So today I find myself facing a three-day weekend for the first time since I started the Current Day Job, and I’ve already planned that today will be my run to Amoeba Records for dvds and perhaps some used cds and whatnot! We’re going to see a play on Saturday and if the weather is nice, we’ll take a walk in the part on Sunday.
Even at this point in my life, I still feel guilty when I decide to spend my non-work time not writing. Even if it’s watching TV — including things we enjoy watching — I still feel that nudge that I really should have the laptop on and work on my projects. Back in my Belfry years I’d allow a few PC games before getting started, and these days it’s other things like reading webcomics or futzing around with my music library for a bit.
How do I get rid of that guilt? Well, I don’t think I’ve ever quite gotten rid of it, per se…more like I’ve chosen to just ignore it instead. I’ll say to myself that I’ll let myself play until a specific time and have a hard start time, and I’ll stick to it.
And what about all this time away from the PC at my Current Day Job? Good question, actually! If I’ve realized anything over the last couple of weeks, it’s that I’d somewhat forgotten what it’s like to work somewhere surrounded by other people. I mean, more than just an office setting with the same twenty or so people…this is working in a place where I meet all sorts of locals and visitors. It’s been so much longer than I realized, and to tell the truth, I kind of enjoy it! Weird, yes, but I’m seeing it as a sort of writing research, to be honest. Letting myself have a huge rethink about my own created characters. Something I can do for fun instead of trying to squeeze in something while manning the register.
Still, I’m happy that I’ve got these days off so I can rest, too.
I had a vague plan that I’d do a bit of writing on the weekend, even if it was just a page or so. I figured we’d go out, spend the day at Disneyland, have our fun, and then we’d get back to the hotel and I’d do some work. I even packed the Apartment Complex story notebook. If I wasn’t doing my daily words or my blog posts or anything else, I’d at least do something. Right?
Yeah, we all know how that was going to go, even before we boarded the plane down to Orange County. Heh. I didn’t do a damn thing. I didn’t even take it out of my bag.
But you know, I’m okay with that! I’ve finally made peace with the fact that I’m due a few days off now and again. I’d been writing for eleven days straight on not just that project, but on daily words, scheduled blogs, and whatever else I’ve been working on — on top of the Day Job. But that’s not why I took the days off. I wasn’t exactly exhausted mentally or physically. I could have easily kept going with it if I wanted. And the moment I admit to myself that I should take days off, I’m going to abuse that and not get anything done on time.
No, this was basically to accept that part of the process of writing is not writing. I’ve gotta let myself just think about the story instead of trying to bleed it out of my brain. I can instead listen to an album on the flight (The Sound of Arrows’ Stay Free, if you’re playing along) and think not about the story but about the characters in general.
That said, physically I’m still exhausted from the 8.6 miles we walked on Saturday and 7.7 miles on Sunday (plus the two today, thanks to travel through airports and whatnot), but mentally I’m ready to go come Tuesday. Everything will be back to normal.
So yeah, I’m not too worried about not missing out on writing this past weekend.
PS – This seemed to be a perfect song for this post. It’s also a melody that keeps on popping into my head while writing the Apartment Complex story.
Tomorrow is Veterans’ Day, so had I planned it earlier, I could have taken today off as a floating holiday. [If memory recalls, I think I used it up earlier in the year so I could go to one of the cons.] On days like this, I usually get up around the same time, maybe an hour or so later, and start the day.
[Granted, I thought I *did* have the day off (A. even initially took the day off so we could do stuff during the day), thus the inspiration for this post. I figured I’d keep it up and revise it a bit.]
And like most creative people, my Best Laid Plan on bank holidays is that I want to spend the entire day writing, or doing writing-related things, or catching up on all the small fiddly writing-related things that I’d put aside. Carpe diem! Or something like that. I say Best Laid Plan, of course, because in reality I’m usually doing the exact opposite: futzing around with email, watching cat videos, goofing around with my mp3 collection. And just like most regular days, squeezing the actual writing work into the last three hours of the day.
Really, though…I do have to remind myself that it’s good to use a day off as a real day off. Do stuff I enjoy doing that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with my creativity. Going on a road trip, going to a movie…hell, even watching an anime series on TV. There are other things out there I enjoy doing, especially with A., and days off are good for that sort of thing.
If that means I’m squeezing my work into just a few hours as the sun goes down, then so be it. At least it’ll have been a full, productive, and entertaining day!