Today I am delighted to be the next stop on the blog tour for The Mine by author Antti Tuomainen. For my stop the author has kindly written a post about his writing day. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The Mine is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.
My Writing Day by Antti Tuomainen
There’s a quote from Somerset Maugham that I swear by these days. He was asked if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
The above is one of the best and most useful things I’ve learned in all my years as a professional writer: that sitting down precedes inspiration, and not the other way around as is surprisingly commonly thought. I’ve learned this through experience. I have been earning my living as a writer for twenty years. I’ve been an advertising copywriter for twelve years, I’ve done journalism, tried my had at script writing and have published six novels and a number of short stories. What I’ve learned in all these years is actually something I put to use every working/writing day.
I’m very fond of routine. I get up, have breakfast, walk through central Helsinki to my office, deal with daily affairs (email, social media, phone calls) for an hour or an hour and a half, turn it all off. I write on my computer for about two hours, have lunch (preferably at the office), then work another two or so hours until I achieve my daily word count which is somewhere between 350 and 1000 words depending on where I am in the book and how it is going. Then it’s daily affairs again for an hour or so and I’m off to spend time with family and friends.
The above routine is something I would like to keep seven days a week when working on a novel. But of course I can’t. I’ve been a full time writer now for approximately four years and have learned that this business of being a writer has only partly to do with the physical act of writing. As I’ve been very fortunate to have some success both in Finland and internationally (I have been published in 28 countries altogether) I’ve found that a great deal of time goes into travel (book fairs, festivals, promotional activities etc.) and to all kinds of promoting, marketing, interviews and appearances both here in Finland and abroad.
Also, I’m an entrepreneur. This means that this is a business too, and there are demands of that as well. I’m very fortunate to be in this position and very grateful, but I would have been quite surprised if someone had told me years ago when I was working as an advertising copywriter and writing my first two novels while working, that as a full time writer you will be equally challenged for time, just in a different way.
So I write when I can and truly enjoy the days completely devoted to writing. I’ve also learned to trust the Somerset Maugham method. (He probably doesn’t mind me calling it his method.) I’ve learned that there will be bad days but that they are just that – days. They pass, and when I stay in the seat and in the book, I will finally get it written.
With that in mind – here I go again…