A Day in the Life of a (Slightly Demented) Author/Blogger

(An alternate title for this blogpost would be: “Why You should Never trust Book Deadlines from Authors who have Five Children, especially disorganized, chaotic authors – because their books will ALWAYS be Late. Always.”)
A Typical Monday
I get up at 5.30am, which I absolutely hate doing, especially if I’ve only just gone to bed at 2am. I then tackle the toughest task of my day – waking up my 13yr old daughter. She really does sleep like a log and if we ever got robbed, thieves could roll her up in her blanket, carry her out of the house and she still wouldn’t wake up.
6am. I drive my teens to Seminary which is a youth  scripture-study class run by our church. It’s on 5 days a week for every school week of the year.  While they’re in class, I go for a run. Or more aptly, a ‘very brisk walk alternated with a shuffly, jiggly sort of jog.’  I’m terrified of killers and attack dogs, so I usually just go many times round the block or the parking lot. If it’s raining (or if I’m feeling lazy)  then I take my laptop and cram in some writing time.
7am. Back home. Mobilize the troops for breakfast and family prayer, then teenagers take off to catch the school bus while me and the three Terrors attack the house chores. We rush through dishes, floors and lunchbox prep. (My 8yr old son is the fastest, bestest vacuumer in this solar system.)
8.45am. Take the Terrors to school. Stock up on Diet Coke on my way home.  Spend the next hour doing vital life-preserving things like…laundry and shutting the doors to all my children’s bedrooms so I’m not confronted by their chaotic messes.
10am – Write stuff. And eat lots of snacks. I’m sorry to say that I often consume way more Doritos then actual pages written…
1pm – Emails. Update all social media. This can take anything from an hour to two spread out over the day and includes, updating my blog Sleepless in Samoa, Facebook author site, Twitter, Goodreads, skim thru publisher/author blogs that I follow.
2pm – Run work errands eg. Post Office to mail out signed book orders, drop off books to local indie bookstores who stock my book TELESA, that kind of stuff.
3pm – Get the Terrors from school.  Try not to yell at Little Son for losing his shoes AGAIN, playing rugby in the mud AGAIN and ripping his school uniform AGAIN. Try not to freak out when Little Daughter asks, ‘Mum, did you ever like a boy who was older than you at school?’ Try not to crash the car when the 4yr old Beast is having a tantrum because I won’t detour to McDonalds.
4 to 6pm – The part of my day when I wish I could clone myself and have six of me. One to cook dinner and bake cookies .  One to help Little Daughter with her homework. One to test Little Son on his spelling words. One to play with the Beast on the trampoline so she wont stand in the middle of the kitchen bellowing ‘Nobodys playing with me! I got nuffing friends.’  One to drive and get the teenagers from Debate Club and rugby practice. And another one to lie on the bed with earphones on, blasting Eminem and muttering This is not my life. This is not my life. Any minute now,  Im going to open my eyes and be a stunning supermodel in a glorious mansion with Ryan Reynolds cooking me dinner. Oh, and my book would be all written. And at the top of the bestseller list. Any minute now…

7.30pm – Ideally, all small and filthy children will be showered and fed by this time. This usually involves lots of threats/blackmail/coercion/pleading/the muttering of curse words and the drinking of copious amounts of Diet Coke. (By me, not the filthy children.)  Teenagers do dishes and then sneak off to do Very Important Things. Like Facebook . Text their friends that they just said goodbye to a half hour ago. Weights in the gym downstairs.  And supposedly to do homework in the Dens of Darkness that they call their bedrooms…
8pm – I read stories to small and very clean children. And then they are supposed to go to sleep. Ha.
9pm – I read a book on my Kindle. Partly because when you’re a fiction writer, reading a revolting number of novels is called “RESEARCH”. And partly because that’s how I relax and not be too mean to my children.
10pm – I write some more.  The bestest time to write anything, anywhere, anytime is when the house is asleep.
Midnight. Or maybe 1am. Or maybe 2am. Or 3am. – Sleep.
                              **********************************************************
And there you have it. A day in the chaos that is Lani’s life. (So please don’t be mad at me about ‘When Water Burns’ missing its March release date. It’s with my editor and will be ready soon. I promise, with donuts, doritos and Diet Coke on top….) 
In case you’re wondering where the Hot Man is in this scenario – he travels often for work . Leaving the Fabulous Five Children at my mercy. *cue evil witch laughter*.  In spite of my chaotic schedule I’ve managed to finish several books so far. Narrative non-fiction account ‘Pacific Tsunami-Galu Afi’,  the YA Fantasy/RomanceTELESA series, and a short fiction collection ‘Afakasi Woman’  – which are all available on Amazon. If anyone has the secret for cloning one’s self, I would sure appreciate it if you shared it with me because then I could churn out way more books with much fewer headaches. I think…
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20 comments

