Heidi Rice :: Day in the Life
Although I’m definitely a seat-of-your-pants writer I have a fairly well-set routine for each work day, mostly dictated by school pick-ups and the endless catering demands of two growing boys.
My husband always gets up first and makes the breakfast, so I don’t have to haul myself downstairs until I can smell the coffee (new men, I love them). Sometimes we attempt to have a proper conversation but it’s usually interrupted by discussions about Disney (teenage son one, who is a House of Mouse nut) or Pokemon (younger son two, who believes my life will not be complete until I have memorised the attack and defence points of all three thousand of his cards). After packed lunches have been sorted, PE kits forgotten and homework hurriedly cobbled together, the boys go off to school and husband goes off to work (if he has a booking for that day, as he is a freelance journalist). If I’m not doing the school run with son two — which involves frantically cycling through the park and trying not to mow anyone down in the school playground — I’ll go straight to my computer.
Firstly, I have to get any film-reviewing commitments out of the way because the deadlines are daily (I review for an Irish Sunday paper). Once that’s done I’ll do a quick email check and try not to get distracted by the current natter-topic on The Pink Heart Society or the MX Authors loop. Then it’s down to my latest story (hopefully before ). I’m a complete pantser and although I’ve started trying to write more chronologically since I got published (instead of in random scenes), I still can’t stop my characters taking over. My third manuscript hit a major snag for just this reason when an Elvis impersonator (not my hero, I might add) popped up and insisted on having a scene. He got the boot eventually, but it meant major revisions, so I’m trying to be more focussed from now on (wish me luck).
Writing stops around so I can cycle to the gym for a swim thus keeping neck-ache, RSI and writer’s butt at bay, hopefully. After the school pick-up I usually spend an hour making snacks for the boys and sorting dinner options before returning to the computer to check what I wrote earlier and maybe get a jump on tomorrow’s film review work. Then there’s the ‘telly-off and do your homework’ argument to enjoy at six before hubby gets home and I can shout ‘ask your father’ instead.
We always sit down together for a family meal at around 7pm (if I’m cooking) or 8pm (if hubby’s doing one of his delicious pasta dishes) and then we’ll watch a movie or do the crossword (I know, it’s sad but having met my husband at Radio Times magazine when we were both journalists, anal word-smithing is one of the things that brought us together). I usually crash by about which my teenage son thinks is shameful but I’ve always been a ten hours a night person or I can’t function. Plus I find dreamtime is the perfect time to conjure up gorgeous new heroes and the heroines to get the best out of them.