Colleen Houck

“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

Colleen's blog

  • Modern Ink Society- January 2016

    January 25, 2016


    Alexandra Monir

    A Day in the Life of an Author

    Welcome to the twenty-fourth session of



    “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

     — Martin Luther King Jr.


     Her Featured Book is

     Introducing the lovely Alexandra Monir,

    profile pic

    A Day in the Life of an Author

    A lot of people imagine that being an author consists of sitting at a cozy desk overlooking a garden or lake or otherwise picturesque setting, a dreamy smile on your face as you type away in a fit of brilliance. Er, not exactly. The reality involves a lot more staring into space, asking yourself “Um, what happens now?” until you finally figure it out, obsessing over paragraphs and sentences and dialogue, and then running around doing Author Business: emails, marketing, events.
       The truth is, you always feel behind on something. If you’re killing it on your manuscript and hitting your word count goals, chances are you’ve had to neglect some promotional tasks, such as guest blog posts, social media, your newsletter, etc. And if you’re in full-on marketing mode, touring and spreading the word about your latest release, it’s practically a miracle if you can squeeze in any writing. That’s why, during those in-between times when I’m not too close to a deadline or a book release, I try to divide my workday in hourly chunks. So it basically looks something like this:
        First thing in the morning, while I’m still in my PJs, I get out my lap desk and write an hour from bed. Unless I have a morning meeting, this is an absolute must-do ritual for me. No matter how busy the rest of the day gets, having that hour under my belt gives my story some progress and momentum.
        After that, it’s time for my patient doggie to go out! Taking her for a walk is the best when it comes to clearing my head, and also coming up with ideas or solutions on plot and characters. Once we’re back inside and she’s fed and good to go, I sit back at the computer and do an hour of Author Correspondence: responding to any emails that have come in from my editor or agents, and reaching out to them with any questions or ideas I might have on current or upcoming books.
       From here, the day tends to follow a loose hour-by-hour pattern. I’ll spend one hour locked in on my current manuscript, then take a five-minute break to clear my head and segue into an hour of…screenwriting, which is my latest career goal! Then it’s either back to my manuscript, or if I’m in edits on a book, I’ll take care of those. And back and forth again. Before wrapping up for the day and getting ready for my husband to come home from work (a.k.a time to make both myself and the apartment look pretty!) I’ll take another hour to respond to any other emails that have come in and respond to tweets and reader messages.
       Does the idea of switching projects/tasks every hour sound whiplash-y? If so, you are not alone! I know many people who find this kind of schedule a bit nuts—but as a Gemini, I’ve found that constantly switching it up helps keep me energized and excited about my works in progress, and it’s that much harder for me to get complacent.
    Of course, when I’m on a deadline, the schedule looks much more like this: Get up. Work on the same manuscript for 10 hours, with breaks only to walk the dog and eat. And when I’m in Book Release Mode, I’m running around to bookstore signings, festivals, interviews, and might not even see my computer.
    In a way, these ever-changing phases are what make the life of an author exciting. Just when you get used to a long stretch of writing Work B, suddenly it’s time to launch Work A, and your life goes from private to public. Or maybe you’ve come up with an idea for Work C, and it’s time to clear the decks and focus on that. You never quite know how things will unfold, so it’s a constant adventure.
       For all of you writers out there, what is your (somewhat!) daily routine?

    A huge thanks to Kady for sharing a day in the life of an author. If you’d like to learn more about Alexandra you can check her out at

    Also, don’t forget to participate in the ongoing chat with Alexandra and Colleen through the end of this month! Don’t forget, there will be a GIVEAWAY!



    ~Till next time,

    Linda Louise Lotti

    This entry was posted in Featuring Authors, The Modern Ink Society.

    One Response to Modern Ink Society- January 2016

    1. That is awesome. Now I know I’m not alone. I bounce around a lot too splitting up my day into parts. Usually the writing part comes in the afternoon and the email/marketing/meetings come in the morning, which fits in better with the NYC timeline. I know several authors that seem to be able to make time to write on the road but I am way too distracted to write like that. I just can’t wrap my head around a project with noise and chaos. Wish I could! My husband even has to watch sports with the sound off.

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Author Bio

    I’m Linda Louise, one of the bloggers on this website and Colleen’s little sister. I’m just a girl in her mid-thirties who feels thirteen when I play outside with my boys, fifteen when I sing my heart out listening to tunes while driving by myself, and sixty five when I go out past ten at night. I have a thing for junior mints, Mt. Dew, shrimp and kale (though not all at once) and I have a crush on Superman. I still get girlish butterflies when I read Twilight, cry when I read These is My Words, and smile from ear to ear when I read Anne of Green Gables. I have nightmares about aliens on a regular basis and I have a bad habit of midnight snacking. I love everything sports, except golf (although can that honestly be considered a sport??), and I hate anything that slithers, hisses, or stings. I have a problem with giggling at inappropriate moments and I sometimes wish life was a musical. I love science, hate math, love Dr. Seuss, and hate olives. My family is my world and my joys come from their happiness. I’ve learned I don’t know much about anything and I live for a good adventure, naps, cuddles, stories, exceptional food and The Shire.