A few weeks ago, I asked not for suggestions on topics, but more in the area of feedback on categories that I post about here at DEAD GUY. I asked for said feedback to be posted at the DEAD GUY Facebook page as a clever way of steering loyal (and even disloyal) readers there, and because I do wonder sometimes what those who visit each week are hoping to see here.
What I got, of course, were suggestions for future posts, which were made here and not at the Facebook page. I truly do need to work on my clarity.
Nonetheless. Since one of the few topics suggested more than once was a look at the average day of the fairly average author (as far as I know; I rarely watch other authors during an average day and have no point of reference), I thought I would take a look at that idea today. I truly do want to give readers here what they come here to see... up to a point.
So let's see what the average day (not spent teaching, which is a whole other day) is like, shall we?
7 a.m. (or thereabouts): stumble out of bed vowing to work through the day, go downstairs and look at the overnight emails. This consists mostly of deleting spam. About 1% of the email you get overnight is relevant to your life. This practice is followed by going through a scan of the daily web sites, which includes seeing what
Garry Trudeau has thought up today, how things are going in Major League Baseball, who the guest on The Daily Show might be tonight, and whether or not my daughter is available for a Facebook chat. (She comes home in 12 days, but am I counting?)
7:30 (all times approximates, just to save us the trouble): Check the bank statement to see what I've foolishly bought in the past 24 hours. Sometimes I forget. Also a quick check on Chance of a Ghost to see whether I can afford what I've bought in the past 24 hours. Of course, check in on DEAD GUY and the DEAD GUY Facebook page.
7:45: The New York Times. Yes, an actual tree-killing newspaper. Delivered to my home, every day. This is not a page-by-page read because it gets too depressing or infuriating depending on the day. Also because a full read would take me into somewhere around noon. Scan headlines, read articles that interest. Definitely check sports (during baseball season), the Arts (all the time) and the business section on Mondays (media and publishing).
8:15: The New York Times
crossword puzzle. Do not try to contact me then. And as the week goes on, the time spent on it will only increase. After finishing, check with Rex Parker to see whether he and I agree on the puzzle (we usually don't, because he is infinitely better at it than I am).
Let's say 8:45: Exercise with the Wii. This is considerably more arduous than you think, so wipe that giggle out of your mouth. I use a fairly strenuous program, especially for someone as massively uninterested in exercise as I am. Also spend this time listening to music, because listening to a computer-generated "trainer" tell you what to do is an intolerable activity for anyone with a functioning neurological system.
9:45: Shower (believe me, you want me to) and change clothes.
10:15: Respond to emails, particularly business related ones. If there's a newspaper assignment, make phone calls. If not, don't.
10:30: Rouse son from sleep. This is not time-consuming (for me).
10:31: Usually there's some teaching stuff to do, like grading papers or preparing for this week's classes. If not, think about writing. Don't write.
Noon: Lunch. Usually spent while flipping around channels to see if TCM has a really weird "classic" movie on or if MLB Network is counting down the 9 best lefthanded relievers whose names begin with an "L." (I hold out hope for Sparky Lyle.)
12:30 p.m.: Give serious consideration to a nap. More likely, watch a
TED Talk. And fall asleep for 15 minutes. Not because the talk is boring; it isn't.
12:45: First time checking for mail today. Find none (the mail comes every day between 2:30 and 3 p.m., and you'd think I'd allow for that--I don't). If there are telephone interviews to do for a newspaper article, do them. (Time on this is flexible, like if the phone rings at anytime during the day.)
12:45 and 30 seconds: Read over what I wrote yesterday, decide it isn't as bad as I thought, and do a little editing.
1:30: Look for daughter on Facebook again. This leads to Internet procrastination. When not actually trying to lose weight, it's possible a snack will be involved. If there is a newspaper deadline, write newspaper article.
3:00: Write beyond yesterday's installment. Probably not very much. Procrastination is so much easier when you think you have time. Read mail, which has arrived. Throw out 95 percent of it.
4:00: Get out guitar by way of "clearing my head." Play as long as nobody can hear me, possibly with headphones on, listening to real musicians and pretending I'm 1/30th as good as them.
5:15: Greet wife at door. Discuss dinner, Decide who will prepare it. Watch wife go out for a run, to show off that she cares more about exercise than I do (but then, who doesn't?).
6:00 Prepare dinner, unless wife has lost argument. Wife never loses argument, but sometimes wants to prepare dinner anyway.
7:00: Dinner with wife and son, unless son is working.
7:30: Watch last night's
Daily Show. Laugh uproariously. Possibly check out other television or Netflix movie. If during baseball season, check in on game.
10:00: Get serious about writing 1000 words. Actually write 1000 words.
10:30: Say goodnight to wife, promise to be up in "five minutes."
11:30: Head upstairs vowing to work all the way through tomorrow. After exercising.
7:00 a.m. Repeat.