This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Cathy Bramley writes books at speed. Just this year we’ve had Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall and, this month, her latest paperback release, Conditional Love. But what does Cathy do when she’s not writing? We asked. (We’re nosey like that.)
by Cathy Bramley
I often get asked in Q&As and blog posts about my writing routine: do I write every day, what time of day do I prefer to work, where I write etc. and it struck me this morning as I looked at my to-do list that I rarely share what I do when I’m not writing.
By ‘writing’ I mean being immersed in the first draft of a new book. For me this is a frenetic, intense time when I wear a permanently dazed expression and am often to be found muttering dialogue between two characters at mealtimes. In this stage I have a very strict routine, set word counts for myself and am usually working to a deadline set by my publisher.
But once I have delivered the manuscript to my editor that routine falls away and whilst I’m still usually very busy, there is a less crazy look to my hair /outfits /desk /entire house and my workload looks different too.
Yesterday I had a meeting with my editor, publicist and marketing person at Transworld and have come away with lots of urgent jobs which need doing. Today’s varied tasks include:
Tweaking the synopsis for my next novel and sending it to my agent and editor
Compiling a list of bloggers for the Conditional Love blog tour
Re-reading Wickham Hall Part Four in readiness for…
Planning an extra scene for Wickham Hall to be included in an exclusive edition for a major supermarket. (And writing it will be tomorrow’s job)
Writing a blog post for Novelicious (phew – nearly ticked that one off the list!)
Taking pictures for social media of the amazing Biscuiteers’ biscuits which have just arrived and are decorated with my book covers.
As well as the writerly-type tasks above, as an author, I’m self-employed and need to keep records of expenditure for my accountant. When I’m writing a first draft or even ploughing my way through the edits, I’m totally rubbish at sorting out finances and prefer to leave it until things are ‘quiet’. Anything to do with tax returns and bills is my least favourite job but I usually try and do something sensible when I’m not writing like sticking receipts in an envelope and remembering to pay myself my expenses for the last six months!
And then of course, there’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I have made some wonderful friends on social media who I’ve since managed to meet in real life: readers, bloggers and other authors. Not only is this fun, but I feel very honoured when someone contacts me to say that one of my books has resonated with them and like to respond as soon as I can to comments. I try to spend some time every day tweeting, sharing and talking to others on social media; it makes up for those crazy ‘first-draft’ weeks and months when I can barely string a sentence together unless it’s via a keyboard!