YA Author Katy Cannon Describes Her Typical Working Day
Monday, 30 November -0001
Posted On 2015-02-06 10:08:35 |  Last Update 2015-02-06 10:09:51 |  Read 2634 times | 0 Comments

Author of Secret Schemes & Sewing Machines, much-awaited sequel to Love, Lies & Lemon Pies, Katy Cannon describes the typical working day in the life of a successful author.

Part of the fun about being a writer is that no two days are really ever the same. One day I could be writing about a sewing club in a British school, the next deciding to work on an adventure story set in a rainforest. I can go from giving a talk at a school or literary festival, to checking proof copies of my book in minute detail in the hope of catching every last error (never managed it yet) straight on to fiddling with my website to try and get rid of bugs. Very occasionally there are exciting research trips or nice lunches with my editor.

But mostly, because I like to finish books and I also like to get paid, my days go like this:

9am Make cup of tea. Take tea into study. (My study is at the very front of my house and used to be the garage. It is freezing in winter and boiling in summer. I keep a supply of zip up tops and blankets in there.) There will be plenty more tea during the morning, to fuel the creative fires.

9.10 Check email, Facebook, twitter and such, because I know I won’t get anything done until I have. I’m hopeless. But at least once my inbox is clear I can concentrate! Next up, I check my list. I’m a dedicated list maker, so I always have an up to date idea of what needs doing that day.

9.30  Actually start work. This is the fun bit – where I get to make stuff up. Usually, if I’m working on a new book, this is when I write it. I’m at my creative best in the mornings, for some reason, so I try to get as much creative stuff done as possible first thing. When I’m on a tight deadline, I’ll often get up as early as 5am to write for a couple of hours before the rest of the house is even awake.

If I’m not writing during the morning, it’s usually because I’m editing, or revising a book. Sometimes it’s because I’m doing the really exciting work – coming up with new ideas and stories! Whatever the job, it’s usually creative in the mornings.

12.00 Stop for lunch. Because a hungry writer is a cranky writer.

12.45 Get back to work. I’m much less productive in the afternoons, especially if I’ve been up since 5am! Unless I’m on a deadline and so writing manically every moment of the day, I try to keep my afternoons for less creative stuff. This is when I check proofs, deal with emails, update my website, do my accounts, catch up on filing, do copy edits, write blogs, make plans and schedules and that sort of thing.

Sometimes, if I’m working on two books at once, I’ll write in the morning on one, then edit the other in the afternoon, but I prefer it when I can concentrate on one book at a time. If I’m lucky, and up to date on everything else, I get to read and write reviews, which always feels like having an afternoon off! Before I finish for the afternoon, I write my to do list for the next working day.

15.00 Stop work. It’s time to go collect my daughter from school – and at that point, there’s definitely no more work happening until she’s in bed! If I haven’t managed to get everything done during the day, I’ll sometimes work in the evenings too, but I know it takes me far longer to get anything done by that time of day so often I’ll just get an early night and set the alarm for super early the next day!

-Katy Cannon
Contact me at @KatyJoCannon

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