A day in the life of…author Renita D’Silva

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If you’ve never read a book by Renita D’Silva you are missing a treat. Renita writes beautifully. Her stories draw you in and each sentence is packed with evocative words that tantalise the senses.  I stumbled across The Stolen Girl a couple of years ago and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. Her latest offering, A Mother’s Secret, is full of intrigue and mystery, her descriptions so rich I really felt like I was there. Renita really inspires me as a writer and I felt a little bit in awe as I asked her how she spends her day.

 

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My typical day starts at 6 am. I never used to be an early riser, but since having the kids, I can’t have a lie-in even if I want to – somehow, the habit of waking up with them, (they were both early birds, still are), has stuck and I wake at six now, or earlier, whether I want to or not.

My husband makes me my morning cup (it’s actually a huge mug) of tea before he leaves for work, without which I cannot seem to wake properly or start my day, be productive. I wake the kids, make sure they get off to school okay, then go on social media for an hour or so before settling down to write.

I try and write until noon every weekday. I tutor kids every evening, starting at half past three, so after lunch, I prepare for the evening’s lot of tuitions. From 3:30 to around 8pm, I teach, in between picking/dropping off my kids to their various activities. The time after is for my family and for reading. I don’t write at night unless I am behind with my deadline.

I love working with kids. They spark off ideas. While I am teaching, the solution to a particularly difficult plot hole will arrive in my head, fully formed. I also get my best ideas when washing the dishes, for some reason.

I tutor at a school on Saturdays, so I don’t get any writing done then. Sundays are for family, so no writing then either. As a rule, I try and write each weekday morning. Unless of course I am struggling to meet deadline – then it is every spare minute.

What I found hardest with working from home, initially – and I still struggle with it – was guarding my writing time. It is hard for people, no matter how well meaning, to understand that, despite the fact that I am at home, I still have to write, otherwise it will impact the balance I strive so hard to meet, so nothing is neglected – family, my tutoring – and so I get some time to indulge my hobby: reading. I tend to be something of a hermit now, when I am working to deadline. My friends understand that once I send the book off, I will contact them, and meet up for coffee and a catch up. I am quite a social person, but I do enjoy burrowing down with just my story. It is my time to be creative and productive and I have become better at defending it. Most of my friends understand, although they don’t realise just how many iterations and edits a book goes through. ‘I thought you had sent it off,’ is something I hear often.

I am so lucky to be doing what I love and I am grateful for it every day. However hard writing can be – and there are days when the words just won’t come, or when everything I write will not make the cut, when I wonder why I do it at all – there’s nothing else that gives quite the same satisfaction as putting the story that has been dogging my waking hours onto paper.

 

I agree. Thanks so much, Renita for sharing your routine with us. 

You can find Renita here and order A Mother’s Secret here.

 

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7 thoughts on “A day in the life of…author Renita D’Silva

  1. Lovely post – gosh, you’re a busy and organised lady, Renita. By the way, if you find washing dishes inspires you, feel free to come round to my house any time . . . 😉

  2. Lovely to have an insight into Renita’s day…agree that guarding writing time is very difficult and people don’t understand how often that book pings back to you before it is officially finished!

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