Monday, 15 June 2015

My Writing Day - Guest Post Julie Shackman


Being a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to structuring my own writing day, I am fascinated by the way other writers work. With that in mind, I decided to ask romcom novelist, Julie Shackman, what her typical writing day is like.

Over to you, Julie.

Is there such a thing as a “typical” writing day for most authors? I would guess not but I generally make an attempt at it!

We have two sons aged 14 and 11, so once I’ve got them off to school, I gather together my notebook and other writing materials and head off to a local coffee shop. I’m one of those authors who finds it really difficult to write at home. There are just too many distractions and I find myself procrastinating like crazy. A coffee shop atmosphere, for me at least, seems to help me be more productive. Other people sitting around me, reading and working, helps me to focus.

I’ll normally sit there with a pot of tea (and sometimes a tasty treat!) for around a couple of hours and write as much as I possibly can in my notebook. Then I’ll head home and type it up on my PC – if I can decipher my hand-writing! In between times, I’ll have a look at Twitter (!) but I’ll make every effort to get as much writing done as I can before the boys get home from school.

I like to try and leave myself a note for the next day, about where I am with my latest novel. If I have a greetings card brief to write and a close deadline for that, I’ll aim to finish that off.

I focus on the boys when they get home from school so once they’re in bed, I like to relax with some reading. I do believe that if you’re not an avid reader, then you can’t be a good writer.

My TBR pile is ever expanding – but that’s another story….!

Thanks for telling us about your writing day, Julie. How would you describe your typical writing day? Let me know in the comments.


Julie is married with two sons and lives in Scotland. She trained as a journalist but writing romance has always been a dream of hers. When she’s not got her head in a book, or drafting one, she writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Her second romcom, "Hero or Zero" is out now. Julie’s debut novel, is called, “Rock My World” and she’s currently polishing her third romcom, which features a well-known historical figure...!

When single mum Chloe Jones wins a magazine competition to have TV heartthrob Ethan Blake live with her for a month, she thinks her dreams have come true. And the presence of the handsome star in her home and small Scottish town certainly causes a stir. But when Chloe begins to see his true colours, will she find the courage to face him, and admit where her heart truly lies? 

You can buy Rock My World here and Hero or Zero here here

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20 comments:

  1. What an interesting post.Thank you, Wendy and Julie. I love reading about how writers structure their days.
    I write at home from about 5am at a cluttered desk in a quiet, but very untidy corner of the living-room, ignoring the chaos around me until four o'clock when my youngest daughter comes home. Then I rush about trying to fit in a day's worth of chores. xxx

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    1. 5am! Did I read that correctly? No wonder you've managed to write a novel, Joanna. Now I know where I've been going wrong.

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  2. Thank you, Julie and Wendy, for a very interesting post. I'm always interested in how writers manage and organise their days for writing. I'm afraid I don't have a regular routine for writing, writing for long stints at times and then leaving gaps of time at others. I need to be much more disciplined, I think.

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    1. I'm like you, Jan. Peaks and troughs!

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  3. I'm a coffee shop writer too, Julie, I'd never get any done if I stayed at home! Lots of luck with your books, Hero or Zero sounds great :o)

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    1. It's surprising how many coffee writers there are. I wonder if I might get more done if I wrote in our local one - lots probably as there's no internet!

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  4. Thank you, Julie and Wendy! It may be a bit nosey but always fascinating to hear of other writers' routines. Have to admit I do like writing in a coffee shop, but always feel a little guilty about taking up a table and end up eating too much cake ...

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    1. I was going to do the coffee shop thing today, Tracy - then changed my mind!

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  5. Much of my writing is speculative, so I try to be disciplined and first do the stuff that I know I'm going to be paid for. From my desk I look out into my garden, which is small but full, so I have a great view. I've never tried the coffee shop routine, but maybe I will, next time I'm stuck for inspiration. One of my friends takes her work into a local cafe-cum-pub and often treats herself to a cheeky mojito to get the creative juices flowing!

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  6. Completely identify with writing at a cafe with pen and paper while drinking and eating, Julie!

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    1. I'm thinking crumbs in the keyboard, Rosemary!

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  7. Always fascinating to learn how other authors work. Like you, Julie, I write the first drafts of my novels in longhand, but the coffee shop venue wouldn't work for me, too many distractions.
    Interesting interview, both. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Interesting that some writers feel home has more distractions and others the coffee shop.

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  8. Thanks Julie and Wendy. I like writing in cafes, and have a couple of favourites nearby where I'm able to slip into the world of my novel. I also like to write using pen and paper with a pot of tea by my side:-).

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    1. I have to write straight onto the computer - I am hopeless with. Pen.

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  9. Thank you for sharing Julie and Wendy. I've got a day job, so squeeze writing wherever I can...Probably why I'm not as productive as I'd like to be, although I do write regularly at the kitchen table on a Sunday evening.
    Beyond that, its laptop in the lounge on a Friday evening. Or cafe writing early morning.
    Reading about the 'coffee shop writers' here, has reminded me that I used to do this on Saturday afternoons for a couple of hours. It was productive time, and I don't know why I stopped.
    Food for thought, perhaps I'll try it again.

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    1. It's something I keep thinking of doing then never get round to it.

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  10. Great work!!!!I always write what I like and what others need. The writing is really my passion and now I considering it as a service because I help the students with the thesis writing service job.

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