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A day in the Life of an Author

C.L. Monaghan

Here’s a question I get asked a lot- ‘What do you do all day?’ and no, that’s not just my husband asking. The thing is, for me at least, there is no steadfast pattern or particular formula to my day. I home-educate two rambunctious young teenage boys which means most of my weekday mornings are spent hurling repetitive commands like ‘get out of bed now’, ‘breakfast before tv’, ‘yes, you do have to learn maths’, etc. Then there’s the two dogs, two cats, and two guinea pigs to see to (just call me Doolittle! before I can even think about escaping to my little study and opening my laptop to discover what delights await in my inbox. By this point it is often late morning and I’ve not even had a coffee. So, I’ll ramble downstairs again, carefully avoiding questions about fractions or dinosaurs, grab a drink and head on back up to my sanctuary. If my hubby hasn’t been on a night-shift, I like to begin my official ‘authoring’ by banging out some soppy tunes from my ‘daily inspiration’ playlist whilst focusing on my vision board and congratulating myself on the items I have thus far managed to achieve.

The next thing I tend to look at is emails and social media. I reply to messages and generally faff about for the best part of an hour until I feel like my mind is ready to take on the serious bit of my job… and then I have a nap. 30 minutes later I spring from my reclining electric massage chair (oh yes, it is real) and I’m finally ready for action. Now, what happens next depends entirely on whether or not I’m in the researching, plotting, writing or editing stage of a story. I have to say that my favourite part of the entire process is research. I’m a history major and total geek when it comes to anything past. Sometimes I think I became a writer just so I had a legitimate excuse to spend hours and hours lost in the annals of history.

I’m currently researching the Knight’s Templar for my next project so much of my time is spent reading books, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries and trawling through historical archives online. I have coloured index cards on which I jot down ideas, references etc which end up in a very organised messy pile on my equally organised messy desk which is not a contradiction in any way because I know exactly where everything is.

My most productive time I would say is in the evening, when all creatures great and small have been fed, educated, and generally warned to vacate my personal workspace. I often stay up until the early hours of the morning until my brain forgets what it is meant to be doing and my eyes close of their own accord. Sorry, what was the question again?

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