On Sitting on the Beach and Getting “Nothing” Done

wp-1467123265854.jpgWork load wise, I didn’t get a lot done this weekend.

I did some editing/rewriting for myself, one day. But I didn’t write any blog posts, I didn’t do any critiquing.

Yesterday particularly, you can’t say I did anything towards bringing my story to completion.

So what did I do?

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I ran for two miles.

I watched The Mindy Project while I sewed beanbags.

I ate leftover barbecue on a porch.

I sat on the beach for two hours, reading, running my feet through warm sand, taking pictures of speckled rocks, staring at the ocean while I ate an apple and listened to families shout at each other and dip their children in sea water for the first time.

Work load wise, I didn’t get a lot done.

But I don’t think I wasted much time.

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What to Do While Waiting for Critiques on Your Manuscript; A List

I finished another edit on my manuscript. I sent it to my critique partner, posted it in my new writing group, and gave everyone over a month to get back to me with any kind of response.

Now I’m waiting.

And I’m trying to figure out what to do in the meantime.

Here are some ideas.

  • Go back to that other manuscript you shelved for a little while…though you’re sure you still need to wait on it.
  • Take on the vague story idea and do some research so you can slap some more vague ideas on it and maybe get something that resembles a plot.
  • Actually blog on your blog.
  • Read. Read a lot. (You need to read more kids books anyway.)
  • Actually clean your house, maybe finish unpacking those half full boxes in the basement.
  • Draw.
  • COLOR.
  • Critique everything you can on your writing group. (Oh wow I should actually do that one.)
  • Just keep writing. Something. Every day. Whether it’s a story or a query letter or a weird listy blog post and even if you don’t think you’ll ever do anything with it, keep writing, because it’s the only thing that consistently makes you feel like you, that makes you feel like you accomplished something with your day, and keeps you sane enough that the people you care about can tolerate you being around.

Yeah. Those might be a start.

Moving In, Settling In (and Not Writing At All…)

We finally moved our stuff into our new house on Saturday! This was tiring, stressful…and very time consuming.

Because of that, I didn’t do much of any writing over the weekend, aside from some quick journaling scribbles to sort out my stressors. Even today, I can’t really access my desk, thanks to book box mountain…
imageEgads.

If you notice to the right, you’ll see that the boxes partly obscure my desk, so that I can’t even settle in there to try and restart my routine.

I’m going to try and kick myself back into gear today. But I’ve also got some unpacking to do, a nervous dog to comfort, and, well, I unpacked Fullmetal Alchemist last night so obviously I need to reread all 27 volumes of that.

Right now I’m looking forward to my routine improving, after a couple of months living in someone else’s house, and maybe I’ll get my writing (and my querying) on a more productive track.

Has anyone else had their life disrupted by moving? How do you get back into the swing of it? How does your new routine differ from your old one?

Bad Writing Day

I’m having a bad writing day today. It’s not that I’m stuck on anything — I’m probably only one full hand-written page away from being done with a short story draft. Part of it is that I have other things in my head, little anxieties, bugging me, eating away at my energy. But really, I’m just having a day where the words aren’t coming, they’re just dribbling out, tumbling into each other and making a poorly written mess. I could just power through it (that’s basically what I’m doing for this blog post) but everything I’ve tried to write for the short story is not what I’m looking for, each word sounding completely off-key.

So while I’d love to finish this story, so I can spend the weekend typing it up and making minor adjustments, a task that’s generally a relief after putting all that energy into coming up with the story, I can’t write it today. It won’t happen. I’m annoyed with myself for it, but I’m trying to remind myself that I did good work over the past few days, and that sometimes I need to take a bonus break to read, or knit, or watch a movie, let that part of my brain rest so that all the jumbled up puzzle pieces in my head can fall back into the right place, or at least a close approximation.

Other writers, what do you do on your off days?