A Day in The Life of… A writer

June 3, 2003

SheSaid gets the goss from Belinda Alexandra, author of White Gardenia.

Describe a typical day

I usually begin the day with yoga or dancing (depending on my energy level and mood) and a healthy breakfast. I walk my two indoor kitties in the garden and then settle down in front of my computer about 9am. I usually write or read for research about six to eight hours a day, and few hours over the weekend. However, when you work with your imagination, you are pretty well always working, even in your sleep or in the shower. My office is in my head. I do try to ‘shut off’ when I’m out with friends, though, for their sanity’s sake and mine. I usually end the day with dinner with friends or family, a movie, or taking some sort of class (language, history, dancing).

What’s the best part of the job?

Being able to live two lives – the one I’m living and the one I’m creating. Travelling for research. Creating stories that give people pleasure.

What’s the worst part of the job?

Facing a blank page everyday during the first draft process and trying to make the words and images come together. But when it works out, it’s a real high.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Read books twice. The first time to enjoy the story. The second to study the writer’s technique.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer.

Who was the biggest influence on your career?

My mother. She used to buy me exercise books to write down my stories as soon as I learned to hold a pencil.

What would you spend your last $100 on?

A dinner party for good friends

What would you never wear again?

A one piece catsuit (unless it was Halloween).

What are you reading?

Bush Oranges by Kay Donovan. It’s a beautiful tale about sisters living in the tempestuous climate of North Queensland in the 1920s to 1990s.

What can’t you live without?

My sense of humour.

What inspires you?

Beauty – in people’s spirits and in nature.

Buy White Gardenia from the SheSaid bookshop.

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