A Day in a Writer’s Life……Michelle Diener

Welcome Michelle and thank you for agreeing to participate on our blog.

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?     I try to write when the kids are at school, and when they are in bed. All other times involve too much chaos! I have a regular ‘date’ to write early on Thursday morning with some writers in my women’s fiction chapter, one from New Zealand, the rest from the US. 

Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary?   I have a study, but I like to mix things up. Write on my bed, on the couch in my study rather than at the desk, or in the lounge. Depends on my mood. 

Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work? Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?   I usually read at least the last chapter before I start writing. Helps sink me into the work so I can start on the right tone. 

Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser? Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?     I have a vague idea of the story usually. Although I sometimes start on the basis of a great first line or good first scene idea and try to develop as I go. By the last third, I almost always have an idea how it will end.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?     I try to make a certain number of words a day. I know it’s not always going to happen, but it is something I’m conscious of at the back of my mind. It helps to keep me on track. 

What writing tools do you favour? Long hand, computer …..I LOVE my computer. I type fast, don’t have to look at the keyboard, and hate mess – which my longhand becomes because I edit so much as I go. So using the computer is a no-brainer for me. 

Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?     I didn’t used to, but now I do. Quite often, it is something small, but just for me, like a new pot of body butter or something like that. I recently treated myself to a lovely pair of earrings for completing the third book in my series – my most extravagant ‘gift’ to myself yet. 

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc and if so do you do any exercises at your desk or between sessions?  Yes, it is called doing laundry, unpacking the dishwasher, vacuuming and watering the garden 🙂 . I walk the kids to school, then do a 4 km walk, get home and then try to work for 45 minute periods, with a 15 minute ‘break’ to do some tidying up. But I quite often get so consumed in the work, I don’t stick to that. But I try.

More info on Michelle….My website is: http://www.michellediener.com

The release date for my historical fiction novel ILLUMINATIONS is 2nd August, 2011, and the sequel is due out in February 2012, both with Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books imprint. ILLUMINATIONS,  is set in the court of Henry VIII. It features the real historical figures of illuminator and painter, Susanna Horenbout, and Henry’s Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King’s Robes, John Parker.

Leave a comment


  1. Great post, Michelle. I particularly like your 45 mins work, 15 mins chores break up – sensible and achievable! 🙂

  2. Lovely to learn more about you and your writing life Michelle. Love your cover!!

  3. Hi Anna! Lovely to see you here 🙂 . Thanks, yes, I try to do the balancing act. Sometimes it even works 🙂 .

  4. Eleni, thank you again for the compliment. I love that cover, too.

  5. Serena

     /  April 2, 2011

    Hi Michelle,
    Nice to see you here and to learn a little more about you. I like your reward system – especially the earrings 🙂


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