Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Typical day

Kitty asked, "Have you ever done a post on what your typical day looks like?"

Until I read Kitty's question in a response to one of my previous posts, I didn't think I had a "typical day," but the more I think about it, the more I think I do.

Monday through Friday I rise around 8:00. I meet with one or more of my clients to determine their needs and I do whatever needs to be done for them. It may be writing a press release, advertisement, or brochure. It may be selecting and editing material for publication. It may be something else related to those projects, such as contacting a printing company.

Each of my three primary clients has work that is deadline driven. For example, I edit a weekly newsletter, a monthly newspaper, and a bi-monthly magazine. The symphony concerts occur on specific dates and require appropriate advertising/publicity to ensure that people show up at the right place at the right time.

Additionally, I occasionally pick up one-shot projects--a short story for this magazine, a magazine article for that magazine, a Web site for a company. Each of those projects has a deadline.

Then a juggle like crazy to keep all projects on schedule.

In addition to deadline-driven work for clients and deadline-driven assignments from editors, I also write a great deal of fiction on speculation ("on spec" means that I am writing without assignment and with only a hope of future income). I do that in the "down" time between everything else during the week and on weekends and holidays.

The downside of all of this work is that I'm a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. I wind up not giving my family the time and attention they deserve, I don't have wild adventures (scuh as flying off on spur-of-the-moment vacations), and I don't socialize a great deal.


Kevin R. Tipple said...

Do you have time to read for either market research or pleasure?

Michael Bracken said...

It is difficult to separate the reading I do for pleasure, the reading I do for market research, and the reading I do to expand my knowledge.

For example: Newsweek hits the mailbox one day and I've usually read it before the next issue arrives. I gain a knowledge of current events, sometimes pick up a story idea or something I can use in a story, and examine the essay each issue because I intend to submit something to that column someday.

It's a similar process with with Smithsonian, but it's so well-written that I read it as much for pleasure as for any of the other reasons. And I have submitted material to the magazine.

I also read the crime fiction best of year anthologies. I read them for pleasure, but I also get a compact overview of the crime fiction market that introduces me to new writers and to new markets.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Okay, so do you ever read just for the fun of it? In my case, one of the Mack Bolan series works for me in that it is the written version of a Steven Seagall movie. Totally mindless and completely empty but when I finish, I'm ready to get back into the other stuff.

Michael Bracken said...

I'm not sure I can. Even when I intend to read for pleasure--for example, I've been burning my way through a stack of paperbacks from Hard Case Crime recently--I find myself thinking, "Could I write this?"