A Typical Week in the Life of a Novelist

ACFW Authors and writing, Friends of ACFW, Time Management, writing 3 Comments

By Deborah Raney

One of the things I love most about my job is that there is really no such thing as a typical week. My work tasks change from week to week, depending on where I am in the deadline process, and I love the variety and the fact that, unless I’m on a tight deadline, I’m able to rearrange my schedule to fit in lunch with a friend, babysitting our grandkids, or an impromptu day trip with my husband.

Here is a sampling of what an average week might look like when I’m on deadline with a book (but not yet in the final do-nothing-but-write throes of a deadline).


My days begin early, usually before 5 a.m. Morning is my favorite and most productive time of day. I make a cup of coffee and take my laptop to a cozy chair by the fireplace. There I read my morning devotionals, answer e-mail, work on blog posts (like this one!), update my calendar or my website, work on my newsletter, schedule social media posts, balance the checkbook, and a myriad of other little tasks, most of which have to do with the promotional and business facets of being a writer.

Around 6:30, Ken and I might go for a walk or bike ride. If we’re driving more than a few blocks, we’ll have our morning prayers together in the car. If not, we pray and read one chapter of the Bible together when we get home around 7:30. (Over the years, we’ve read through the entire Old and New Testaments together several times.)

After we’re showered and dressed, we make breakfast together, then visit about what’s ahead in each of our days before Ken heads downstairs to his office and I head down the hall to mine. (It can be challenging to both work from home!)

Mornings at my desk are more for the business aspects of work—packaging books to ship, posting promotions on social media, e-mails or phone calls with my agent or editor, proofing files from my audiobook producer or narrator, or critiquing chapters for my critique partner. This is also when I make research phone calls or do internet searches for the scenes I’m about to write.

After lunch at my desk, I’m ready to write in earnest. My usual “rule” is that I write until I have at least 1000 words. Sometimes I’m able to accomplish that in a couple of hours. Other times it takes me until 6 or 7 p.m.

If we don’t have an evening commitment, we usually head downstairs to the family room to watch a movie or a couple of episodes of a TV series. Ken and I both enjoy movies and find inspiration in the visual and storytelling aspects of them.


Friday is our date “night” except our date begins around 7 a.m. when we grab coffee (hot chocolate for Ken) and go garage sale-ing together. We’ve been doing this for ten years now! During the winter, we might explore thrift shops or antique stores. Sometimes we just go out to breakfast together. But whatever we do, it usually ends up providing fodder for my books!


Unless I’m on a tight deadline, I don’t usually write on Saturdays. Instead, I might deep clean part of the house, work in the yard, repot and water my many houseplants, rearrange furniture, read something for research, or maybe cook for company—or so we’ll have leftovers to eat the following week.


We attend church every week, and because we attend a rather large church, we feel it’s important to be part of a Sunday school class and other small groups to fellowship with and grow in knowledge of God’s Word.

We like to either grab takeout after church, go to a restaurant with friends from church, or have our Missouri kids over for pizza.

Sunday afternoon always involves literal rest for me. I LOVE my Sunday afternoon nap. During the week, I might “rest my eyes” for fifteen minutes in the afternoon, but on Sundays it’s not unusual for me to sleep hard for an hour or even two.

If the weather is nice, we sometimes go for a walk or bike ride, then we’ll come home to read, eat leftovers, and maybe Skype with our Texas kids.

That’s a “typical” week, but again, I love that every week is different. I know some people thrive on a more predictable routine, but I enjoy the variety. My days are never boring!

Do you have a typical week, a set routine, in your job or career? Or is there a lot of freedom and variety in your week? Which way do you prefer life and work to be and why?

Is there such a thing as a “typical Click To Tweet Do you write every day of the week or do you take some time off to recharge? @authordebraney #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Deborah Raney’s first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title and launched Deb’s writing career. Forty books and numerous awards later, she’s still creating stories that touch hearts and lives. She and her husband are recent Missouri transplants and enjoy traveling, e-biking, and Friday garage sale dates.




Comments 3

  1. A day in the life of this novelist
    is like a circus fun house,
    the entry to which one can’t resist,
    be he man, red baboon, or mouse.
    The day starts early with the stars
    all alight in the sky,
    and I am longing for open bars,
    and here is the reason why:
    some dogs barking, some asleep,
    and who now needs a walk?
    This, then, company I keep
    informs just how I talk
    to printed page, all virgin-white,
    when I steal a moment just to write.

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