Thursday, November 20, 2014

Author Guest Post by Elizabeth Reyes

Topic suggestion - Reflect on a day and life of a writer

Reflection on a day and life of a writer. I'll just change that to ... life of THIS writer. Because while all writers have many things in common our day to day lives differ in many ways.

I consider myself extremely lucky to be living my dream. I do what I LOVE for a living.  I write. I almost don't want to give you a sneak peek of my life because I'm afraid you might hate me. But alas it's not all rainbows and unicorns so I'll share the good with the bad. Although admittedly I try to be more of a glass is half full type of person so it's mostly rainbows and unicorns.

On a typical day where nothing out of the ordinary is going on. No releases, no signings or phone calls with agent or publishers etc. Just your typical day of no plans other than to write. I usually start off by waking at around 3 am. Not because I'm that devoted to my passion but because I've always had a mild to severe insomnia. Like my ENTIRE life. I can't be mad because it's where I sincerely think my love for storytelling and reading began.  Some nights I'd stay up reading or telling myself a story in my head until about two or three. Other nights I'd fall asleep and wake around two or three and be up until four, five or even six in the morning! It was brutal particularly when I had to be in school or work early in the morning. So now that I don't have to clock in it makes life much easier. But the insomnia hasn't lessened.

The sad part is my mind is not fully awake at that hour. I'm still very groggy so I can't write. I don't even want to get out of bed. I either read or give into one of my other guilty pleasures and play Candy Crush or one of my other several online games I'm addicted to. So the start of my day varies if I actually slept through the night I'll be up as early as six or seven go get my coffee and cookies or toast. Come back to my cave which is just a few feet away from my bed and start the day.

First I go through all my email. I catch up on my social media.  Check in with my author group and my street team. I let my "assistant" know if anything needs to go out, ordered, signed up for etc. Finally when I'm done with all that I'd like to say I turn it all off and just write but I'm just not disciplined for that. I do make a conscious decision that "It's time to write" and dive into it but I'm constantly stopping to check my tweets, FB updates, emails etc. Some days however because every day is different.  I can knock out  anywhere from 5 -15k words before I realize "Holy shit I've written this much!" It just depends on what part of the story I'm at. If it's a particularly juicy part that is basically writing itself despite my protests "No! She can't do that! OMG! What is she thinking!" I can't stop. I have to keep looking at the train wreck and before you know it I wrote a BIG chunk of the story and managed to stay off the internet long enough to do it.

For the most part all this happens in my sleep clothes. In the summer it means I'm usually wearing pajama shorts or yoga pants and a loose t-shirt minus the bra. ALWAYS minus the bra unless I have to leave the house at which the bra flies off as soon as I walk back in the door. In the winter because I live in particular frigid part of California I'm in my warm PJ's and fuzzy slippers ALL day. This has been cause for some embarrassing moments when I've had UPS or sales people come to the door and I have no choice but to greet them at 2 in the afternoon in full on pajamas. I've sheepishly signed many a packages muttering something to the likes of "I uh... I work for from home."

I'm always plotting.


It never stops. I could be outside watering my grass, taking a shower, making dinner, even sitting in the hot tub holding a glass a wine on a romantic Friday night with my hubby and my mind is still thinking about that next scene I'll be writing tomorrow. Sorry, babe! =/

My day or writing usually ends when I finally call it a night. Sometimes that's as early as five others it could be nine or ten. It just depends on where in the story I am and if I can pull myself away from it and call it quits for the day.

Now for the not so good parts of being a writer. I think for the most part I'm over these but some things you NEVER get over.


The bad reviews. I remember once up on a time, in the very beginning where I let a bad review ruin my entire day. You have to understand when I first started this I had no intentions of this becoming a career. I was just curious to see what others thought of my book. Something that for years I kept SO secret. NO ONE knew I was writing. I didn't talk about it to anyone and suddenly it's out there for everyone and ANYONE to take a stab at it. I naively thought if they don't like it they just won't say anything. It's what I would do! Lol So I ventured into writing my next book (which in the beginning I hadn't even planned on writing more than my first) I'd read my reviews for my first book religiously and it would affect my writing mojo so bad I'd call it a day early because all I could think about was the negative comments about my writing, story-telling skills or lack thereof, etc. But I've since gotten over them. After gosh 15 books now I've accepted I will never please EVERYONE. I've even learned to laugh at some of the bad reviews. I won't lie some of the particular hateful ones still sting a little but I try to stay away from ever reading those. Because  if you do, let me tell you, this brings me to the next not so good part of being a writer.


Self doubt. This little bitch STILL sits on my shoulder shaking her head making faces and stupid little "Pfft!" noises as I write. She used to be real loud and obnoxiously and I'd let her and then delete entire chapters or scenes based on her bitter comments. Over the years I've gained some control. She still rolls her eyes, crosses her arms in front of her with an attitude and whispers things like "I'm just sayin... it's a risk!" But at least she's not screaming anymore. I've come to the conclusion that I'll never do away with her. She's here to stay. Unfortunately Self Doubt is something that I think every artist in every platform whether its writing, paining, cooking whatever, will ALWAYS deal with even if they can keep her down to a annoying whisper "Just sayin! You could still tweak it some more!" In a way it's a good thing. She keeps me grounded. But there's not need to feed her and help make her louder. Reading those damn bad reviews and or negative comments will do just that so don't!

Back to the good part of a day in my life. The escape of immersing myself into a completely different world where I get to call all  the shots. Reading, emails, comments messages from readers who really got it and loved it.  Hearing the enthusiasm of my loyal readers and my street team. Geez who knew I'd have a group of amazing women from all over the world discussing my books, my characters etc. It's still so surreal to me! It makes it all worthwhile. So while there is a little negative that goes with the overwhelming positive in a day of a writer, I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

Hands down the best job I've had in my life! =D          

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