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A Day in the Life of...

Most people don't realize this right away (but they soon figure it out) but the life of a writer is incredibly busy.

In most cases, particularly for an indie (whether traditionally published or self-published), we have to support ourselves using another base income.  The money from sales adds up to a nice bonus but we learn early on not to bank on it.  Royalties are often staggered to arrive quarterly instead of monthly, and certainly not weekly or bi-weekly like a normal pay cheque, and even then there could be a significant delay between when the book ends up in print to when the first cheque actually arrives, which usually means an author won't see their royalty cheque until the following quarter.

That means a wait of up to six months before the first cheque arrives, even if the statement of royalties owed arrives far sooner than that.  The other thing, too, is that the royalty cheque may be smaller than people expect despite brisk sales.  We certainly do not get what you see on the cover as most of that goes back into printing, distribution and marketing.  (I get approximately $5 USD per sale of any one hardcover of my book.  Some authors, even bestselling authors, can get less than that--but it depends on publisher, and who did the negotiating)

** I use "cheque" here as a blanket statement. Most publishers have entered the digital age and prefer direct deposit, and some are willing to--albeit grudgingly--utilize PayPal as a method to pay authors... but the usual means of pay is through direct deposit or a physical cheque.

Which is why we find other ways to support ourselves, whether that's by still hanging close to the industry or even having work wildly outside of it.  This means we have a work schedule, and a career, we have to focus our attention on outside of the writing (not to say that our work life can't, or doesn't ever, bleed into our writing - it does) in order to keep a roof over our heads.  Depending on the work this can make us busy.

The other thing a writer needs to do is constantly educate ourselves through skills learning, practice, and also in research.  Our hobbies usually end up being part of research, whether we intended them to be or not.

We also might have families - and family obligations.

In my case, I have all of the above plus some.  I'm not the only one, though, so I could hardly call my own case unique.

I have a part-time temp job (to pay the bills) for now, but it could be busier.  My Dad and I are in the middle of setting up a bookstore/bar close to where we live.  The online part of the store is already up and running, so I have inventory and order fulfillment to keep watch over, not to mention the administrative day to day to do.  I'm a part time student working on a degree in business.  I help out, where I can, in babysitting my nephew so his mother can work and help my 80-year-old grandmother as much as I can around the house.

I write, and I'm published which means I also have to fit in a busy schedule of appearances and marketing just so people know that my books even exist.  The same goes for the occasional pieces of artwork that eke their way out a studio.

Somewhere in there, I try to fit in a social life, time to work-out and occasionally sleep.

But I like my life.  I wouldn't mind a few improvements in some places, but there are other aspects I wouldn't give up for the world.  One aspect is temporary(ish) and will hopefully mean that my chosen vocation pays me a bit more, although my life will be one of near constant schooling and improvements.

And, as I said, I'm not the only writer with a life like this.

So, there you have it.  A glimpse into my day-to-day.


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