Writing Tips

My Average Day as an Author, Librarian, and Mom

After my last post – My Postpartum Writing Life: Working-Writing Mom with a 4-Month-Old – I received a few questions about where I fit my writing in, so I thought it was time for another “average day” post. I’ve actually written a handful of these over the years. The last time I wrote one was February of 2019. Obviously, my life has changed a lot since those pre-pandemic times. But if you want to read all the “average day as an author” posts, I’ve put the list at the very bottom. Today, we’re focusing on 2023 me. 

Right now, I work full-time at the library as a Program Manager for The Story Center. Basically, I organize and deliver storytelling programs and services to the Kansas City metro area and beyond. (If you’re looking for free writing classes, check us out. We’re open to anyone in the world!) I’m also a mom of a four-month-old, a wife, and a cat lady to two rascally gremlins. I enjoy baking in my spare time. (I recently made these chocolate cookies. So divine!) And I do my best to make our house a home. Somewhere in all that chaos, I make time to write novels and pursue my publishing dreams.  

First, I want to use a normal weekday as an example instead of a weekend because weekends are a lot simpler to explain. That said, it’s a dayshift. I also work night shifts and weekends here and there. More importantly, when I say I’m “writing,” I’m using that as a general term as anything that relates to my writing career. I could be writing in my novel, creating social media posts, answering publishing emails, or drafting a blog. I like to have various projects going at once, because I like to lean into whatever mood I’m in. I tend to be more productive that way. 

So without further ado, this was a recent Thursday:

Midnight to Morning 

I’m starting the day at midnight, because, well, I’m up with the baby. Bless the parents who have babies who sleep through the night from a young age. I am not one of them. On this day, Winnie bear got up at midnight. We were back in bed by 2 AM…and back up by 5 AM. Granted, my husband took the second shift, so I could get some rest. But I am up within an hour or so anyway for our morning routine. Sometimes I sneak in some writing time before baby joins me. We eat, pack our bags, and leave. She goes to daycare, and I go to work. It’s an hour-long commute, so I often get to listen to an audiobook or use my speech-to-text app to get some brainstorming writing down. On this particular day, I arrived at work fifteen minutes early. (What can I say, I hit all those green lights.) I used this time to write a little while using my breastpump (because I’m still breastfeeding). When that’s done, it’s time to clock in!

Work Time

I am working! At my job, I manage about 400 student transcripts and 200 programs a year. That could mean taking note of attendance, booking presenters, organizing new ideas with co-workers, or just attending the many meetings any job requires. I’m lucky enough that I get an hour-long lunch break most days. On this particular lunch break, I drove a bag of picture books home and breastpumped while eating a sandwich and writing. (I even snagged some cat snuggles right before I had to head back in.) Work continues for the rest of the day, until my last hour or so, where I take my last break for my last breastpumping session. Sometimes I write; sometimes I’m so exhausted I read instead. When my break is done, I wrap up my day and take note of anything I need to keep in mind for tomorrow.

After Work to Bed Time

I meal plan every Sunday, which means when I get home from work, my husband and I have a list of meals we know we can cook for the evening. We pick one, and one of us cooks while the other snuggles Winnie and reads a book to her. (Though I won’t lie, sometimes she watches Miss Rachel while one of us cooks and the other does the dishes.) We eat at the table together in family chaos. This night it was adobo meatloaf and asparagus. Afterward, I showered while my husband bathed our baby. Sometimes she has meltdowns. But not this night. She went to bed, I cleaned my equipment, and we got a chance to watch an episode of YOU. (Though, maybe I should’ve been writing.) After that we went to bed, to repeat. 

And that’s it. 

This is my average day. I don’t count words in my social media or blog posts, but I do count my novels progress. When I take a look at this past week, my average word count during the work week was 1,043 per day. That’s mostly from words before work, during my lunch break, and on my last break of the day. 

My weekend was a little more than that, depending. Those days are simpler in the sense that we wake up whenever we wake up. If we don’t have plans or major house projects, then my husband will take the baby for an hour or so while I write. But this particular weekend we decided to go to the park instead. The weather was so nice! I wrote this blog post on Super Bowl Sunday while the baby was napping.

That said, I want to emphasize that I don’t get something done every day. I just do my best when I have the time. 

At this rate, it’ll take me approx one more month to finish my WIP. And I’m okay with that. This pace is working for me right now. If something changes, like I get put on a deadline, then I’m going to gear up and find more time. But I’m not going to burn myself out in the meantime. 

I’m just going to get done what I can, and I think that’s the best any of us can do, 


If you’re interested in the other times I wrote this blog post, this is my last one in 2019 when I was a full-time branch programmer for Mid-Continent Public Library. This is what my life was like as a night-working full-time freelance editor and publicist in 2015, and here’s my post in 2013 that covered what my writing life was like as a full-time college senior working part-time at a publisher.

Oh how life changes so quickly!

2 thoughts on “My Average Day as an Author, Librarian, and Mom

  1. I’ve been writing for about 20 years. When I started, my boys were around 8 and 6 years old. At the time, I was working full-time, coaching both of them in both baseball and soccer (which combined, stretched over 10 months of every year), running a lot, cooking on weekends, gardening, etc. In other words, I was busy, busy, busy. And that was when I was at my most productive in my writing. I wrote a couple of novels and dozens of short stories, and started a handful of other novels over a 6-8 year period. Since my boys got older (and have now moved out on their own), and I got more free time, I’ve written less and less. For reasons. But still, it’s amazing how much one can get done when you have so little free time — it forces focus.

    1. “it forced focus” is so true!! I definitely used to have days where I had time to write and didn’t, and now I’m a lot more likely to give myself a pep talk about how that time is my only time and I NEED to write. Definitely a new feeling for me, but it has been productive so far! Thank you for sharing your story.

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