In real life, in my real job, I have no classes to teach next week, no papers to grade, and no office hours to attend, but I still have day care for my kids and I intend to make the most of it (on at least a few of the days– have to enjoy my kids a bit more than usual, too, of course!)
I am not going to a beach or the mountains; I am going to write.
When life gives you a block of unscheduled time it’s so easy to want to pack it with every chore you’ve been putting off. Maybe the knives need to be sharpened; they keep bouncing off of the onions you cut for dinner. Maybe the carpet needs to be cleaned; your puppy has been house broken for months but you wouldn’t know it. Next week I plan to resist all of the spring cleaning urges and dig into my work in progress as deeply as I can. The steps to setting up a writing staycation of your own:
Step one: Declutter your schedule
— I’m not making any lunch dates or big appointments around the times which I know I’m most productive. In my world this would be from 8 until 12.
Step two: Set the mood
—For me, this means coffee in the cup, butt on the couch, wi-fi turned off, phone way out of reach. Any research I need to do can happen either after my writing time or in the second draft.
Step three: Hold yourself accountable
—I’m setting a goal for the week and I will meet it, come hell or high blood pressure. Those of you who have won NaNoWriMo will be familiar with the success of setting those daily goals to reach larger ones. For the past few months I’ve been tracking my progress on Pacemaker. It helps me visualize as well as set achievable goals. I’m almost 70% through my first draft of this novel and I
hope to will write 10k words toward that goal next week.
Step four: Enjoy your quality time with your characters.
—Play on the page. Let your characters out to stretch. Remind yourself that this is how you want to be spending your time. While everyone else will have a sunburn to show for their break, you’ll have a few chapters of a novel. And also, take breaks to enjoy your free time with, you know, living and breathing human beings, too.
All in all, in the famous words of Parks and Rec:
Enjoy your writing staycation. I know I will!