I’m delighted to introduce today’s guest, though she probably needs very little introduction. Rachel Hauck is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, including this April’s new release, The Memory House. Join me in welcoming Rachel as she talks about a day in her writing life!
A Day In The Life of Rachel Hauck
As I sit down to write this blog, I’m on the heels of a very busy “writer’s life” season. Not only was I on deadline for my next book, The Fifth Avenue Story Society, but I hosted houseguests, taught at a writer’s retreat, followed by a writer’s conference, traveled to visit a friend, and “did” Spring Break with my sister’s family.
Oh, did I mention deadline? In the midst of it all.
One element of a writer’s life is the need to make commitments a year or two in advance. Not just for deadlines but for conferences or reader events.
Sometimes a deadline doesn’t jive with the plans made a year or even six months earlier.
However, non-writer “life” happens more in the moment. A friend calls and says, “I’ll be in town next month, can I stay with you?” Of course!
My friends and family understand my deadline life. They give me space. But finishing a book often requires undivided attention, long hours “in the chair,” and unwashed dishes.
I don’t like to be uber busy. I need white space to think and dream, dialog with my characters. But sometimes I just have to “get ‘er done” and plow through the distractions.
Gems are often found in the dirt.
My writing day usually starts around Noon. The morning is filled with other life requirements like working out, house chores, shopping, laundry, appointments and spending time with Jesus.
By Noon, I should be in my office writing, or at least pretending to write. Ha!
After checking email, Facebook and Instagram several times, I summon the courage to face the blank page or a scene that needs work.
While I’m confident in my author skills, there are times when I wonder, “Can I get this done? Will I find the solutions to the story’s problems?”
The only way to know it to write. Pray and write, write and pray. God has given me creative insight into my stories during prayer so many times. He’s been so faithful to my journey and writing process. He’s the best writing partner.
My day usually includes a call to my boots-on-the-ground writing partner, Susie May Warren. Or I’ll check in with buddies Beth Vogt, Lisa Jordan, Melissa Tagg and Alena Tauriainen. Texting is the writing girl’s office water cooler or break room.
If I’m writing a first draft, I’ll work until I reach my daily word count which is about 2500 – 3000 words a day.
After six weeks or so, I’ve hit my 75,000 word fast draft and start over. I aim for about a 90,000-100,000 word finished product.
After the fast draft, I have a good idea of what the story is about, where I’ve gone off course and what I want to do to fix the plot and character issues.
On a rewrite, I work by page count. If a book is 350 pages long, and I have four weeks to rewrite it, I spend two weeks rewriting at about 35 pages a day, bearing in mind however I’m adding words and scenes, so the page number grows.
The final two weeks, I go through the book one more time before submitting it to my editor for her input.
In the rewriting sessions I may work until seven or eight at night and have a late supper.
I know, it’s a bit late to eat, but afternoons are the best time for me to write. With every book I tell myself, “Start writing at nine or ten a.m, but brothers and sisters, it is not happening!”
Hubby and I go to a little Mom and Pop diner around the corner from us several mornings a week after we’ve pumped some iron at the gym. Honestly, breakfast is the only reason we go to the gym.
“Come on, let’s go to the gym, I’m hungry,” is a common phrase in our house.
Besides good food, the diner is where we read. We call it our “reading breakfast.” Reading is hard for me after a long day of writing so I treasure this routine with my hubby. I get to hang with him and read. What could be better?
When I’m not writing, or in the case of procrastination, I interact with readers and authors on social media, as well as in my newsletter.
Mostly, I love writing books. I love story. I love the satisfaction of being absorbed by a scene or a character. It takes work to get there so I love when I arrive at that place.
The Memory House is my latest “gem.” Lots of dirt shoveling took place to find it. I hope you enjoy the characters’ journey as much as I did.
Leave a comment and a lucky winner will win a copy of The Memory House.
Thanks for spending some time with me today.
Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie. Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews.
A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year. At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically. A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day. She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.