This post is an attempt to answer the question “but what do you do all day?” And honestly, it’s a good question. As a (so far) unpublished author, I have no real deadlines to meet, and no real requirements of what I have to be doing. But I have my own personal goals and deadlines that I set for myself, and I do a pretty good job at meeting them, while still being patient and understanding with myself as I adjust to life in a totally new and crazily foreign country.
Of course, none of my days really look the same, but I do have things I like to do every day and things I try to do every day. So I kept track for one day of everything I did. For this experiment, I tried to choose a day that was fairly typical (as in, I was going to track my day last Monday, but then the electricity went out for two days and I thought that wouldn’t really be a fair representation of my life. Then again, the gas went out last night just as I tried to saute some vegetables, so maybe it would have been pretty accurate after all).
So here you have it, a peek at a typical day for me, an American writer living in China:
8 am – I got up, read some scriptures, wrote in my gratitude journal, and put in some contacts.
8:20 – Turned on my computer (it needs a good head start on booting up), put some bread slices in the toaster oven, put in a load of laundry, and buttered my toast.
8:30 – I sat down to breakfast while checking my email and facebook, and reading some blogs.
9:35 – Hung up the wet laundry, took down the laundry that had been hanging and folded it, and tossed in another load.
9:50 – Wrote a blog post.
10:15 – Went for a run in the park.
11:05 – Showered and got ready (finally).
11:30 – Hung up the wet laundry.
11:50 – Took a break reading emails and playing on facebook again.
2:30 – Made lunch and did the dishes.
3:00 – Sat down to eat lunch.
3:15 – Worked on query stuff (basically a cover letter to agents asking them to represent my book) – this includes researching agents, polishing a query letter, getting together the specific package of material each agent is asking for, etc.
6:20 – Looked up some stuff to get ready for the party I was throwing the next night and got organized for that. Tried to start dinner until –
6:50 – Terry called to say some friends had invited us to dinner. So I stopped making dinner (luckily I’d only just started the rice), turned on some Gilmore Girls to watch while he came home, added a book to my kindle and cleaned up the apartment till he got home.
7:10 – Terry got home and we chatted for a bit
7:45 – We left to meet our friends for dinner. Had some yummy Korean BBQ.
10:00 – Ran to the store to pick up a few things we needed.
10:30 – Went home and chatted for a bit more, then went to bed.
That’s roughly 7 hours of things I qualify as actual ‘work’, 2 hours of running my household, 2 hours of personal development stuff, a little under an hour of making food (which is way less than usual), and about 3 hours of play time or hanging out with Terry. Not a bad day.
Although writing it all out makes me feel like you’re missing some things that almost always happen every day – like I usually have to sweep and mop all. the. freaking. time. and I usually have to walk a couple miles to get more groceries, and I can’t believe I didn’t actually sit down to read at all that day. I read every single day, I swear. I was between books that day so it was one of those terrible, awkward times. It’s over now, luckily. I’ll have to try this again sometime, give you a few more samples of what my days are like here so you can get a good picture of it.
Tell me, what do you do all day?