A Day in the Life of an Intern

Yesterday, Mandy Hubbard held #agentday on Twitter. All day long agents (and interns) tweeted the tasks that they were completing throughout the day. Many aspiring authors began to understand why queries were sometimes the last item to which an agent is able to attend.

I liked Mandy’s idea, and I thought that you might be interested in what a day in the life of an associate agent looks like. However, I would like to add the caveat that not every day looks the same. Some days I have off-site meetings, so on those days I make myself get up earlier or stay up a bit later (or both) so that I can accomplish the same amount.


From about 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., I’m an introvert. I focus on completing big editing projects, reading full or partial manuscripts, working on various projects that Greg and Barbara send my way–anything with which I can be quiet and not have to interact with people. I try not to answer email, tweets, or Facebook posts before 11 or 12. In the morning, I work here:

Normally, my lap top would be found here, but at this moment I am working from the couch. ๐Ÿ™‚


In the afternoon, I am more social. I begin answering emails, including queries, posting comments on various blogs such as the WaterCooler, as well as continuing any projects that I started in the morning. In the afternoon, I work here (or sometimes I go to Starbucks):

Necessary items for afternoon work include: Pepsi, ice water, snacks, Kindle, paper, various pens, highlighter, cell phone, lap top, red blanket and comfy pillows.


My husband works one of those real jobs where he has to GO to work and then come home, so I usually stop working around 5:30 to get dinner ready and pick up my afternoon “nest”. I make it a point to spend at least an hour and a half with him before I go back to editing/project/email world which usually lasts until bed time (unless NCIS or Grey’s Anatomy are on). In the evening, Brewster the Query Bird helps me find new writers:

Query Bird helps me find new amazing writers.

Okay, writers, what do your writing days look like? Do you have a day job that you have to go to before you start writing? If you do not have an alternative job, do you find that you are more flexible with your schedule, or do you prefer to keep to a rigid 9-5 type of writing schedule?

Do you have a writing pet?

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About sarahjoyliteraryagent

Sarah Joy Freese is an associate literary agent with WordServe Literary. She loves reading through queries and attending writing conferences to meet new excellent writers. Sarah especially enjoys working with authors make their manuscripts even stronger. Sarah received her bachelorโ€™s degree in English and communications from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also has an MA (emphasis in creative writing) and an MLIS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Sarah is married and is enjoying life with her husband and two birds, Brewster and Simon. When she is not working, Sarah enjoys crocheting, watching NCIS and Greyโ€™s Anatomy, and playing Euchre.

30 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of an Intern

  1. I have a ugly pink chair I call “The Pink Bear” that tends to prevent me from doing any real work. The Pink Bear attacks me! It must have arms because it knocks my lap desk off and even occasionally causes injury to my neck…

  2. I usually wake up around 5:30 or 6 and stare at my walls for about five minutes(you’d be surprised at the ideas that spring from that relaxing, meditation time), then I check my email- which usually have blog post and things. I read those. (yay, your number two) After that I turn on my laptop, pull up the story I was working on, read some, edit, write some more. (my goal is a thousand words a day. Some far in February I’ve kept my quota. Yay) Then I began to get resdy for my day, whch means school, then work or just one of those. Today is Saturday, which means I have Theater Makeup. And thats fun. And my day.

    • Sounds like you have a wonderful schedule worked out, Tedra. Thanks for sharing, and enjoy today! What does “Theater Makeup” mean? Do you put makeup on people who are in a theater production?

  3. My days vary greatly because my work-ooutside-the-home job is only two days per week. The other days I’m a homeschooling mother of three — so how much writing I get done before mid-afternoon snack depends a lot on how much they need me to help them in school and how focused they are being in getting it done themselves. Most of my writing happens after dinner .. on nights when the kids aren’t involved in their activities .. and unless NCIS is on. ;~)

  4. When I worked full time at an office I came home every night and wrote during the evening, after dinner (wrote and published a book of poems this way and started a blog during this time.) Now I am not working at an office (hallelujah) and I am in the process of figuring out my at-home work day for writing. What has happened is that I get my most vibrant and clear ideas during the evening. My mind seems to be trained to wake up and produce at that time because that’s what I had done for so long. Loved reading about your day. It reminded me that it’s important to have structure and a comfy blanket.

  5. I usually start my day with a long Bible study—I write Bible study material, so this often bleeds into work-time. Also an introvert, I try not to interact with people in the a.m. I stay in my cave for as long as possible. I drink black tea. Once I’ve wrapped up the theological writing, I move on to fiction, inspirational articles, or my blog—writing and editing for whichever project I’m working on. Fiction requires a different mindset than theological writing, so I may take a walk in between to change my focus, iPod and earbuds in place.

    I’m in my twenty-eight (and final) year of homeschooling. My daughter works from the syllabus I wrote in the summer. I work upstairs; she works downstairs. Both introverts, we come together in the afternoon for coffee and educational history videos from The Teaching Company. We discuss any questions she has, and I grade her work. Tuesdays our schedule is shot with our all-day home school co-op. Wednesdays we run around for her tutoring sessions. When she’s gone in the summertime (she works at a Christian camp), the afternoons becomes mine, as they will be when she starts college next year. Then, I write right up to the minute my husband pulls into the driveway. I try not to step into my office once he’s home, but sometimes it can’t be helped. I love my cave.

