Since leaving the engineering job to pursue writing full time, I’ve learned that having a schedule works best for me. I can be a bit more flexible with things, but I tend to write 6-7 days per week. This summer’s schedule has required almost no time off, but normally we take 1 day a week to ski or do a long hike, and work the other 6 days. It’s true what they say about being an entrepreneur, you really do have to make an effort to take time off, and independent publishing is 100% entrepreneurship.

My typical day begins around 7:15 am. Often I’ve spent the previous 30 minutes or so laying in bed thinking about what I need to write that morning, and by 7:15 the neighbor’s dog is barking, or my bladder is complaining so I might as well get up and shower. Then it’s off to my favorite morning task of feeding our dog, Loki (who spins around the kitchen like an excited Tasmanian devil waiting for his food) and making coffee. I eat the same thing for breakfast every single morning (which my wife cannot fathom)– homemade yogurt, with blueberries and granola, while reading The Economist.

My office complete with a map of the City of Invictus

By about 8:00 with coffee in hand I take the long commute up the stairs to my office. I spend about 30 minutes going through emails, reading up on the news, and scrolling social media before it’s time for the real work. I usually write until about 10:30 am getting in around 2000-3000 words. Then my wife and I take our normal 3.5 mile walk in the foothills along the Arkansas River behind our house.

Our walks are generally plot whispering sessions where I talk through what’s going on in the story I’m working on, and my wife asks questions while I work out any problems. If we are doing our normal route we always stop at a place overlooking the valley and Mt. Princeton that we have dubbed “Gratitude Point” just to take in all the majesty and spend a minute being grateful that we have made it here after decades of hard work. The day this picture was taken our town was hosting a kayaking festival on the river so there are a lot of tents in the parking area just west of the river.

The view of Mt. Princeton (a 14,000+ ft peak in the Collegiate section of the Rocky Mtns) from Gratitude Point

After the walk is lunch, reading, and a lightening nap (a term our friend uses for my 10 minute naps). I may not sleep, but it’s just a good reset for the brain to close my eyes for even just a few minutes before I go back to my office for the afternoon writing session. I usually spend another hour or 2 writing in the afternoon, then another few hours of working on the other tasks we have to manage as independent publishers (editing, formatting books, setting up Kickstarter campaigns, research, approving audiobooks, etc.)

Usually by about 4:00 I’m a bit brain fried and we call it a day. Though lately we spend at least an hour listening to digitally narrated audiobook versions of the Hundred Halls, so we can approve them while we both play Slay the Spire before starting dinner.

Of course the schedule may deviate sometimes, but this is a normal day 90% of the time, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


Thomas K. Carpenter

Thomas K. Carpenter is a full time contemporary fantasy author with over 50 independently published titles. His bestselling, multi-series universe, The Hundred Halls, has over 25 books and counting. His stories focus on fantastic families, magical academies, and epic adventures.

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