For Jennifer Weiner, there’s no time for writer’s block. Before her collection of essays, Hungry Heart, hit bookshelves Tuesday, October 11, the bestselling author — of books including In Her Shoes and Good in Bed — invited Us Weekly to tag along with her … and showed Us just how she gets everything done.
(Ahem, she is the queen of chick lit for a reason!)
6:30 a.m.: Up and at 'Em
In her Philadelphia home September 7, Weiner, 46, wakes up to pokes from her husband, sports editor Bill Syken. Still in her pj's, she staggers downstairs, where daughter Lucy, 13, is awaiting breakfast. “She’s like, ‘Aren’t you going to get dressed?’” says Weiner. “I’m like, ‘Who’s going to see me? Who even cares?’”
7:30 a.m.: Say “Cheese”
Once Lucy leaves for school, it’s time to get daughter Phoebe going for her first day of third grade. “She had her whole outfit ready: a white and blue dress from Target and her Skechers rainbow sneakers,” Weiner says of her 8-year-old. “She had her hair in two pigtails the night before and had gone to sleep with it like that so she’d be ready in the morning. I didn’t want to explain to her it was going to get ratty.”
Weiner scribbles “First Day of Third Grade” on “a power bill or something” and then asks her youngest to pose with the sign on the front steps before catching the bus.
8:30 a.m.: All Work
Sipping a protein shake, she writes about a social-media junkie for the sequel to her kids’ book The Littlest Bigfoot: “I invent sites like SnapGram and InstaChat. The character is checking her numbers and her likes and her follows and her friends and who’s posting about her. I write about how people get so frenzied about that stuff.”
1:15 p.m.: A Little Play
After a 55-minute Pure Barre class — and a nearly 2-mile bike ride back home — Weiner settles into her “huge Carrie Bradshaw closet” to work. “I do not have the Carrie Bradshaw body and, hence, I don’t have the Carrie Bradshaw wardrobe,” she jokes. “So it’s a lot of books. And I don’t wear makeup most days, so I use the vanity as a desk.”
The goal: Get down a few thousand words daily. “I’ve definitely had days where I’ll write 500 words and each of them will feel like it’s a tooth being pulled out of me, and then I’ll look up and be like, ‘Crap, crap, crap,’ and just delete the whole thing,” she admits. “But I don’t think I’ve ever had a day where I couldn’t write something. I love my job and feel lucky that I get to do this!”
3 p.m.: Here’s a Toast
At a coffee shop, she and Phoebe share anadama bread with unsalted butter and Himalayan sea salt. “If I ever gave this kid Wonder Bread, she would die,” jokes Weiner.
Up next: an hourlong, mandatory sportsmanship meeting at Lucy’s school. (Her oldest plays volleyball!) “I’m sitting there like, ’S–t must have gone down last year!’”
Afterward, Weiner stays to chat with the other parents. “I catch up with everybody, get all the gossip and find out what’s the scoop from the summer.”
8 p.m.: Kicking Back
“I like to cook, but it isn’t happening tonight,” confesses Weiner, whose specialty is roast chicken with garlic and rosemary. Over Indian takeout, she catches up with Syken. “He is my voice of reason,” she says of her husband, who she wed in March. “He tells me not to worry about things I can’t control.”
The pair then unwind with episode 6 of Netflix’s Stranger Things. “I looked like Barb in high school,” she tells Us of the show’s fan-favorite character. “I had that hair. I had the glasses too. But it was more the hair and the high-waisted pants that just did no one any favors.”
Lucy has already watched the smash hit — and Weiner desperately tries to explain to her the celebrity of star Winona Ryder. “She’s like Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian,” Weiner argues. “I’m like, ‘This is a vanity-free performance she’s delivering!’”
11 p.m.: Lights Out
Before dozing off, Syken walks rescue rat-terrier Moochie and Weiner reads Mara Wilson’s Where Am I Now? “I love a good story,” she says. “I want something that will entertain me and, after a day where I’ve had a lot on my mind, it’s nice to be taken to another time or place.”
And that’s a wrap. Come tomorrow, Weiner tells Us, “we do it all over again.”
Can’t get enough of Weiner? Pick up Hungry Heart and The Littlest Bigfoot, on shelves now!
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