Sophie’s Diary

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Sophie Ranald shares a week in the life of a writer – from time spent on social media to word count and stressing about sales.♥

Friday 20 March

2001 words, top Amazon ranking 1997, hours on Facebook 2, hours on Twitter 5, tweets sent 4, emails to agent 0 (good)

Woke up this morning from a dream about my new book, in which a vital plot point was made clear. It was brilliant! Unfortunately then Purrs settled herself on my legs and I went back to sleep. By the time I woke up again it was gone – all gone! So had to do what always do, and just start again where I finished off yesterday. Was okay though, achieved daily target and even exceeded it, triumphantly typing a final “and”. Previous book is in an Amazon promo and doing well. Had leftover soup for lunch and went for run. God, I love being a writer.

Saturday 21 March

500 words, top Amazon ranking 1996, hours on Facebook 5, hours on Twitter 2, tweets sent 0, emails to agent 1 (but not sent)

Weekend so no writing, but dashed off a few hundred words so daily target for next week has dropped to 1890 – result! But book in promo has stalled – why? No new reviews either. People hate it – am doomed to life of failure and penury. Must not bother agent as weekend but composed angsty email to make self feel better. Also bought and ate 4 custard doughnuts. Bad.

Sunday 22 March

0 words, top Amazon ranking 1665, hours on Facebook 1, hours on Twitter 0, miles run 10, hours spent in bed 15 (but Sunday)

Lovely long run with boyfriend. Daffodils and sun both out. Feel inspired by arrival of spring and surge in Amazon ranking. Really looking forward to sitting down tomorrow and writing, so much so that did none today to prolong the delicious anticipation. Have started reading new Mhairi McFarlane book – enjoyed first three pages but then decided to have afternoon nap instead. Two new 5-star reviews on Amazon – love the lovely readers!

Monday 23 March

1997 words, top Amazon ranking 2455, hours on Facebook 4, hours on Twitter 4, tweets sent 12, followers lost 6, emails from agent 1 (yes!)

What happened to yesterday’s inspiration? Writing today was like pulling teeth. Stopped one word before daily target as could face no more. If I am finding book this boring what will readers think? No wonder ranking of previous book has plummeted and no new reviews. Proof that I can’t write bum on wall – not that I need it. Mhairi McFarlane book bloody brilliant. Will never be as funny. Wonder what is point? On plus side, Czech edition of book arrived – looks amazing, agent is pleased and I’m made up to be called ‘Sophie Ranaldova’. Love you all, Czech readers – go forth and conquer, little book!

Tuesday 24 March

2534 words, top Amazon ranking 2354, hours on Facebook 0 (not needed as seeing actual friends IRL), hours on Twitter 0.5 (general election dullness filling feed), alcohol units excessive

Wonderful, wonderful writing when it goes well! Target reached before lunchtime so carried on a bit then went to gym and headed off to meet lovely friends in town. Tube is scary after barely leaving house for weeks. Was worried had forgotten how to talk to actual people, but better after wine. All the wine.

Wednesday 25 March

1005 words, top Amazon ranking 1777, hours on Facebook 5, hours on Twitter 1, tweets sent 25 (but to real life friends), emails to agent 6, responses 5

Oh God. Feel crap, am crap. Head hurts. Woke up thinking I was dead but it was only Purrs on my face. Reread words from yesterday – how did I ever think they were good? How? Emailed agent in despair and had lovely responses back, she says new book will be fine and old ones are doing as well as can be expected, in manner of ICU consultant at bedside of dying patient. Ate cheese on toast, felt marginally better, wrote a bit. Is probably all rubbish and will have to be deleted. Stopped in middle of sex scene as felt a bit sick.

Thursday 26 March

2176 words, top Amazon ranking 2176, hours on Facebook 0, hours on Twitter 0 (self-imposed ban), hours spent playing MacBrickout 4 (bad), days this week have worn make-up 1

Weird serendipitous correlation between Amazon ranking and word count – random, or a sign? But of what? Must not think about it, must keep head down and write. Have passed 25% point in new book – a milestone! But also have discovered awesome new game on laptop. Definitely not procrastination, is all about achieving state of Zen calm required for writing. Bit like Facebook. Which reminds me, have new notifications – just off for a quick look…


Sophie Ranald is the youngest of five sisters. She was born in Zimbabwe and lived in South Africa until an acute case of itchy feet brought her to London in her mid-20s. As an editor for a customer publishing agency, Sophie developed her fiction-writing skills describing holidays to places she’d never visited. In 2011, she decided to disregard all the good advice given to aspiring novelists and attempt to write full-time. After one false start, It Would Be Wrong to Steal My Sister’s Boyfriend (Wouldn’t It?) seemed to write itself. Her second book The Frog Prince came out in December 2014.

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