The Guide to Leading a Double Life

May 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Publishing

I’m in the world of neverending work at the minute. Milway Two Hats is the name, writing this, scribbling that, lost in a mixed up world of mice and yetis. This topsy turvy double life of writer/illustrator warps my brain sometimes, so here’s my guide to dealing with it. If you’ve ever thought about combining your illustrating and writing skills into one package, this is what your average day will be like:

1) Get up in the morning and either pick up a drawing implement or hold your hands above the keyboard. This decision is not always easy. It can be made easier by point 2…

2) Drink one cup of coffee. I’d often suggest following this with another cup if you’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a writing day – that faintly edgy supercharged coffee buzz can really help. When drawing, try and avoid this second cup – that faintly edgy supercharged coffee buzz will make all the characters in your drawings look like Mr Messy.

3) Now do something. This is it, the point where you either type or draw. If you’re drawing, good luck. It’s likely half of your day will be spent rubbing out your work. If you’re writing, half your day will be spent nursing the delete key – or checking your emails.

4) In one of those moments of calm (when the cleanly rubbed out/deleted blank page stares at you) find time to go and make some breakfast. This will likely be left on the plate half eaten – lost to the creative process. This will be the same for lunch, which generally won’t take place until at least halfway through the afternoon.

5) When dinner rears its ugly head and you actually have to go and do something else other than work, take this brief respite to mull over what you might have achieved had you taken the other route back at point 1.

6) After eating, feed the cat so that he stops bothering you and then check the work you have done throughout the day. It’s likely that if you sit down right about now and do another hour’s work, you’ll achieve more than you did throughout the rest of the day. This is because you’ve planned to go out and meet someone, and should currently be elsewhere. The best work always happens when you need to leave the house, or should have left the house.

7) Go to bed, safe in knowledge that tomorrow will happen all over again.

  • This made me laugh out loud!

    Anyone who wants to be a writer or an illustrator should read this.

    I always think that if I didn’t procrastinate as much as I do, I could have written twice as many books as I have by now.

    • I really find that if the will takes you to write at midnight, then you should. And you shouldn’t stop till you’ve had enough. That allows you to procrastinate at 11am the next day!

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