Gail Carriger – How I Work as an Author

So, Gentle Reader, I’m a bit of a Lifehacker follower. I’m particularly taken with their travel posts. However, I find they are often directed at cubical monkeys and not us jungle-swinging freelance bonobos. Over the past months, Lifehacker has been posting about productivity and the habits/workspaces of diligent types in their How I Work series.

I thought it would be fun to answer their questions, hope you enjoy!

Bay Area, Northern California, USA.

Current gig: 
Chronically tea addicted, octopus obsessed, shoe collecting, New York Times bestselling author-beast.

Current mobile device: 
iPhone 4s (named Hector)

Current computer: 
2013 MacBook Air (named Hestia)

One word that best describes how you work: 

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? 
Apps: (most of my phone’s natives like Mail, Weather, Camera, Calender, Clock, Contacts, Notes, Reminders) as well as Twitter, Facebook, Feedly, Google Maps, Clear, Stylebook and Airports. I’m experimenting with Evernote at Lifehacker’s suggestion.
Software: OpenOffice, Skype, Chrome, Firefox, Safari (yes all three browsers), iTunes, Dreamweaver, Blogger, Google Drive, Hootsuite.
Tools: Kindle Paperwhite, iPod Nano, moleskine daily calender, yearly wall calender, old streetstomper bicycle with detachable shopping paniers, electric kettle or water boil coil, tea, Ikea mini reading lamps, my car, tote and carry-on suitcase, modular packing devices, Roomba, a bath tub (does that count as a tool?), and a gas stove.

(Although, truthfully, back in my archaeology days I can, and have, lived without all of the above except the iPod and tea.)

Tea zone in Gail’s Office

What’s your workspace like?
At home and in my office I have a standing desk made from a CB2 wet bar with a, S-shelf for a riser, Perixx wireless keyboard and mouse, and Wellness mat.

Gail’s Home Desk Set Up

In the office, I also have two additional sitting desks which I use for editing and sewing projects. A reading/research/imagination nook, a sitting area and the all important tea station. I have a blog post with more pictures, including the before and after of decorating.)

Gail’s Reading Nook

What’s your best time-saving trick? 
Outlining and setting realistic goals. And tea.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
Clear for shopping lists, check lists, and such. Evernote for longer term projects and life goals.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My iPod nano (named Caper). I’m addicted to podcasts, I use them to stay in touch with the writing industry and the world, everything from news to entertainment to comedy to academic lectures about the Byzantine Empire. Because I live in California (driving!), bike to work, and travel a lot, audio is a great way for me to stay informed. Pretty much any time I’m not writing, I’m listening to a podcast. Since I’m a girly girl who likes pretty clothes I can’t pocket my phone on my person, a small iPod with a clip is essential to my mental well being.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Making tea.

What are you currently reading?
Sleepless in Hollywood by Lynda Obst.

What do you listen to while you work?
When I’m writing that’s the only time I’m not listening to a podcast. So, nothing.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Introvert, though I perform extrovert well.

What’s your sleep routine like?
Regulated but restless.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.
George R. R. Martin

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
No one is interested in a writer that doesn’t actually finish her novels.

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Every Wednesday we’ll feature a new guest and the gadgets, apps, tips, and tricks that keep them going. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask?”

Want more inside info? Join the Chirrup!

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Gail’s Parasol Colection

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Gail’s Teacup & Octopus Collection

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Gail’s Primary Source Material

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Some of Gail’s Books and the Alex Award


Quote of the Day:
“Now I’m going to give you some good advice.”
“Pray don’t, one should never give a woman anything she can’t wear in the evening.”
~ Oscar Wilde


Posted by Gail Carriger

 Comments are closed


  1. Pat D said:

    I think you need to post instructions on how to brew the perfect cup of tea. I will make notes!

  2. Jess said:

    I am so glad someone else asked because I was also going to ask about your tea making skills! Taking notes myself…

    I love reading things like this- little bits into the life of someone else. I agree with all of your favorite apps, and a lifesaver for me is Shopping List. When I upgraded from iphone 4 to 5 it didn't work for a few months and I found out then just how useful it is. I also love instagram!

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