Wednesday, 11 March 2015

A life in a week

Someone made me laugh today when they asked me: ‘So, you are a writer, that’s not really work is it, what do you do all day?’
I thought I’d give a brief rough outline of a ‘normal’ sort of week in the life of this writer. Every writer is different, of course, but we all do writing-related stuff all day – and night. Even when we are asleep the brain is working at writing. Some of us dream our poetry, some dream their stories.

So here’s an outline of a recent week in this writer’s life.

AM - workshopping and discussing poems with a small group of poeting friends. Need to make a few amendments to my poem and I hope I was able to give some helpful criticism too. I also workshopped with the group a list of possible titles for my first collection, which will be published in September. Helpful feedback on this, but still thinking!
PM – met a writer friend for lunch. Handed over the draft of my collection to another writer friend who is reading it over for me. Went to the first birthday party of Leafed Through, Cardigan’s community bookshop. There was cake! And readings from several local rather excellent authors.  There was also a reading in the afternoon at the other independent bookshop in town, Bookends, which I managed to get to as well.

AM - up late, it’s raining so I am going to get on indoors with some admin and fiddling about. I write a new blog for this site and upload it.
PM - I have a long poem that I need to finish editing. I check out a haiku sequence I wrote a while ago after a poetry workshop; and make sure it’s in order to take back to a follow-up workshop next weekend. I email friends to arrange car sharing when we go to yet another writing workshop later this week. I update my account books with latest expenses. I read and critique a poem sent by a friend on email.

Catch up with emails and social media (many writing colleagues and friends on there).
Meeting with publisher about the forthcoming collection (two hours). Poems n Pints, Carmarthen, tonight. I’ll read a few of my poems in the open mic session, so spend some time practising them.

Catching up with some commercial writing work (yes, I have to earn money from writing). This time, I am writing blogs for websites that promote small businesses of all kinds. Garden centres, florists,  double glazing, beauty therapy, solar energy  – I write about it all.  Catch up on some reading this evening the new Blythe Spirit is here (journal of the Haiku Society of Great Britain). Fantastic magazine.

AM - Finish and send off those commercial blogs. Going for coffee at a friend’s house for a catch-up.
PM – off to Aberystwyth for the first in a series of new writing workshops being run by the poet and novelist Katherine Stansfield. I love writing in response to paintings. This is about ceramics!

AM – meeting with friend who is reading my collection draft. She has comments! So I have amendments to do - all morning. Do not disturb.
PM – preparing paperwork for meeting of PENfro Book Festival committee tomorrow ( I am chair this year, so plenty to do).

AM - Chair meeting of PENfro Book Festival committee. The main festival is in September, so it’s time to get the planning going for the weekend of events and to get the competitions set up.
PM – prepare poems to read tonight at The Cellar Bards live literature event in Cardigan. Also, printing off work for a workshop tomorrow. Evening: t The Cellar Bards, Cardigan for the monthly spoken word event.

AM  - Poetry workshop with about 12 others. More work to do
PM – deal with action points from yesterday’s PENfro meeting, many emails to write. Also go over collection draft and make more revisions. Send off to publisher.

Must get more new writing done next week.

Oh, if there are gaps, it is because I do other things, mainly outside in the open air. When you write you have to breathe outside air.


  1. Interesting week ! A clear illustration of a busy writer 's life. Networking, getting publications ready, proof reading other people's work, all this besides driving for hours to get to events~ Writing and thinking ? A time consuming and demanding occupation surely, both physically amd mentally
    and yet. . . you always manage to share your smile . Nice one.

  2. What's outside air please? In fact, what's outside? People don't realise how much time is spent over a computer answering emails or writing blogs etc.