    • Like I said in an earlier post, I love homeschool moms. You should check out the link that I included a few posts above. I would love to one day homeschool my kids, but it will depend on where we are at that time. I know that I want to work, too, so I probably won’t be able to, but I can dream, right?

      • When they were all little, it didn’t work for me; but then, I had six! Ann Voskamp seems to be pulling it off, though; so it probably depends on your work style. I need long, quiet, concentrated think-time. I started writing again when I was down to the last two kids. Not everyone homeschools all the way through like I did either. If you want to do both, Sarah, I’m betting you’ll be able to make it work.

  6. Thanks for sharingโ€”I’ll remember not to schedule a morning meeting with you! (: I am most productive in the mornings, but since I have to give that time (6am-4-pmish+) to my ‘day job’ I write mostly evenings and weekends. I love those weekends. I rarely watch TV but do spend down time reading, reading, reading (both to hone my craft and books in my genre). Fortunately, I do work from home, so I can at least avoid time wasted in commute. One thing I promised myself this year was I’d only look at blogs/social media AFTER I’ve done some writing each day. This has really helped me maximize my productive time!

    • LOL, well it’s not a science, just a preference. I have scheduled meetings with people in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚ I forget, what is your day job?

  7. I carry a notebook around with me and write all day long no matter where I am, who I’m with, or what else I am doing. I have many many pages of writing (plots, characters, ideas, emotions, situations, jokes, or whatever else I want to include in later stories). When I get the book home, I type all of these ideas up in organized word documents according to which story/character they pertain to. I don’t have a writing pet. My pets often distract me from writing with requests for walks or outside time ๐Ÿ™‚ I am 100% devoted to my characters and they are always alive and with me wherever I go. Sometimes, I even write in my sleep ๐Ÿ™‚ My ‘day job’ is mostly freelance artwork so I can write mentally the whole time I’m doing that – which is also done on the computer. Our nephews are my only real distraction from this as we have to watch them 10 hours a day – but they don’t stop me from writing in my notebook ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for sharing, Cameo. ๐Ÿ™‚

      You’ve always been super creative, and I love that you are so passionate about life–writing, being an artist, loving on those kids. That’s awesome.

  8. I usually get up between 5 and 5:30 (no alarm clock) and exercise, pray, and read my Bible.
    Then I write for an hour or two.
    My goal is to start my day job by 9 and work until about 5.
    At 5 I read the blogs I follow and comment as appropriate (I’m off schedule today because I am traveling).
    Next is supper and then it is time to blog/read/watch TV/work on a project.

    At least that is what usually happens!

    (Saturday morning I crank out a couple of blogs and for Sunday the goal is to do no writing at all.)

  9. A freelance writer and editor, I am joyfully disciplined but at my own pace, rarely getting started before 9:00 a.m., if then. I do not understand writing before dawn; I am sleeping before dawn. I do not have a pet of any kind, and all children have left the nest. I do have a husband and a home office. The office is off limits to my husband if the door is closed, and when he is home he (almost always) honors that signal that I am concentrating on a project and prefer not to be disturbed. I have convinced him that any unnecessary break in my concentration is detrimental to our financial stability.

    I have admitted to sometimes working in my pink bathrobe. Sometimes I forget to eat while I am working, but I always make up for it later. In the evenings, I often work on a project or I write for my blog, read blogs, and catch up on other social media. It usually does not matter at all how late I stay up. See above about the dawn. I have no idea what normal is for a freelance writer/editor. If this is not it, someone will have to tell me. I may consider not wearing my pink bathrobe while working, but such a concession is highly unlikely.

    • Like you, I believe that one of the best perks of being a freelance writer is the freedom to work in our pajamas. (My bathrobe is red.) A brain can really fire those synapses when the body that supports it is unimpeded by everyday work apparel. About the dawn: I wish it were otherwise. I don’t understand it; but when I write fiction, I wake before dawn. Dialogue, wording, and storyline awaken me in the wee hours. Most definitely, this was not my plan. I thought I would write as you are, long into the night, rising late; but my brain had a different idea, even though it is pampered with pajama-clad work hours.

  10. I am so grateful to find another NCIS lover – regarding writing, there is no schedule, just to write every day. I have two blogs and am writing a memoir – right now I’m uncertain how to end it, so I’m editing the beginning – I’m learning as I go, so some of my day is spent in reading books and blogs that help me hone my skill. I also am wondering0 on Critique Circle – so some days I critique other authors to earn points to put up another chapter of my book. The critiques I’ve received from that site help me improve.

    By the way, I’m glad you make time to spend with your husband – it is vital that our families and relationships also have a commitment of time. I am blessed with a supportive and loving husband of 25 years and three wonderful young-adult children.

    • Heather, it sounds like you are really open to receiving from others–it is always good when writers are still in process. As still as someone feels as though they have arrived, that is when their writing doesn’t grow. So, yes, editing is definitely an important part of the writer’s day!

      And, yes, I am thankful that I get to spend time with my hubby. Some weeks (i.e. this one) are busier than others, but we do love to hang out. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I have grown, but there is a lot I don’t know – I am always open for suggestions. At some point, I may put up a bit of my MS online for reading and suggestions. Have a blessed ay.

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