Gavin Liddell

How does a trucker become a published author?

A Day In The Life: March 2015

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Process | 4 comments

Today I got back into a groove that I had missed for some time.

The groove was a 5am start.

Setting the alarm for 5am is the only way I can get some uninterrupted  writing done. Its my process. And yes, it’s a killer, but it works. When I miss that time slot it tends to throw things out of whack.

Some authors binge write, others go in cycles. I’ve heard that the musician Nick Cave has an office which he commutes to every day. They are all routes to the same destination: output.

So it’s 5am for me. I don’t have a choice.

This is how my ideal day goes.

At 5am, I get up and rinse my face with cold water. Awake now, I grab my iPhone, get back into bed and write on my iPhone.

The vast majority of my first draft has been written by my waggling right thumb and predictive text. The romantic image of a writer disappearing off into a study for days on end then reappearing bedraggled and waving a manuscript ain’t happening here. I don’t think it even exists.

I write until 6am. Even if the words are churning out of me, I stop. I have to get ready for my day at work.

I start trucking at 7am but I try to use it as a positive. Trucking is a solitary sport, so I use that time to allow ideas to form. I find inspiration from everything: podcasts, silence, observing daily life… the list goes on.

I note those ideas down so I can then use the following morning at 5am. That way I don’t wake up with an empty head and an empty screen. Its a cyclical process that has worked to great effect. It also reduces the crippling effects of resistance. I’m prepped and ready to go.

Most of my book has been written in my head whilst trucking. What I’ve noticed is that the physical process of writing is no more than trying to articulate those thoughts and ideas into a coherent story.

My head starts to quieten down in the afternoon so I’ll blast some music and take it easy. If I’ve got time I’ll check out social media.

Once my trucking day is finished, it’s family time, possibly a little writing or maybe an episode from the new series of House Of Cards.

And thats my ideal day. But ideal days are few and far between.

I tend to work anywhere between ten and fifteen hours a day. When I come home at 10pm I am in no mood to rise at 5am. I feel like I’ve been beat up. It throws the process out. I miss my rise, inspiration trickles down the drain and it can end up in a few days without writing.

So I adapt.

I write whenever and wherever I can. Downtime at work, when I have to wait for the truck to get unloaded at yards, (part of this post was written whilst sitting on a warehouse floor), on lunch breaks. Whenever inspiration tells me to write, I do it.

You have no idea how many times I’ve sat on that warehouse floor writing my book knowing everyone else thinks I’m scrolling through Facebook.

Really, I’m just trying to carpe the fuck out of the diem.

4 Comments

    • I’ll be sure to store that quote and cast it up in the future.

      Thanks Megan

  1. “The romantic image of a writer disappearing off into a study for days on end then reappearing bedraggled and waving a manuscript ain’t happening here. I don’t think it even exists”

    Admittedly it was never a novel, but that is more or less exactly how I wrote, or at least finished, my books. Helen didn’t see me for days each time and I was very bedraggled indeed. Good on you for making a regular time to write, but I can’t imagine doing it on a phone – but then I’m crap at even texting. Good idea about the notes before bedtime.
    Keep at it.

    • Happy to be proved wrong, Michael. Re: the bedraggled writer. Writing is much more challenging than I imagined. Good to see you on here. :-)

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