  1. You are a complete and utter super woman. Compared to your schedule, mine is a walk in the park. All I do is work and watch a heck of a lot of television. And you are so right, the best time to write is in the wee hours of the night when you're blessedly alone 🙂 Can't wait for When Water Burns!

  2. I can't wait until I have teenagers to help me clean. Til then I'm still yelling every single day "The kitchen is not your closet! Wash your dish! Put your shoes away! You lost ANOTHER book?!?! Go see why your brother is crying. Go see why your sister is crying. Now why are you crying!!" LOL Oh gosh, I feel your pain! I don't have a slew of fans waiting on a beloved book series and stalking my every blog. I applaud your strength and pray for your sanity. lol After reading this I feel lazy.

  3. Hi Lan, i dont feel like a super woman and Im sure my children wish I was nicer and spent more time with them rather then on my work stuff. But i think prob everyone is always trying to balance their lives better…

  4. What a crazy schedule! If I ever have a family, I would probably go crazy times ten to the power of 90. I'll probably do what my Dad did and create a chore list for everyone to follow. Even though the youngest never seemed to want to do their chore O.o

  5. Awwwww Lani… You're not partly demented, you are! LOL! But if you weren't, you wouldn't be able to be the Superwoman you are who keeps a household running smooth, and still push out great reading books for your eager demented readers! Would love to donate a case of diet coke and a case of Doritos to the cause! 🙂

  6. You are awesome your life is pretty hectic yet you still manage to write books, take care five children, take them to church at 6am and exercise wow right now I totally look up to you lol. I look forward to reading more of your great books. Laureen

  7. Ha! Great post – between the Editor and the Writer and their chaotic crazy lives, it's a wonder the book gets out at all!! Yours, in solidarity and determination … 😉

  8. You make me feel like a failure. Why dont I ever have enough time. Next time I think I cant…I'll think…"well Lani does all those things in a day…why cant I?" Ant then I'll get everything done and have time to relax. (ideally) In reality…I probably dont get as much done due to the constant fight with the dog to "get that out of your mouth…no dont eat that…come on…stop biting the dressor…I cant play with you now…STOP I NEED THAT HOMEWORK….now I have to print a new one because you ate it…go in the corner…dont bark at me…STOP LICKING MY COMPUTER…I cant walk with you flipping over my feet like that…" and more…ugh…..o well….

  9. You inspire the rest of us in so many ways, namely, your career success (as they say, if Lani can do it ANYONE can do it too..so aim higher and geeeeeeet it lol), and as a mother that the Fab5 is truly blessed with. I just saw the most horrifying video ever on youtube in which a Malaysian woman was beating up her 8 month old baby very harshly..my blood was boiling out of control that not only was I in great tears, but also madly cursing out loud, and wanting to get up and take my anger out on anything like destroying whatever..or any object and pretend it's that woman's face. So you see, not every mother is wonderful like you, and not every child out there is blessed with a super mom like you! I truly hope you do get some down time soon, like a nice vacation with or without the Fab 5 where you can relax for 24 hours straight 🙂

  10. Lani – you truly are awesome!!! I miss you – thanks for being such a great example..and I cannot wait for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc books bahahahahaha…yes supermoms are allowed to miss deadlines 🙂 xxxooo Mona, Mie & Adruen

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