Julie Shackman trained as a journalist, but in her own words “writing romance has always been a dream of mine.” When she doesn’t have her head in a book or is drafting one, she writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Rock my World is her first contemporary romance novel, but book number two is already finished, and she is busy researching her third.
My typical day usually starts around 7am, in a blur of cereal, school uniforms and shouts of “Are you up yet?” and “Who’s in the bathroom?”
Once my Husband leaves for work (or escapes, depending on your point of view) it’s a case of herding our two sons towards the general direction of the front door for school.
During all this, I’m thinking about what writing I have to do for the day, whether it’s a guest post, novel writing or a new brief for coming up with verses or captions for greetings cards.
As soon as the boys are off to school, I’m like a poor woman’s Jessica Ennis-Hill, dashing around to grab my notebook, pens and general writing bits and pieces. Then I head off to a coffee shop to write.
I’ve tried writing at home and it’s painful. The lure of Twitter, Facebook and the inevitable housework has a tendency to drain my life force. I find I’m more productive with a latte, noise and music.
I’ll get down on paper as much as I possibly can and then I’ll head home and edit my scribbles on the PC. If I find I’m struggling, I’ll also try to squeeze in a half hour walk to clear my head before I go back.
Back at home with the radio on, I’ll grab some lunch and again, try to ignore Twitter – this resolve lasts for approx five minutes.
I’ll also stick laundry on and fit in any other odds and ends that need doing (usually grumbling about them as I do so.)
The early part of the afternoon tends to be a combination of social media (see, no resolve when it comes to Twitter) checking my e-mails and knocking whatever I’ve written into (hopefully) some coherent form. That’s when I’m not Googling Richard Armitage or Bradley Cooper (that’s not a euphemism).
Mid-afternoon hits quicker than five Espresso shots and the post apocalypse begins in earnest – in other words, the end of the school day.
In between furnishing my younger son with a snack and assisting with homework, I try to polish what I’ve written and jot down further ideas.
An hour later, my elder son arrives home and the melee continues with more snacks and homework or revision. It’s a bit like Groundhog Day.
I thought writing contemporary romance was tricky – or at least I did until I was confronted with assisting my eldest with revision for a Science or Maths test.
At this point of the day, I can sense my energy levels starting to dip and make every attempt to enthuse over what to make for dinner.
Unless my Husband has to work late, we normally manage to sit down together as a family for meal time. Well, when I say all sit down, this can take a few minutes to choreograph, thanks to electronic devices and yells of “I’m just saving this game” or “If I quit now, I’ll be penalised.”
Once dinner is over and feels a distant memory, I’ll check Twitter (yes, again) look at my Inbox and have another read through of what I wrote that day. I’ll also try and get to a point where I know I can start from the next day or scribble a prompt. This takes the form of some silly note which I’m sure even James Bond wouldn’t be able to decipher.
Chocolate and tea are a legal requirement at this time of the evening.
I crawl into bed about now with the latest book I’m reading.
I’ve always got a novel on the go and can’t imagine not reading something every day – especially at bedtime.
Even though I’m normally so tired that a two hour thrash metal concert wouldn’t wake me, I still like to read before I go to sleep. Often my mind is still running through ideas or dialogue for my writing and reading someone else’s work is relaxing.
There’s nothing else I would want to do, except write. After all, spending your days day-dreaming isn’t so bad!
A big thank you to the lovely Rachel for allowing me to rant on her fab website! X