A Day in the Life of.....
Dee Davis has a BA in Political Science and History, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. During a ten-year career in public relations, she spent three years on the public speaking circuit, edited two newsletters, wrote three award winning public service announcements, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress, and served as the director of two associations.
Her highly acclaimed first novel, Everything In Its Time, was published in July 2000. Since then, among others, she’s won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards. To date, she has sold twenty-one books and four novellas, including the A-Tac Series and Set-Up in SoHo.
She’s lived in Austria and traveled in Europe extensively. And although she now lives in Manhattan she still calls Texas home.
One Day at a Time:
So I’d love to tell you guys that I spend my days wearing a boa, lying on a chaise and eating bonbons. But (with the exception of the chocolate) it sadly is not the case. More likely you’ll find me still in PJ's or sweats well past the hour when I should have dressed for the day. Part and parcel of having your office in your bedroom.
Once upon a time when I embarked on this great journey, I did, in fact, have a real office. With a door. And a large desk, and a comfy sofa and even my own bookshelf. But when we decided to pull up stakes in Texas and head for New York City (they really don’t have Pace Picante Sauce up here) we had to downsize in a big way. Not that I regret a minute of the ten years I’ve spent in Manhattan.
But the space for my ‘office’ is a lot smaller than it was. Still, you know the interesting thing about it is that I can’t even remember what it was like to have more room to spread out. Or to not have to take a laptop into the living room to work after my husband goes to sleep. That said, I’d love to go back to having a fabulous office someday. But I digress…
We’re here to talk about my work day. Although you’ve just had a glimpse of one of the most treacherous parts of said day—the moment when I veer off track into something that isn’t on the to do list. Procrastination is an art form. And I am a master.
But, pulling back into focus, the first thing to know about me is that I’m not a morning person. Never have been and no amount of guilting, cajoling or downright threatening me will ever change that fact. I’m brain dead in the morning and shooting on all cylinders at night.
So my day doesn’t actually start until around 9:00 when I get up. And even then, I’m not fit for human consumption. And certainly not serious thought. So I pour myself a glass of iced tea (I live on the stuff) and I turn on the computer, and then leave the office to read the paper, a ritual I will probably continue until the day I die. Even if the rest of the world is reading it on their iPad, I like the tactile feel of the actual paper.
Anyway, once that’s finished, I head to work, (still in the jammies), and read and answer emails, check out all my social networks, and handle any other business or marketing issues that might demand my attention. While doing this, I usually start to think about where I need to go with my latest novel that particular day.
In the beginning of a book, things tend to move quite slowly as I’m making big decisions about where the story is headed. By the end of the book, I’m moving quite quickly as the story line is pretty much set and it’s just a matter then of getting it on paper. This usually results in very, very late nights (or early mornings). And then, somewhere in the middle, I always (and I mean always) hit a point where I just want to blow everyone up and be done with it.
It amazes me how each story is unique and the characters have their own voices and tales to tell, but the process itself is always very much the same. I think there is comfort in that somewhere. Although, when I hit the brick wall stage, maybe not so much.
The real truth is that my days are varied. Partly depending on what the book (and my deadline) is demanding from me. And partly depending on what my family needs. Life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans and over the years I’ve learned that flexibility is as important in writing as it is in any career. And priorities are the key to not only getting things accomplished, but to not feeling like you’re neglecting one thing to handle another.
I can’t imagine being anything but a writer. I came to the game late, but it was as if I’d finally found my way home. Every day I pinch myself, and even when I’m gridlocked with a story or character, I realize how lucky I am to get to spend every day doing something I love. Not to mention wearing my PJ’s!