Today I am here to share with you a very interesting guest post from Sara Mendes da Costa on a day in her life. Sara’s debut novel Peanuts and Eggcups sounds like a fantastic read. Here’s more info on it!
For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process.
Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable – supposedly ex – fiancée!
Via the reunion, a black eye, getting the sack (as a result) a madcap girlie holiday and juggling her confused emotions around the two alluring brothers…Maggie starts to build a picture of what she really wants in life.
Trouble is, Maggie’s a pawn in a game she doesn’t even know she’s playing …and things are about to get a whole lot more complicated.
I must admit I feel pretty blessed in many ways. I love the freedom my work affords me. I don’t really have a typical work day as such, as anything can happen and I kinda set it up that way. I’ve done the nine to five – a long time ago – and I’ve worked for others, but I’ve been self-employed for years and freedom is key for me.
Overall my work is generally flexible. I work from home and, for the voiceover side of things, I have a studio here – including a big metal audio booth I recently (lovingly and painstakingly!) refurbished and painted with a Union Jack (Union Flag) on the front door. A bit like a giant Smeg fridge in fact! Sometimes work is booked ahead and other times I just wait for the phone to ring or an email to come in booking me.
With my writing, the wonderful flexibility in my voiceover career allows me to write in between bookings and sometimes I wake up and think ‘I’m just going to grab my laptop and start writing without even getting out of bed!’ – though I usually nip downstairs and grab tea and toast first ☺
If I’m writing in bed and voice work comes in, it’s not unusual to be in the booth in my dressing gown. Ha, I can even remember just having got out the bath, rushing to the booth realising I was late, catching my towel on the door and doing the whole session naked!! I have to laugh…thankfully these aren’t ‘in vision’ sessions! I guess that’s one of the great things about recording voiceovers in a home studio…no one can see you – thank goodness!
Being self-employed can bring its challenges though, as many of you will know. You don’t get paid holidays or sickness and, with the industry I’m in, work is not always flooding in or predictably regular…but I’ve learned to trust that it does come in and when it does, it thankfully really does. On days when it doesn’t though, for me it’s about doing something else which makes me happy and keeps me feeling like I’m moving forward – even if that is topping up the tan in the garden ☺
On one of my more regular days, I’ll get up and shower then go and feed my three cats and clear up the kitchen while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil. I’ll maybe do some leisurely chores while I wait for the urge to eat and perhaps go out to the garden and do some stretching and take some deep breaths.
Breakfast is often eaten at my desk, or, weather permitting, in the garden where I sit on my rocking chair and think about the day ahead. Then I tend to bury my head in emails, Facebook etc and catch up with what’s going on. Sometimes I go on my chi machine to clear my head and psych myself up to the day (brilliant for really lifting the spirit) and I have started workout DVDs – stretching in particular – as doing what I do isn’t very active so I’m trying to put some life back into my body and get everything moving regularly. Then it’s on with the day. Sometimes voice work and other times I can just sit and write. There are also times when I sort the house or the garden out, do the washing…or whatever! It really is a blank canvas. As long as I know money has come in to keep me going, I kinda go where the mood takes me…unless I have deadlines. Ooh and I try to sneak in an hour for watching a gripping Netflix drama! (in fact one of my favourite times of the day, particularly in not such great weather, is sitting down with my lunch on a tray on my lap and devouring drama for an hour or so – bliss!)
I intersperse work with seeing friends for lunch or having a facial, getting my nails done (clearly most important!) etc. These days are great. Being self-employed when the phone doesn’t ring, for me, means: “Get out of the house, Sara! Think about something different, stop concentrating on ‘no work, no work, no money, no money, etc’…get out and release all that negativity and enjoy life!” And, you know what, it always seems to work. I tend to pick up work via email or phone whilst I’m out or maybe someone books me for the next day and all is good in my world. By releasing the focus on what I don’t want, I make room for attracting what I do want and I look upon time out during my working week as an essential part of my working week. I truly believe in order to attract what you want into your life, you’ve gotta feel good.
I often work into the evening, especially lately when there’s been so much to do with finishing the final checks of Peanuts & Eggcups, working on articles, press interviews etc and finishing my recent studio upgrade which has been a major project. Sometimes, when I’m really engrossed in writing, I write when I go to bed. Instead of reading I’ll be writing which isn’t always great for getting to sleep afterwards but it still seems to work for me in terms of ‘the flow’ and I get all sorts of inspiration late at night.
I always remember seeing an actress interviewed on TV, years ago. She said ‘I don’t consider what I do as work. I love it so much, it’s just part of life; of me. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I feel so lucky and grateful.’ That really stuck with me and whilst I can’t say I absolutely love everything I do every day, I love a considerable amount of it and I absolutely love the freedom it affords me and the style of life. For me work and life are one. I don’t really put one down to pick up the other, they kind of merge. I love what I do and I always intend to do what I love…so if anything, a typical day for me is a day that I choose to do …whatever I choose to do! And I’m extremely thankful for that.
About the Author
Sara Mendes da Costa is the voice of the BT Speaking Clock; the fourth person to hold this prestigious title since 1936.
A successful, world-renowned voiceover artist, her dulcet tones are easily recognisable on television, radio, film and across countless media.
Never far from the press, she’s known for her appearances on BBC Breakfast, ITV This Morning, Children in Need, Wake up to Wogan and The Today Programme, and balances her prolific voiceover career with her passion and commitment as a novelist.
Peanuts & Eggcups, her debut novel – hotly anticipated by the industry – is “The perfect & highly addictive reading companion for women’s fiction fans”. `
A lover of laughter, creativity, great storytelling and a wee dram, Sara adores writing novels and seeks to entertain, uplift and inspire.
Her upcoming novels: Time & Time Again & Maggie Ever After, are expected in 2017.