Questions from the email:
“Do you have any tips, advice, or just stories about what the day to day life is like?”
I’m going to break this down into several posts, starting with what my daily life looks like. So another year has gone by and I’ve found that my daily routine has changed a lot this year from last. Now, granted, this schedule adjusts every day. I have a dedicated office at home, with an expansive library (8 floor-to-ceiling shelves that I reference daily), but I work all over the house. My assistant has her own office she works from here, and we have a room where we meet as a full team (4-6 people, depending on the day) to do analyst work and work off a white board.
8:00 AM – I go through emails and look at what I have to do for the day. I sometimes reach out to clients, my team, or tie up other loose threads. I spend about an hour on just business, and most of that is emails, but approving time sheets, resolving office issues, and ordering supplies and research material is also part of this.
9:00 AM – I start on my work for the day, with whatever focus I have.
10:00 AM – If it’s one of the days I have an analysis, we start the movie at 10.
Noon – I make myself take a break for lunch. Sometimes this gets delayed until 2 PM because I’m bad at stopping in the middle of projects. If I’m working on an analysis, we eat as we watch the movie. I take about an hour. During lunch, which is usually yummy leftovers I’m reheating or a quick meal I throw together, I watch an episode of something I am currently analyzing and take notes. For me, this is really good down time.
1 PM – Back to my daily project.
6:00 PM – I check emails again and respond to anything I’ve missed.
7:00 PM and onward – I watch about 2-3 movies a week in the evening to analyze on my own, often complementing what I do on the Tues/Fri research or something else I am looking into. I love finding patterns and how stories fit together, so sometimes this will be really odd pairings. When my husband isn’t busy with work, we spend time together.
Weekly, I have set schedules as well.
Monday: schedule for the week and catch up for what I missed this weekend. I check RT scores for new movies and see what is new in the publishing world. I also check in on the news (I often keep track daily) and take note of any articles that need to be added to my library to be used in the future. I also have a meeting with my assistant to go over our priorities for the week and check in with the Writer Therapy office manager to see if I’ve missed anything. As soon as I am caught up with all things business and office-related, I start working on my project for the week: an edit, writing, or whatever else is on my plate. (This week we are redoing our filing system so we can better track down our information.) I also re-evaluate where I am on projects and how my previous week went and what I need to do to stay on schedule, if anything.
Tuesday: Watch a movie and do an analysis. This can be a movie at the theater or just a movie on my list to research. Watching and doing a Story Cone Analysis can take at least 4 hours, and my assistant does the official write up, which I review, while I write up my own personal notes. After the analysis, I set the rest of my time aside specifically for editing.
Wednesday: Client meetings and phone calls are set up for today, if possible. Editing work is done around this, and I finish up any projects I have due on Friday today.
Thursday: This day I’ve set aside specifically for writing. Sometimes this is the book I am currently working on, and sometimes this is
Friday: same as Tuesday, I watch a movie and do an analysis with my team. I have deadlines on Fridays to send out one edit per week, so I review the edit I finished on Wednesday and send that out. I’ll be honest, because Fridays tend to be my busiest day with meetings and analyst work and I have to verify payment has gone through for the edit, I often don’t get the edit out until 7 PM when my work day has finally calmed down. Since I make sure clients realize that the edit will be in their inbox by midnight MST at the latest, I always make sure I hit that deadline. If the day isn’t a completely crazy day, then I can get the edit off around noon, right before my lunch break.
Saturday: devoted to writing and family, though I usually do a little leftover work today
Sunday: devoted to family
Because I do consider editing my day job, my writing is fit in on the weekends or once my work is done for the day. My client load is consistently heavy. Between those two things, I tend to work about 60-70 hours a week. Last year, I was working 80-100 hours just to stay on top of my growing business, so this year I am able to do things outside of actual editing, which has been a break.
Other things I fit in: listening to books on audiobook/reading (I get through at least 2 books per week), research, business meetings, working with Katie Farmer, reviewing work done by my team, preparing for conferences, presenting at conferences, and phone calls, last-minute fires, Skype consultations with clients, and more.