Novelist and screenwriter Claire Sparks on life since she gave up a career in PR

Writer Claire Sparks retired from PR after 10 years last August, giving up her role as Associate Director at Shine Communications. She describes how her days are now very different.

My day

7.30am: I get up mega early even though I don't have to any more. I put the kettle on to make the first of many cups of tea. When I was a PRO, my motto was: “There's always time for tea”. If there was a crisis and The Client was having a major meltdown, the first thing I would do was make a round of tea.

7.45am: I brush my teeth. I don't get dressed or put make-up on. I don't need to because I don't have to make an impression on the media or my clients these days. Once, my client turned up at the office, out of the blue, when I was done up as a rapper for a fancy dress party. A day later, he called my boss and asked him to remove me from his account because he felt I was “too urban” for the brand!

8.15am: Log on to Twitter. I refuse to read newspapers these days. I can't face it after overdosing on them as a PRO. I get all my news from Twitter and what friends tell me. I've only just found out that Bob Holness isn't with us any more (RIP).

9.45am: Start writing. I write everyday regardless of what mood I'm in. You can't wait for inspiration. I'm currently writing a comedy screenplay now that my debut novel, An Uncontrollable Urge, is finished and published.

11.35am: I make tea and check Twitter.

1.00pm: Break for lunch. I've lost a stone in weight just from retiring from PR: no more media lunches and my alcohol consumption has halved.

1.45pm: I make more tea and check Twitter again.

2.00pm: Back to writing for an hour then I put a film on. Watching movies is a great way to become familiar with structure and pace for writing screenplays. I jot down character and plot ideas at the same time.

4.00pm: Finish writing for the day. I finally get out of my pyjamas and jump in the shower. You'll never be truly liberated until you can stay in your pyjamas until 5.00pm on a weekday – I live by this mantra.

5.00pm: Do some personal admin and play with my baby niece, Kitty. Today, we're preparing Geoffrey The Giraffe for the Animal Olympics.

6.00pm: I go for a long walk in the park. This helps clear my head after a day of writing otherwise I can't switch off from thinking about scenes and dialogue. This also doubles up as my only exercise for the day.

7.30pm: I meet friends for a drink after work. I get a bus to wherever they are. I used to be queen of ordering taxis on account, but nowadays my oyster card is my Addison Lee speed dial. The plus side of the bus is that it provides great material for writing. Today, there's a woman on the 98 who has asked five different people if they want to buy the belt she's wearing. The thing is, she's not actually wearing a belt.