A Week in the Life of Erin Cawood
Until three years ago I was a fully grown responsible adult with a mortgage. I worked for the insurance arm of a global bank, had a career path and a dream of becoming a published author. Then I was made redundant. I was lucky to walk into a new job within days but learned the path I was on wasn’t right for me anymore. So I applied for a full time university degree, became a part time employee and at the end of my first year I surprised myself and everyone around me when I wrote Tainted Love and published it five months later. As an author, a full time student and a part-time employee, no two days are the same. In fact no two weeks are the same and what little structure I have changes as frequently as the seasons.
My typical Monday consists of an early rise. I eat breakfast while checking emails and social media networks. I’m also preparing for my first lecture of the week. I’m studying New Media at the University of Leeds and this current module is about Working in New Media. I’m a project leader, coordinating our team in the creation of a website, interactive video, game and social media marketing strategy in response to a brief. After this lecture, some weeks I have a workshop and if not, I spend the next four hours studying and trying not to get too distracted by my world online. Then I take myself off to work. I’m one of those really annoying people who ring and try to sell you something so the less I say on the thing I do to pay the bills the better. At 9pm, I make it back home and I go to my office to prep for Tuesday.
First task of the day is to make sure my regular feature Temptation Tuesday has posted at Beyond My Writing Space (www.erin-cawood.blogspot.co.uk). It’s a romance centred weekly feature showcasing excerpts from myself and other authors. But this task, any emails and social media updates I can do from my pillow with the aid of my Blackberry. I’m generally at my desk by 9am, reading the assigned readings and any notes for this afternoon’s class. This module is about digital cultures and absolutely fascinating. This week we’ve been arguing the merits of mobile technology and what museums will be like in the future because there are huge pressures to preserve by digitisation. After class prep I move on to blog posts, author interviews, and maybe a little writing if there’s time. I have another evening shift and then it’s back to my home office to tie up loose ends from earlier tasks and make notes from today’s class.
I love Wednesdays! Wednesdays I don’t have any classes and I don’t go to work. So if my partner and I don’t start our morning in the local cafe for breakfast then I might be inclined to have a PJ day. Wednesdays are my lazy days. I’m generally sat at my desk reading the weeks assigned readings and making notes. Wednesdays are also the day I get to focus on writing. The second book in the Valentina Secrets Series, Behind Closed Doors, is currently with my awesome editor, Annetta Ribken, so right now I’m working on the next series I’m going to launch.
On Thursdays I’m up early enough to check email and social networks over breakfast and then I have enough time to re-read assigned readings before class. This module’s about Research Methods. It’s not the most enthralling of subjects but the lecturer’s quite funny so it makes a huge difference to smartphone addict like me, who also has imaginary friends – I mean characters – crawling all over each other to grab my attention. In between the lecture and work I’m in the computer lab studying. I also spend a lot of time online discussing the “Ask Faith” feature on Beyond My Writing Space. The aim of this feature is to encourage an open dialogue about domestic abuse and to raise awareness. Faith answers reader’s questions and shares exclusive letters that weren’t included Tainted Love.
I guess, Fridays are similar to Thursdays. After checking emails, social networks and Friday Feature, which promotes other authors, on Beyond My Writing Space, I only have time to re read the assigned readings and notes before I head into university. I have a few hours afterward class dedicated to studying and networking. I start work earlier on a Friday and then I’m back in my home office.
Saturdays are supposed to be cleanup day. You know, tie up all the loose ends and make sure I start next week on a clean slate. It never works out like that. Normally, I’ll end up writing instead of doing my school work. So maybe I should rename Saturday to distraction day. Sundays I have a six hour shift at work. I’m done by four pm so I come home and prepare for the next week.
I have a crazy schedule that changes from week to week. One week I’m asked to change my shifts at work for training the next I’m pitching ideas to a panel at university and the next I might have to schedule in a page creation for the new book on my website. I always said I’d never abandon my nine to five Monday to Friday lifestyle but I believe things happen for a reason and I’m so much happy living in the chaos of three lives than I ever was living with a single life and a map out career path.
Genre – Women’s Fiction / Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG13