I currently spend half my year doing consultancy work, and half the year writing books. When it's the part of the year I'm doing consulting work, I focus on the marketing side, rather than write. When I do get to write though, I treat my day as I would if I was with clients, working the same hours. As tempting as it can be to have a lie-in, I'm always up by 8a.m. - my cat wouldn't let me sleep in, anyway, as she wants feeding!
I spend the first few hours in the morning catching up on emails and social media stuff, as well as ticking off all the things that I would never want to usually do. It's amazing how appealing cleaning the oven can be when you have a book to write! Once I have no more distractions, I settle down to write for the day. I don't have word targets for the day - sometimes I write a mere 50 words, other days I write 5,000 words.
I write the first draft straight on to my computer - I used to write it by hand but then deciphering my awful handwriting got too hard - and I never go back and look at the first draft until it's completely finished.
Once a week I try and meet a friend for lunch in central London so I'm not stuck in the house all day. I always switch off for an hour at lunchtime when I'm at home, treating myself to an episode of something on Netflix or a few chapters of the book I'm reading. I won't read chick lit books as I don't want them to accidentally influence my book in any way - I tend to read non-fiction, crime thrillers or YA dystopian books whilst I am writing.
I'm definitely most productive after lunch, and I'll join in and do "word races" on Twitter against other authors. It's a great way to knuckle down and crank out some words. A word race is basically a competition between authors where we see who can write the most words in an hour - it's highly motivating, plus it's great to chat to other authors.
I make sure I'm finished by 6pm so I can enjoy the evenings with my boyfriend, but the last thing I do before I finish work for the day is to adjust my writing plan to make sure I'm on track. I have two documents that I work from - one is a monthly timeline that has real-life events on one side (Kept and Lost take place in 2007 and 2008, as does Geli Voyante's Hot or Not); plot points are on the other side. I also have a document which has a one-sentence outline for the next ten chapters I'm working on. This is always evolving as I find that my characters can often take me off in an unexpected direction!
I definitely prefer my writing days to my consultancy days, but the consultancy days make it possible for me to take the time off to write. As an indie author, I don't earn that much money - scarily, the median annual income of all writers in 2013 was £4,000 - but, I write for the love of it, not the money! Maybe one day I'll get to write all year round - that would be lovely!
Here's my review of Lost by Elle Field
"I'm starting to realise that age is just a number, but Tabitha pointed out I'm only saying that because I'm twenty-five, engaged, and have my life together. (Touch wood things stay that way.)"
Arielle is back! OK, she's not on her way to becoming the next Coco Chanel, her childhood dream, but she is one way step closer to running her very own shop with her business partner, Felicity. She's also planning her perfect romantic wedding to fiancé, Piers, and Arielle is starting to believe that she's finally found her place in the world... Of course life is never that straightforward. With a new-found foe interfering with her shop decisions, not to mention haughty wedding planners and loved ones facing personal struggles, will Arielle figure out what's important before all is lost?
Lost is the second book in the delightful Arielle Lockley chick lit series following on from the number 1 best seller, Kept which was long listed in the Best Romantic Comedy Category Spa Book Awards, 2013.
Arielle was floundering a fair bit when we met her in the first book but it feels like she has very much found herself in this instalment. She is now Tabitha's business partner and very focused on making a success of it all. They need a new, fresh location for the shop and Arielle is feeling the pressure to find the perfect spot. Things don't go to plan though and Arielle has to overcome several obstacles in order to get the shop open. Along the way she makes new friends and acquires new pets. The one constant in her life is her fiance Piers. He supports her in everything she wants to do and she doesn't want to depend on him financially forever. They are in the middle of planning their wedding but Piers becomes quite distracted and tired; Arielle is so busy with the business that she doesn't fully take on board that Piers is not right. Just as she is getting one part of her life in order; other parts seem to be going wrong.
Elle Field has created such a lovely character in Arielle Lockley . She could be quite easy to dislike as she seems to have it all but she is also very humble. I like that she wants to do well and prove herself. She is warm and funny and extremely loyal to those she loves.
Elle Field has written a very entertaining book with some serious undertones. The author leaves the reader on a real cliff edge at the very end which is a fantastic idea as it has made me desperate the read the next in the series. Lost is a great read within the chick lit genre and will appeal to many readers. Elle Field's writing style is witty, open and warm and I can't wait to see what she has in store for Arielle next.
Lost is available now! Elle Field also has a fantastic competition to win a £15 Amazon voucher, to enter simply follow the link below: