‘Buddha Bag’ and I get straight down to work.
Ah. OK, sorry. Not quite yet.
First, there are emails to reply to; there is facebook to update and as of recently, there is Twitter to tweet.
And THEN, down to work?
Well, nearly. Except I’ve finished my tea, and need another one now.
Eventually, after I’ve been up for about an hour, have attended to everything that could possibly need attending to, phoned my sister, emailed my publisher, cuddled the dog and met my early morning Earl Grey requirements, I get down to work!
If I’m writing the first draft of a new book, I have a word target each day. My usual rule is that I have to write 2,000 words a day. If I’m editing, my rule is usually to edit a chapter a day. Either way, once I’ve met my target, I’m free to do what I like – but if it takes all day then I have to stick with it till I’m done.
It’s important to have lots of breaks throughout the day. I’m very good at this part of my job. My breaks include:
• Walking the dog
• Visiting a friend for a cuppa
• Chilling and chatting with neighbours in the garden
• Phoning my Mum
• Going out for lunch
• Going for a swim
• Generally faffing. (A lot.)
The important thing to remember, though, is that all of these things are part of the creative process. Ask any writer. It’s while you’re doing something completely mindless that you often get your best ideas. As I tell my friends, I’m not really lounging around sunbathing in the garden. I’m thinking of ideas!
I’ll generally work all morning and most of the afternoon, depending on what other things are going on at the time. Sometimes I’ll finish at lunchtime. Sometimes I’m so involved in what I’m doing that I’ll be at it till late in the evening. Usually I’ll work five days a week, but sometimes more and sometimes less. One of the great things about being a writer is that if I feel like working extra days, I can, and if I feel like taking a day off, I can!
So if I’m right in the middle of the book, I’ll usually be hard at it till tea time. But if the surf’s up and the sun’s shining, you’ll probably find me down on the beach by mid afternoon.
And even though, to the untrained eye, I might look as if I’m sunbathing and body boarding, you and I both know what I’m really doing. I’m staring creatively into space, seeking inspiration for my next book. In other words, I’m working very, very hard.
Thanks, Liz! Make you check out the other stops on the tour, visit Liz at her website and pick up a copy of Liz's new book A Year Without Autumn.