6:30am  Alarm. Affect responsible motherly tone and call to see if child is up.  She has already showered, dressed, made her own breakfast and straightened her hair. Set alarm clock on doze.

7:30  Coffee, emails, facebook, shower. Retrieve yesterday’s clothes from chair.

8.00  Walk dogs. Intend to think about plot of latest book but send amusing texts instead.

10.00 More coffee, emails, this and that, cherry-pick infinite To Do list. Try to remember which e-mails have slipped through cracks. Check Amazon ranking. Have anxiety attack.

10:50-10.59  Watch vast pile of bills and correspondence teetering dangerously on desk. Succumb to existential despair.

11.00  Breakfast. More e-mail. Peek at To Do list. Bemoan lack of friends who understand feelings of desperation.

11.20  Open desktop file of most recent book. Close again immediately. Contemplate writing short story. Doze. Remember things that really really had to be done yesterday. Experience sense of urgency alternating with panic.

12:00  Gaze into middle distance. Experience self-loathing at lack of accomplishments so far.

3:00pm  Puzzle over lost three hours. (Blackout? Make doctor’s appointment.)

3:10  Check blog stats. Write short piece for Guardian. Answer twelve Q&As from bloggers and schoolchildren. Get call from BBC about unique chance to engage in lively arts discussion on Rudyard Kipling. Feel quite the intellectual.

3:11  Decline flattering offer due to profound lack of Rudyard Kipling knowledge. Suggest someone with better education.

3:12  Fall into deep depression at general inadequacy. Snack despondently on sugar. Slug whisky out of bottle.

4:00 Reopen desktop file of most recent book.

5.00-8:00 Try to remember why anyone writes for a living. Drink wine. Write morose e-mails to everyone. Ignore family.

9.00 Dribble out 500 words more or less by accident. Vow to start working earlier tomorrow.

11:59. Fall into tormented sleep of the unproductive. Dream about working in advertising, unable to sell product. Awake anxious and sweating. Lie awake till dawn contemplating job change. Digging wells for UNICEF in Burkina Faso?

6.30am. More of same.


22 thoughts on “A Writer’s Day.

  1. bookwitch 7 years ago

    I understand.
    Now, get on with it, woman!

  2. Lynne Harris 7 years ago

    everyone needs a bookwitch in their life

  3. Martine 7 years ago

    yesterday I got up and watched sunrise with daughter then cleaned entire house before making breakfast at 9.15, it felt bloody fantastic and i will live off the memory for months. thank you for disabusing me of my romantic notions about being a writer and I will probably stick with the post lady stuff for the time being, at least I don’t have to check amazon to be sure of some money coming in:-)
    thanks for sharing, made me smile

  4. Lia Keyes 7 years ago

    Thank you so much for this! All to recognizably familiar, but laced with your trademark wit! You gave me a bloody good laugh.

  5. Lari 7 years ago

    As I read this, the thing that crossed my mind, apart from how cleverly written this is, is how glad I am that I’m not alone!

  6. Anande 7 years ago

    This was the best ever. I can so relate.

  7. Max 7 years ago

    Fantastic stuff Meg. Now, what should you have been doing while you wrote that?
    Who is Rudyard Kipling anyway? 😉

  8. Amanda C 7 years ago

    I recognise so much of this and laughed with it all – except my son completely incompetent, comes down seconds before I have to drive him to school (hopeless public transport links) expecting a cooked breakfast. Being a short order chef part of the whole domestic grind of being a writer….

  9. Calum Kerr 7 years ago

    I’m entirely with you on this. Although the whisky seems to enter a little late in the day…

  10. Kate 7 years ago

    Could you send your child over to train mine?

  11. Christina 7 years ago

    OK, when did you install the spy camera in our house? Except it sounds like you got a lot more writing done than I did. And had better booze.

  12. Geraldine Bedell 7 years ago

    Am feeling rather upset that I have not been in receipt of any of the amusing texts recently. Think you should be sending more. We could happily spend all day on it.

    1. Meg Rosoff 7 years ago

      But you’re a serious person with a job. I assume (wrongly, obviously) that you’re busy.

  13. Keely 7 years ago

    I feel so much better about falling back to sleep having watched my son leave for school at 7:15 now! Great post! Now back to work…

  14. John Were 7 years ago

    12-3pm – the same thing happens to me. Missing lunch makes me cross. I wonder if that’s where we find ideas though. They hide in the gaps.

  15. Tabitha Suzuma 7 years ago

    OMG that’s my exact day today you just wrote about! (And at this point in the day I can’t even write a grammatically-correct sentence anymore).

  16. Tabitha Suzuma 7 years ago

    PS – although I usually produce my word-dribble around midnight and then can’t sleep because I’m so stressed I’ve wasted another day.

    1. Meg Rosoff 7 years ago

      Since I wrote this, I’m working again. It does pass, if you don’t shoot yourself in the meantime….

    2. Tabitha Suzuma 7 years ago

      I’m hoping the writing fairy may appear at midnight (she rarely does at all) but yes – it’s the not shooting yourself which is the hardest bit in all this… 🙂

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