A Day In The Life of a Professional Writer

8:00 AM Drop offspring off at daycare. Feel excessively guilty when offspring cries because your job isn’t paid well, doesn’t have normal hours, or contribute anything concrete to humanity aside from the occasional laugh.

8:20 AM Eat breakfast while your computer glares at you menacingly from the corner.

8:30 AM Continue eating breakfast so that you can justify not writing for a little while longer.

8:40 AM Still eating breakfast to avoid writing. Reflect on whether writing is making you fat. Reminisce briefly about the days when you were single, not pregnant and used to have Baileys and milk in lieu of food to fuel your writing.

8:45 AM Still musing about booze. Conclude that it is a good thing that you are pregnant otherwise you might be an alcoholic.

9:00 AM Begin to write. Or rather do the pre writing step which is thinking of words to write.

9:07 AM If you were drunk all of your ideas wouldn’t seem so awful.

9:08 AM Shake off notions of being an alcoholic and begin to type words.

9:50 AM Review the work you’ve created so far.

9:51 AM Realize you are nowhere near your word count for the day and collapse into a puddle of remorse on the floor. Briefly contemplate becoming rodeo clown. Seems like a less painful profession.

10:00 AM Give up staring at your computer screen in favor of changing your sheets for the third time this week. You finished up all the other housework when you were avoiding writing yesterday.

10:25 AM Return briefly to computer, type a couple hundred more words.

11:17 AM Stew in a cloud of crippling self-doubt. Compare yourself, your work and your career to every other famous and well respected writer you can think of. Debate becoming an accountant. They always own such nice pants.

11:20 AM Call whatever family member is home and available. Keep them on the phone for as long as possible by asking increasingly personal and inappropriate questions.

12:20 PM When family member hangs up phone abruptly, attempt to decide whether there are any more words to be written. Conclude there are none. Eat again to mask your complete lack of productivity.

12:40 PM Prepare and drink a cup of coffee to kick start your creative juices.

1:00 PM The coffee has merely kick started your bladder. Make second trip to the washroom in half an hour.

1:05 PM While in the bathroom, taking the full minute and a half to wash your hands as recommended by health agencies everywhere, you recall that Ernest Hemingway used to drink seventeen cups of coffee in a day.

1:07 PM Stand in kitchen and debate whether you have enough grounds to brew the staggering amount of coffee required to fuel true literary genius.

1:10 PM Choose to settle for literary mediocrity and only make one additional cup of coffee because seventeen cups would have you flying around the room like a rapidly deflating balloon.

2:20 PM How did it get so late?! There is only an hour and a half until the daycare pick up time and you have accomplished nothing. NOTHING!

2:30 PM Type furiously to make up for the fact that you spent a day being a lay about rather than caring for your adoring, sweet offspring who want nothing more than to spend every second whether awake or asleep in your presence.

3:30 PM Success! You have more than met your word count for the day. Celebrate by calling mother to whinge about your life choices. And her life choices. Because if she had chosen a literary agent to be your godmother and been a celebrated author herself, then your life today would be simpler.

3:45 PM Reread all of your work from the past week and a half and decide that it’s rubbish.

4:00 PM Pick up lovable offspring from daycare. Wish fervently that you had put on socks before leaving the house as you watch the other parents remove their shoes at the entrance. Frantically and surreptitiously brush crumbs from breakfast from your shirt. Silently make a pact with yourself to do better and wear something aside from pyjamas in public tomorrow.

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