Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Barbara Copperthwaite to the book review café. I just love receiving these posts back from authors as they are all so different, it’s also fascinating to read how varied there days are in terms of writing.
A DAY WITH AUTHOR BARBARA COPPERTHWAITE
One of the many things I love about writing full-time is that there’s no typical day. Having said that, there are certain schedules I do have to stick with. I start my laptop up at about 7am every day. On Tuesdays I like to post on my blog and Facebook page, giving a recommendation for a good book I’ve read in the previous week. Thursdays and Fridays are when I post interviews with fellow authors I admire, while Saturdays are generally for blog posts on what I’ve been up to that week. Writing and laying the posts out can be time-consuming, but I really enjoy it, and find it’s a nice way to start the day. But whether I’m posting or not, every day starts with me checking social media because I like to see what everyone’s been up to on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the many blogs I follow.
After doing that, I’ll have a quick flick through a handful of news media sites (a hangover from my years as a journalist. I can’t start the day without knowing what’s happening in the world. And I can’t simply rely on a single source for that information, as I prefer to see all sides). As well as keeping me up-to-date, the news can often spark an idea for a plot strand, or give me a snippet of information I can use in the future. My laptop’s groaning with the amount of articles I have bookmarks for reference.
By now, it’s 9.30am, so I’ll take my dog, Scamp, for a walk. It gets the blood pumping, kickstarts my brain, and relaxes me, which for some reason means I most often get ideas popping into my head while walking. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been convinced there is no way I can possibly forget such a great idea…only to have done just that by the time I get home. So, to avoid that, I now use a voice recording app on my phone to jot it down. It’s possible I look a bit mad, but I kid myself people will think I’m just talking to someone on the phone rather than to myself…
Back at home, it’s time to crack on with my day’s writing. I’ve got a little writing bureau I bought from a second-hand shop, and it’s my favourite place to work. I’m nature-mad, so it’s surrounding my images of wildlife. There’s a painting of a dragonfly my partner, Paul, did for me; a little pot in the shape of a beehive, complete with bees in which I keep a chocolate or two for emergencies (I have a lot of emergencies), a heart with Queen Bee written on it (a present from one of my sisters), and even the calendar hanging on the wall is photographs of nature. It’s all very relaxing.
I’m quite easily distracted, and often find myself checking emails, or hopping onto Facebook ‘for a minute’ which turns into half an hour, but I recently came up with a cunning plan to improve my time management – and it involves an egg timer! I now set my egg timer for an hour, and during that time I concentrate solely on my writing and research. Only when the timer goes off do I let myself check my emails, and I only reply to those that are urgent. Once that’s done, I take a quick break, make myself a cuppa, do five minutes of yoga stretches or jump around the room to some music, then it’s back to my desk.
There are days when I don’t fancy working at home, though. I’ve a favourite café that is just a couple of minutes’ walk from my home, so a couple of times a week I go there and get inspiration from the people surrounding me. Oh, and the fact the café sells wonderful homemade cakes definitely keeps my writing strength up!
At 5.30pm, I stop writing, and take my dog for another walk. It’s a great full stop to the day and helps me unwind. Back at home, I’ll then reply to Tweets, Facebook comments, emails, etc. I try to finish my day at 7pm – in time for Emmerdale and food.
About author Barbara Copperthwaite
Barbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, and THE DARKEST LIES. Her new book, HER LAST SECRET, was published on Friday 13th October.
Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-plus years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.
You can learn more about the authors books here……Barbara Copperthwaite Books