A Day in the Life of a YA Author
Who happens to also be a reviewer, sometime slush reader, homeschooling mom, and multi-tasker.
For fifteen years I was a first grade teacher. One of my favorite subjects to teach had to be writer’s workshop. Every day my first graders wrote their own stories, which I typed up and bound into ‘books’. It was a huge hit!
Later, I decided to take my own advice on writing and did it. I quit my tenured teaching position to write full time. Yes, it was scary and risky but I had to take the leap of faith and just do it. Then after issues I had with son’s public school, I took him out and homeschooled him.
Here’s what my day kind of looks like:
6am Get up and turn egg timer on for 50 minutes and write
7am Go to gym
8ish Get son up. Breakfast.
**My schedule is very flexible. Usually I’m done around 2ish Included in this time is son’s own writer’s workshop. Last school year he ‘published’ four of his own books. He also gives me his take on MG books for reviews.
2pm Write. Son is done with school. I then take the time to catch up on some social networking. Yes, Twitter is my downfall!
3-5 I try to get in at least 2 hours of writing
**I love using my egg timer. Also I listen to songs that reflect the mood of the novel I happen to be working on. Right now it’s Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez for No Goddesses Allowed.
Around 6pm I make dinner.
When husband comes home, I escape to my writing loft. At this time I do either more writing, go over critiques, and do reviews for YA Books Central.
Throughout the day, when I have extra time, I try to write or brainstorm more ideas.
I’m not a night owl. If I have a deadline, then I’ll stay up and write. Otherwise, I do watch shows like Vampire Diaries. Hey, research!
Summer time I’m more flexible. Usually I write straight everyday from 3-5ish. I also get up early to just write.
That’s just my schedule. I’m totally have an A personality and love organization. This works for me.
My biggest advice to those who say they want to write is they need to write. It’s crazy being not only an author but a mother, reviewer, and homeschooling mother too. I try to seize any opportunity I have to get some writing in.
And writer’s block? I refuse to accept that. My cure? BIC--Butt in chair. You need to sit down and just write. No excuses allowed.
A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your daily life with us, Kim! Sounds a lot like my life but add in 2 more kids and a bunch-o-diapers. I'd better not let my 9 year old read this post--she'll want to move to your house. Writing workshops AND Selena Gomez PLUS Taylor Swift? Wow! Please won't you share more about your book with us?
Following the light can't be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?
However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.
If she can't learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn't choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.
Because she's next on the list to be crossed out.
I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off. I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of paints and Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.
Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.
But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.
Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.
And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?
I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFF anymore.
No, Hillary made sure of that when I’d been stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.
According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.
Want More Kim?