I treat writing like I would any other job. That means I keep regular hours, and try to be professional about what I get done for the day or week. Working from home is a privilege but also a responsibility. It's so easy to get distracted.
My typical day goes something like this:
• Grumble at the alarm. Poke the husband to get him out of bed, then drag myself out of bed.
• Feed the cat.
• Get a cup of coffee.
• Sit down to answer emails. Get distracted by shiny things for sale on the internet.
• See husband out the door, then sit down to take advantage of the caffeine surge. I'm a morning person by nature, so often a spark of inspiration will hit first thing and I usually want to grab it before it flits away.
• Type furiously on whatever project is at hand.
• Look up and realize it's 11 am and I haven't showered and the kitchen is a mess. Attempt to remedy those things.
• Get distracted by shiny object.
• Grab more coffee.
• Sit down to write, fighting the urge to surf the internet or chat on Twitter.
• Type furiously for a few minutes.
• Get distracted by fluffy plot bunny in an entirely different project. Firmly push plot bunny off to the side to continue with the main project.
• Leap out of chair and head for a different room. Realize I have no idea why I'm there or what I intended to do and force myself back to the office to write.
• Urge to chat on Twitter wins...spend next few minutes with internet friends.
• Get lost in internet research for new series.
• Look up and realize it's now 4 pm and I have no idea what I'm making for dinner.
• Get distracted by dirt on keyboard.
• Type furiously for a few more minutes until the door opens and husband arrives home from work.
• Order take out since dinner never got made.
• Spend a bit of quality time with husband.
• Wander back to keyboard and type some more.
My writing usually doesn't take place all at once, but the writing day also never really stops. I write when I have an idea, and I write when I don't. I write when the urge hits, and when it doesn't. It's a heck of a job that invades every part of my life. Anything and everything I see is potential material for a story. It often means I suffer from sensory overload and spend a lot of time out in public taking furious notes and muttering to myself. I know I look slightly insane, but such is the price of my art and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Melinda VanLone writes fantasy and science fiction, freelances as a graphic designer, and dabbles in photography. She currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and furbabies. When she's not playing with her imaginary friends you can find her playing World of Warcraft, wandering aimlessly through the streets taking photos, or hovered over coffee in Starbucks.