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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller


This post was first published on the #EPIC18READS blog. I am proud to be a member of Epic18, a group of authors and illustrators with debut picture books releasing in 2018. My debut picture book, SCARLET'S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH, releases from Clear Fork Publishing in August, 2018!

My typical writing day truly is not typical. My work patterns change every day to meet my most pressing writing-related needs, my deadlines, my inspiration, my other daily life priorities, and my mood. Each day, I keep a to-do list, refer back to it constantly, and cross items off as I accomplish them. I love lists! Here are some general timeframes for my work in A TYPICAL DAY: MORNINGS: I walk my youngest daughter to school and then spend time in the morning writing with my decaf skim cappuccino nearby. I find that my mind is most open and focused early in the day: -Mornings are generally when I start new drafts. -I brainstorm ideas gathered while reading about an obscure fact, observing life on my New York City neighborhood walks, or just letting my mind wander. -I research to confirm story details. -I revise and polish manuscripts. AFTERNOONS: I usually pick up my daughter from school at 3, and the afternoon goes by quickly. I try to be efficient: -I love my critique partners and spend lots of time reviewing their manuscripts. - I often work on an upcoming blog post for my blog or for a guest post. -I try to accomplish marketing tasks in the afternoons. I tend to break down large marketing projects into manageable bites and attempt to complete one task each day. -I enjoy taking KidLit classes and participating in challenges and contests. I do the bulk of my work in these areas in the afternoons.

EVENINGS: Evening time is usually reserved for my family, but I sometimes sneak in work time. -I might take a quick look at a draft or maybe even read one to my family for feedback. -I spend lots of time reading picture books and chapter books, looking for mentor texts to help me as I draft my stories, and staying current in my writing genres. Evenings can be a great time to wind down with a fabulous book. -I also take time in the evenings to catch up on my social media and emails.

A WORD ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA: I treat writing as my full-time job, along with volunteering in our community. I work at home, and I try not to allow too many outside distractions. I do tend to reply to email and social media throughout the day so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. I love being a member of many KidLit social media groups (including #Epic18!), and with membership comes the responsibility to participate. So I take writing breaks often to keep up. Connecting with the KidLit community is a true joy and I spend time doing just that! Thanks for reading about my typical writing day and good luck with all your creative projects!


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