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Writing historical fiction: sometime journal of a New York City novelist

my writing schedule

I am inspired to write this by a post on the Girlfriends Book Club where 18 writers tell how they write. Link is left!

I generally am asleep by midnight (trying not to think of all the things I did not do that day!) and up by 8:00. I stumble to the keyboard with coffee and try not to answer more than a few e-mails before I start. If I can work until 1:00 that's great. Sometimes I work much later, then again sometimes in the evening. I try to break the writing by some brief yoga/meditation or a walk, otherwise I get tense. In the time in the afternoon which remains, I walk, or do errands, or do pr, or catch up on e-mail, or go to yoga or Italian lessons. Now and then I do more than surface cleaning.

Books seem to take a long time to write. It's sort of like excavating for me, and sometimes I find I am excavating in the wrong place. The quickest books I ever wrote took nine months each: THE PLAYERS and MARRYING MOZART. The longest was CLAUDE & CAMILLE which took five years because I couldn't find the central story. I have spent a lot of time on books that still remain unfinished.

I am currently working on two novels: the major one and the one I turn to when I need a break from that. I wish I had 10 hours a day of creativity in me but that is very rare and I can't do much after that. I am a literary beached whale.

And once in a great while I update this blog or my other blog Everyday Lives of the French Impressionists (link on left column home page of this blog.) Every day is about 20 hrs too short to complete my to-do list and I should be used to this by now.

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