Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Challenge #14: Welcome to my workday

Well, it's that time again. The holidays are coming upon us and end-of-year planning is happening all around yet it sometimes feels like I have to remind folks agents are people too. I was reading Andrew Zach's Annual Reminder that Agents are People, too and while I was nodding along with the post, I received several emails from folks who queried me a few months ago asking for status on their queries. They were well within the allotted timeframe to send a status request so I wasn't bothered by the emails but it suddenly hit me how much I have to get done at the end of this year and how much that's delayed my response time.

So, I wanted to give you a glimpse into my regular "workday". I put the word in quotes because so much of my day is a workday that it's generally a full 18-21-hour day.

My day starts at 5:30 AM where I get the kids up, start breakfast and get the medicine regimen started. Two of my three teens are on daily prescriptions so breakfast is a requirement at my house or I can never be sure they've taken their meds on time. Once their buses take off (one of them has a bus stop in front of the house while the other two have to walk out to the front of the neighborhood), I finish eating my breakfast while reading my Twitter/Facebook feeds.

I'll hop in the shower around 7:30 AM or after 8:30 AM if hubby hasn't beaten me to it then start my day-job. I get a full 7.5 hours at the day-job and will take advantage at lunch and breaks to either review a manuscript from a client or reply to emails from clients and colleagues. The Keurig gets a great workout during my heavy conference call days (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday) as I tend to drink 4-6 cups in this 7.5-hour period.

Around 4 PM, I'll start "transitioning" from my day-job to the agency work if I don't have to pick up the teens from extra-curricular activities at school (one is in Band, another in ROTC). Transition from one job to the other requires switching laptops and going through email. I start from the bottom up so I can reply to emails sitting in my inbox the longest. The past few weeks though, I've had to really weave both jobs together as we prepare to move into our new place this week.

Once dinner is done and the kids are doing their homework, I'll sit back down at my laptop to read manuscripts from clients. This takes me longer than usual because I'm being interrupted every few minutes with a question from a teenager about their homework or one of the little ones staying with us will decide to have a conversation with me at this time. We have my sister-in-law with her 3-year-old and 8-year-old girls staying with us so you can imagine how quiet my house is at any given time. Did I mention how glad I am to be moving this week?

If the teens don't have more than a few classes' worth of homework, while they're taking their showers at 9 PM, I'm moving to my room to do some "real" work. Headphones in, I tackle manuscript revisions, email replies, royalty summaries (I still handle the monthly royalty payments for former clients with L. Perkins). Two days out of the week, I sit down and focus only on pitch-writing. It takes me two days to do this because I read manuscripts on my iPad while sitting in the car waiting for the kids, during breaks, any chance I get. I then transfer those notes to a Word document for my pitch and, as you know, your first draft is never the best one so it generally takes me 3-4 revisions before I'm happy with a pitch package.

Weekends are my favorite agency workdays because I can spend all day working... if the hubby and kids have not made plans for us. Did I mention my house is a pigsty? Ok, so it's not THAT bad but yeah, there's little to no time to clean and I'm always jealous of those families who can afford to hire a cleaning service. My teens do the bare minimum until I start to bark at them to do some REAL cleaning. My car has not been washed or detailed in months. My oven looks horrific and though I pin great DIY ideas to get it clean, I just can't find the time to actually do it. Want to get me something for Christmas? Send me a cleaning service, a lawn service or mobile car wash-detailing service.

My family doesn't really get to see me even though they see me every day. I'm just not "here" when I'm working and... I'm working all of the time. So when I say it takes me 8-10 weeks to reply to your query, please understand I'm not being facetious. My clients come first and many of them have been waiting a while to hear back from me on their manuscripts which we both need to get out there to make us money.

So when you see us close to submissions, please know we're not doing it on a whim. We're really looking out for our clients and our families as we attempt to maintain our sanity. ;)