Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Day in the Life of ... Michael Hicks!!

Welcome to Knit Purl Stitch Read & Cook's new weekly feature!!

A Day in the Life of..

This is where us bloggers & fans get a glimpse inside the days of our favorite authors!

This week we have science fiction author Michael Hicks!

About Michael:

Call me Mike. Only my mom calls me Michael. And that’s when I’m in trouble…
I suspect that the roots of my writing career actually began early in my elementary school years, when I got to sleep over at my grandparents’ place on the weekends. After Grandma and Grandpa went to bed, I would stay up until all hours watching movies like The Blob, The Abominable Doctor Phibes, and Forbidden Planet. At home during the day, I was glued to TV series like Star Trek, Lost In Space, and Space: 1999, along with every war movie and series I could sneak in behind Mom’s back (Dad feigned ignorance, bless his soul).

And lest you think I did nothing but watch the tube, I spent far more time reading every sci-fi, horror, and war (mostly Second World War non-fiction) book I could get my hands on. In my teens I was so addicted to reading that my teachers had to yell at me in class to get my nose out of a book with spaceships and aliens emblazoned on the cover and pay attention to my “education.” Oh, the pain.

As for my personal information, I was born in 1963, although I’m quite certain I’ve never matured beyond the age of ten (at least according to my wife and parents). I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and still harbor many fond memories of exploring the open desert just beyond our doorstep before the landscape was replaced with endless developments and shopping malls.

After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University and being commissioned in the Army, I moved to Maryland in the mid-1980s to play a terribly minor role in defending the free world from the Soviet Empire. In fact, I spent a summer in the Soviet Union in 1983 just after Leonid Brezhnev was dipped in formaldehyde, and had a wonderful time in a very magical but tragic land.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world and got two awesome stepsons as a bonus, with all of us serving the needs of our two Siberian cats, Nina and her big brother Sasha. We spend as little time at home as we can manage, preferring instead to be out on the road in our RV, seeing as much of North America as we can. That’s probably where I am as you read this, working on my next book…

It's sort of hard to describe a typical day in the life of moi, because most days are...atypical!

Of course, right now I'm in a bit of a transition period, with one foot still stuck in my twenty-five-year career job, and my other groping forward to a full-time writing career, which I plan to start in mid-August. So, keeping that in mind, I'll give you two "typical" days, one for my current reality, one for my future, full-time writing reality.


I normally wake up between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. This isn't by choice, but is an artifact of my extremely annoying body clock and, in the spring and summer, a flock of incredibly obnoxious birds that roost in the tree just outside our bedroom window.

Sometime around 5:00 a.m., I finally roll myself out of bed, get cleaned up, dressed, and head off to work, where I spend the next nine hours or so banging my head against the proverbial wall.

I normally return home sometime around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m., trying to beat the traffic home. Then the true fun begins!

Amidst such things as dinner, kid activities (sports practice, ritual beatings, etc.), and some form of exercise, which usually involves chasing the cats around the house (or vice versa), I'm usually left with between one and two hours to write, and another hour or so to work on promotional activities. That largely boils down to hanging out with the six-thousand plus tweeps I currently have on Twitter, along with flinging virtual chocolate chip pancakes to new followers, along with poking as many people as possible on Facebook. It's fun!

And, as I mentioned, I usually try to squeeze some writing in there, which is generally divided up in some portion to working on my latest novel and/or blog posts or other collections of wordage such as this.

Somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m. is when I finally collapse into bed.

On the weekends, I tend to write more, but not terribly much, because most of the time I'm trying to recover from the exhaustion of working what amounts to twelve to sixteen hour days. That's been my life most of the last two years.
Writing Full-Time:

I can't tell you what my typical day while writing full time is like yet, but here's my plan:

I'll likely get up at the same time (stupid body clock!), but when I do, I'll spend about an hour catching up on my social media activities (tweet, tweet!) while I wake up. Then I'll write an hour or a thousand words, whichever is greater (they're normally close to the same, because I can usually crank out a thousand words on a novel in an hour). Then back to social media or some other promotional activity for an hour to give my wrists a break. Then back to writing. Repeat.

If I do that promote+write cycle four times, that'll be eight hours of honest labor (well, at least four hours, with another four spent flinging pancakes and poking people), roughly four thousand words, which is close to a full chapter, and then...I can consider myself done for the day and take a nap.

Because my schedule will be my own at that point, I can spread those two hour promote+write cycles throughout the day as needed. If I want to go to a local chamber of commerce event in the morning, I can. A sports event for one of the boys? Let me get my face paint, then we're off! An hour-long training run for an upcoming half-marathon? Let's go. You get the idea.

It's also very portable: our family has come to love the RV lifestyle, and next year we plan to travel even more than we did this last year. I can write anywhere, and with modern gizmos like our Verizon Mi-Fi, I can communicate anywhere.

Anyway, that's the plan! Freedom. August. I'm there...


1 comment:

  1. Wow - sounds like August is going to be an amazing transition! Must be amazing knowing that you will finally be able to write full time. :)

    Congrats! And great guest post. You had me laughing a few times with all your pancake flinging and facebook poking. LOL


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