A Week Off Does Wonders

ROW80

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ROW80 5/8 Check-In

For those that don’t know, I took this past week off from goals.  My “get up and go” had gone on strike due to me prioritizing productivity over everything and denying myself unscheduled fun.  So, for the past week I denied myself productivity in favor of fun.  And, boy, did I need it!  The “get up and go” strike is over.  I’m itching and excited to be productive once more.

This past week: I tried to run a timed mile, but my timer got f—ed up, so I said screw it after 1 try.  I finished watching COFFEE PRINCE with Basement Troll.  By myself, I watched the movie TOKYO GORE POLICE and 10 of 12 episodes of the anime ANOTHER (I do plan to finish off the series- it creepy good).  With my husband I watched THE MECHANIC and with the kids I watched WE BOUGHT A ZOO.  I broke the plastic wrapping on FABLE 3 and started playing it (once for 6 hours straight).  Since I had been putting it off, I finally redyed my hair and even did it in two tones.  Also, took walks for reasons that did not include exercise.  After 10 days of having a non-functioning car, we got a new to us one.  One with four doors!  (Which is very important to a family of four who have had a two door car for 6-7 years… Yeah, we did car seats in that thing. *shudder*)  And for anyone keeping track, I still can’t crawl (bruises still on my right knee), but my right hand was finally good enough to do dishes on Sunday.

new car

The new to us car is a 2000 Ford Contour.

Changes to writer time: So, last week, I mentioned there’s a lack of balance to my writing life.  I’ve been totally focused on creating.  I steal fun time from myself to do blog posts.  I don’t edit.  I leave drafts sitting there reaching beyond 0 Kelvin… Okay not possible, scientifically, but totally possible figuratively.  I haven’t had time for the business side of writing.  And, quite frankly, this has to stop.

Change #1
New Prospective on Words Written a Week

I want to keep this round’s goal (7.5k/week) and my 2013 resolution (9k/week), however I need to look at them differently.  Right now, I’m “I have to have those many words every week.” However, I can’t be writing each of my writer days of the week.  So, I’m changing that to “If I wrote all writer days this week, that’s how many words I’d have.”  Because, should I ever run out of stuff to edit that’s what I’ll be doing, writing.

Change #2
Editing Day(s)
I had planned on switching up my writer schedule once the kids got off school (for obvious reasons) to 1-2 writing days, with the rest editing days.  But editing needs to be more than a seasonal thing.  Since, school is almost over, I’m just going to do one editing day a week for now (turning it up as planned in 4 check-ins).  

Congratulations You Won Fun Time!

Change #3
Taking Time From the Right Places
As I stated, for blog posts I have been taking time from my fun and I haven’t taken any time for the business side.  This is a vow that I will take time our of my writing or editing (only) to take care of these things and I will do them.

Change #4
Reward Breaks
This break taught me the magic that time off is.  I’m going to set benchmarks (like 20k in a manuscript) that earn me time off (2-3 days) for the kind of fun I’ve had this week.  I’m hoping this will stop burn out all together.

This week’s plan: I’m going to take today and possibly tomorrow to sort through some things and get other things in place so all these changes can happen.  That leaves me 3-4 writer days this week.  Remember, 1 day is for edits.  That means 2-3 writing days with a goal of 1,400 words/day, which to be safe I’ll put as 2,800 on the Tracking Awesome meter that hangs out on the right column of this blog. (Note: If I wrote all 5 days that’s 7,000 for the week.)  Otherwise, there’s no big changes.  I’ll be resuming all goals as of today.

Do you have a personal rewards system you’d like to share?
How do you balance the things that go beyond writing?
If you took a week off, like I did, what would you do?

Thurs- Pictures of me beating me up
Fri- My (No Longer) Secret Plan
Mon- Writing Music: Don’t Hate Me
Tues- Progress pics of schedule chibis

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8 thoughts on “A Week Off Does Wonders

  1. I’ve taken weeks off before. Once last year after a grueling feedback session after a conference, I play Diablo 3 like crazy for a couple of weeks. No writing happened whatsoever. I’d probably do a lot of reading, maybe catch up on blogging. Seems like there’s always blogging to catch up on.

    • I totally get having to take time off after feedback. I usually take 24-48 hours after getting some off (grueling or not). And how much geek cred do I lose for saying I’ve never played a Diablo game?

      • Say whaaaaat? Not even Diablo 1? I think you can get it for like $5 now. They’re pretty good stories, especially if you love them dark. They’re very, very dark.

        • I’ll look into it once I’ve cleared out a few more games. Right now, I’m regretting never finishing OKAMI. Beautiful and fun game… And since I have no clue where I left off I’ll be restarting it from the beginning! WEEE! 🙂

  2. Nothing to refocus you like an “I quit week”! My writing buddy Elizabeth Bear turned me on to these a long time ago, and they are so effective! Or if they aren’t, that probably means something too … 🙂

    Editing is hard to quantify. I try to do it on an hourly basis in order to tally the work I’ve done. Good luck on changing your priorities!

    • It works wonders. For sure.

      I agree at the quantifying bit, which is why I am just giving it “days.” Maybe I’ll set goals like “read this by xx/yy/13.” Or “get this chapter done in 1 week.” Still have yet to figure that bit out.

      I already failed at one of my changes! The whole “no stealing other thing time” thing… Gah! It is a habit I definitely have to break.

  3. Isn’t it great how refreshing a little time off can be? It’s like recharging your batteries. We need to do that from time to time.

    Last year, when I was on vacation at the beach, my goal was to get up and write every day. I thought it would be an excellent time to do it, since I wasn’t at my full time job. I now realize that if I’m going to treat writing like a real job, then when I take a vacation, I shouldn’t write. 🙂 So this year’s vacation is all about reading. When I’m taking a break from writing, I read more and play Big Fish games on the computer.

    • I agree with you! I treat writing very much like a real job (though my efficiency at it needs some work). But I also (obviously) neglect the break part. Jobs give you breaks and vacations and holidays off. It isn’t being lazy. It is taking care of yourself. Even the most dedicated writer needs to take a complete break now and again.

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