Question 1: Please explain your daily routine, how you revise, how you balance professional demands (deadlines etc) with creative/artistic satisfaction.
Answer: I am still looking for the answer!! I got serious about writing in 1992. I had my first book published in 1996. I quit my day job in 2002, and started supporting my family only with income from writing and speaking.
It’s been hard. Way harder than I thought it would be. But maybe that’s good, because it has helped me develop pretty decent work habits.
My daily routine over the years has ebbed and flowed depending on how many kids were living at home, how many parents we were taking care of, whether I was divorced or married, where I lived, and how many weeks/year I was on the road. Right now my routine is fairly simple. I wake up around 5am. Two days a week I spend the morning taking my father to the gym and breakfast, then doing chores and errands for him. The other mornings I try to get out to my writing cottage by 6am. Right now I am working very hard on my new YA, so I write as long as I can, usually until dinner time. I’m bummed because I haven’t had as much time as I’d like for running or gardening this summer, but I really want to get this finished ASAP.
The creative/artistic satisfaction is still there, even though the burden of producing can sometimes feel overwhelming. I wouldn’t be able to work this hard if it were not for the moments of magic, the times when I lost myself in the story and surfaced an hour or four later, without a clear memory of having typed the last ten pages. The satisfaction is enhanced when I get feedback from readers who connect with the story the same way I did when I was writing it.
The revision process? That’s an answer for another day!