Daily Schedule While Writing A Book
A lot of you seem to want to know what my daily schedule is like. I have warned many of you that you do not actually want to know what writers do all day, because with the exception of a rare few of us, such as Sebastian Junger and Danielle Steele, we actually lead lives of exceptional dullness. But most of you seem not to believe me.
So here is the proof:
A typical day for Meg Cabot:
7:13AM—Doorbell rings. It is the exterminator to take care of ant infestation in guest bedroom. Moan and pull covers over head.
8:17AM—Phone rings. It is local newspaper to ask if we want our service transferred to the new house, even though we have called and asked them for this every day for the past two weeks. Cram ear plugs deeper into ears.
8:25AM—Incredibly loud motor revs up on side of house. Stump grinder is here.
Put pillow over head.
9:10AM—Loud footsteps in hallway. It is carpenter to fix roof, which is leaking in office. Open one eye.
9:12AM—Open other eye.
9:13AM—Reach for laptop, check email. 1,834 unread messages. 2 emails from overseas publicists, asking to set up interviews/articles. One says reporter from overseas newspaper will be calling in 15 minutes to ask how parents should speak to their teen daughters about sex. Reply that do not have teen daughter myself, so why are they asking me? Publicist replies reporter was told that and does not care. Is still calling…in ten minutes now.
9:20AM—Get out of bed. Stagger to bathroom. Trip over cat.
9:25AM—Pick out clothes for day. Must not be too binding, as will be writing. Oversize is best.
9:30AM—UK reporter calls. Asks what tips I have for talking to teens about sex. Tell reporter I have no children. I know this, reporter says. What tips do you have anyway? Use a condom, I say. Yes, reporter says. But what else. Watch the same television shows and movies as your teen, and use the ones featuring teen characters who are sexually active as springboards to talk about sex with your teen, such as how teens should use condoms, I say. Read the same books and magazines as your teen, and use the ones featuring teen characters who are sexually active as springboards to talk about sex with your teen, such as how teens should use condoms, I say. Turn off the TV at dinner time and talk about how teens should use condoms, I say. While driving your teen to school or soccer practice, talk about how they should use condoms, I say. If you see a pregnant woman, comment that she wouldn't be pregnant if she used a condom, I say. Mention spermicidal foam as well, I say.
9:31AM—Reporter, sounding freaked out, hangs up. I hope that, in the future, she will use a condom.
9:35AM—Stagger downstairs. Fix cup of tea with milk. Unlike many writers, I do not like coffee.
9:36AM—Pensive view of new pool interrupted by cat head as Gem, the neighborhood beggar cat, appears in window, begging for food.
9:39AM—Grab power bars for breakfast as microwave still back in old, unsold house, so cannot make oatmeal. Go back upstairs. Take bath.
9:45AM—Husband barges into bathroom. Says, “Don't get too comfortable in there. The stump grinder ran over a water pipe. We had to turn off the water and call the city.”
9:46AM—Complete toilette in inch of lukewarm water.
10AM—Finish bath, put on makeup (you never know who might drop by), get back in bed (now transformed to work area), in non-binding writing clothes (yoga pants exceptional for this). Tell cat it's time for work. Cat stays where she is.
10:01AM–Instruct cat that working time means getting in position. Cat remains where she is.
10:02AM–Put on Dan Finnerty's rendition of Genie in a Bottle and sing along, in loudest voice possible. Cat, ears flattened back against her head, tail puffed out, runs under covers into position beneath my knees.
10:05AM—Break for TaB.
10:47AM—Break for more TaB.
11:17AM—Husband comes in, announces new vacation renters in vacation rental next door are sunbathing nude.
11:18AM—Run to only window through which neighbors can be seen, which is by work bed, to see naked couple, sunbathing nakedly.
11:20AM—Return to bed/work.
11:38AM—Husband returns with carpenter to look at neighbors.
11:52AM—Stump grinder operator arrives to join husband and carpenter in looking at neighbors, speculating whether woman's gravity-defying breasts are result of boob job or obscure gravitational weakness located only in backyard of rental house.
12:05PM—Break for lunch. Go outside to ride bike to eatery where we will be having lunch, as there is no lunch food in house. Gem, on the front porch, pretends she did not already eat, begs wildly for food.
12:06PM—Feed Gem again.
12:08PM—Ride into town. Get stuck behind Conch Train.
12:20PM—Dine. Generally on fish. See people we know. Complain about stump grinding incident. Tell them about naked renters.
1:30PM—Return home with friends, who insist on seeing naked neighbors. Gem meets us at porch, begs for food. Ignore her.
1:32PM—Return to room, find carpenter, stump grinder operator, pool boy, gardener, and workers from city water supply looking at naked neighbors through bedroom window.
1:43PM—After everyone has looked at neighbors, announce loudly that I have a book to write and everyone must leave, particularly workers if they want to get paid, as if book isn't finished, check won't come.
1:46PM—Accidentally sit on cat, still under covers.
1:47PM—Feed cat again to make up for sitting on her.
1:50PM—Get back to work.
1:54PM—Break for TaB.
1:55-4:00PM—Work steadily with only short breaks for TaB, looking at neighbors to see if they are still naked, perusal of this week's People magazine, and several email exchanges with editor, agent, and friends. Instruct all not to write to me anymore, as I am working. Finish reading People.
4:00PM—Bike ride around island, or do laps in pool, in order to get 30 minutes of exercise as recommended by US Government (still steadfastly ignoring new advice that 60 minutes is actually optimal).
4:30PM—Watch Everyday Italian on Food Network. Marvel at Giada's unbitten cuticles. Wonder if they are stunt cuticles, or her own.
5:00PM—Back to work, stopping only for TaB and reports on naked neighbors, who have now dressed and gone out to attend sunset cruise, a fact we learned from their unnecessarily loud cell phone conversations.
6:00PM—Look up stuff on the Internet—everything except own reviews—and watch news. Switch to Fresca as caffeinated beverages disrupt sleep if consumed six hours before bedtime, according to US Government health guidelines.
6:30PM—Break for dinner. If eating at home, ask husband what he is cooking. If going out, decide where, get on bike, ride to it. Wonder how many times will have to go to local pizza place before they name a pizza after me like they did for other local YA writer, Judy Blume. Decide probably will never name a pizza after me as do not eat wheat anymore due to it causing me to break out. Also not as famous as Judy Blume. Wonder if they will name a salad after me. Wonder what kind of salad. Think a salad with cheese would be nice.
7:30PM—Return home, or, if dining at home, turn on House Hunters on HGTV.
7:35PM—Marvel at Suzanne Whang's ability to hold arms so still. Rivals only Michael Flatley.
8:00PM—Try to decide over which TV show to watch, as pickings during summer hiatus are slim. Realize much choose between The
Boy Whose Skin Fell Off or I Am My Own Twin, about human chimeras.
8:05PM—Go for the chimeras.
8:37PM—Hear thump on porch. Open door. It is neighbor cat, begging for food. Pet her until mosquitoes start biting me. Go inside.
9:00PM—11:00PM—Finish interrupted bath, read book (this week: Appaloosa by Robert B Parker) while Henrietta stands guard on bath mat, as is her custom.
11:30PM—Check email. 1,974 unread messages. Watch Letterman.
12:30PM–Go to bed.
REPEAT DAILY UNTIL BOOK IS DONE.