Alyson Noël knows how to pack a lot into a day. The award-winning author of 23 novels, including eight on the New York Times bestsellers list, is nothing if not busy.
Now, a month removed from the release of Unrivaled--the first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares--we caught up Alyson to see how she does it: using puppy photos as "research", rejuvinating in the "Zen Den", and other fantastic strategies that have enabled her to become one of the hottest writers going.
9:30am: I head for my desk with the aforementioned mug and catch up on emails, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts, while keeping a firm eye on the clock since you’re supposed to wait 20 minutes after consuming wheatgrass before you move on to coffee. It’s got something to do with the digestive balance, though I can’t say for sure so don’t quote me. All I know is that once those 20 minutes are up I’m back in the kitchen rinsing out the mug and refilling it with coffee and almond milk. This is when the day truly begins.
9:50am: Back at my desk, coffee in hand, I continue catching up on emails, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts. This can and will go on for quite some time. Every now and then I interrupt the rotation with visits to websites that feature pictures of shoes, puppies, and/or celebrity haircuts. I’ve successfully managed to convince myself this falls under the sacred header of “research.”
Noon-ish: Breakfast is over and I’ve managed to work out, either in my home gym (rowing machine/elliptical/extra large yoga mat), or on the 4+ miles of hiking trails in my neighborhood. If it’s a good day I’ve even taken a shower and put on something other than sweatpants. Or maybe I’m just trying to make you think I wear things other than sweatpants. It’s hard to say for sure.
Still Noon-ish: After one quick round of checking email, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I’m ready to write! At the moment that means working on revisions for book 2 in the Beautiful Idols series. I start to settle in, but then quickly realize I’m feeling kind of peckish after all that working out and “researching” I’ve done on the Internet.
Afternoon-ish: Lunch is over and I figure it really is a good time to meditate. I meant to meditate first thing in the morning but I was too busy. I took a class in Transcendental Meditation a few years back, so sometimes I use that method, but not always. I head into the Zen Den—the name I’ve given the meditation room.
Twenty-five minutes later: I’m back at my computer. I feel good, centered, awake, and not at all tempted to nap at my desk. Nope, that would never even even occur to me since I have serious work to do here. I pull up the document on my screen and get ready to work.
Five Minutes later: Before I begin working, I should probably check my emails since something important might have come in while I was meditating. And since I’m already online, a quick peek at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram seems like a good use of time.
One hour later: I’m seriously ready to work now. I’ve lit a candle, I’ve brewed some green tea, and I am both reading and typing while either nodding my head or scowling at my editor’s notes. If I’m scowling, it means she’s probably right, which means there will be even more typing.
7:02pm: I hear the garage door open, which signals my husband is home from the office. I can’t believe how late it is—how much time has passed, and how quickly. Which makes me wonder why I spent the bulk of the morning looking at pictures of puppies and shoes when I love my job so much. I even love revisions—it’s true! I find a good stopping point, log off my computer, and join my husband in the kitchen for a glass of red wine (filled with antioxidants!) and watch while he cooks something healthy and delicious for dinner.
8:45pm: We are drinking freshly grated ginger/turmeric tea and eating a piece of extra dark chocolate while having a serious discussion about which shows we’ll watch on our DVR list. Luckily, we like the same shows.
10:45PM: I read a bit before bed and then lights out. Tomorrow will be different. I will watch the sun rise, seize every moment, and keep the “research” to a minimum. Just think how much I’ll accomplish!
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