Tag Archives: day off


This is the first Wednesday in some time that I have nothing on my must-do list. With nothing that I must do, I can spend my day on something that I want to do. But…which something should I choose?

I want to work on scanning all of my photographs and old family documents to make a permanent, easily transportable record. I plan to copy all of these to a DVD, a thumb drive and a portable hard drive for safekeeping. Should disaster strike and we need to flee, I can grab one of those and take my memories with me.

I also want to go through the zillion scraps of paper currently lurking in the back bedroom – mostly receipts – and get rid of any that are too old for anyone to care about. Especially me. Maybe while doing that, I’ll find some of the documents I put away “in a safe place” that I absolutely cannot find now.

We have new laws governing the paperwork we need to get driver’s licenses and to vote, and all of my documents are in that mystical “safe place.” I have five copies of my birth certificate, and can’t find a blessed one.

There’s also laundry to do, floors to sweep and dust to banish. Oh, and let’s not forget, dogs to bathe. I actually want to do these things, too.

I have several books I want to read, and I want to work on the edits of one of my own books and one of a friend’s.

Still, with all these great choices facing me today, I think I’ll just…write.

Writing pen


Diet, Exercise and Writing

I took the day off from writing today and spent the first two hours of it trying not to feel guilty.

Most writers say you won’t get anywhere unless you write every day without fail. That may be true for them and it may be true for you. If so, don’t take a day off.

To me, writing is a bit like a diet or exercise program. You have to do it every day to get into the habit of eating properly or toning your muscles. It takes time, but eventually you reach a point where not following the regimen makes your whole day seem off.

For me, taking a day off from writing now and then helps clear away the cobwebs and let that side of my brain rest. A day off from exercising or strictly following a diet regimen gives your body a chance to rest and gives you an opportunity to reward yourself for being “good.”

You can spend your day off doing almost anything. Eat ice cream. Loll around on a deck chair all afternoon watching birds fly by.

The best thing you can do as a writer, in my opinion, is lift your nose from the grindstone and look around. Reconnect with the world.

Go to the park, take a walk, strike up a conversation with a stranger at the grocery store. Give your dog a bath. Give the cat a bath if you’re feeling reckless.

Grab your camera and practice taking closeups of bumblebees. The danger of being stung will almost certainly make the experience bigger and brighter for you.

If you have any young relatives, call or visit and spend time talking to them. A conversation with a four-year-old is often at once hopelessly garbled and crystal clear.

Keep a small notebook and pen with you, just in case. You may find during your day doing anything but writing that your work is simmering on the back burner of your mind.

New ideas may bubble over here and there. A sticky plot situation may resolve itself while you’re tossing bread crumbs to the ducks at the park. Write them down and put the notebook away, out of sight, to avoid the temptation to keep writing.

Tomorrow, when you glue your butt back into your chair and reattach that ball and chain, the short notes you took on your day off may help jumpstart your work.