Sixth in the 1K a Day Motivational Series, in which I talk about something that happened in the previous week that could have or did prevent me from writing a minimum of 1,000 words on a given day, or possibly talk about something that provided support to get me through the day.
This week saw the first holiday of the year in which I had the day off from work, that being Presidents Day. You might be thinking “Oh, an extra day off from work, he’ll totally have time to get around to writing a measly 1,000 words” but you’d be dead wrong.
There are two problems with holidays, especially ones that give days off from various places of employment.
1. An extra day in which your normal routine does not have to be followed allows for the possibility of altering other routines. Don’t have to work? Well, guess I’m sleeping in. Slept in? Well, I can play some video games. Played some video games? Well, now it’s time for dinner. It’s easy to let an abnormal day off waste away doing nothing much because you don’t have the routine in place keeping things running.
2. Holidays tend to be days of social engagement. Whether you have kids, or family events, or birthday parties, or keggers, or board game days, or some awesome combination of many things, you may find you have the day off from work, only to have the usual time of your daily routines broken by other expectations.
So there’s a problem, easily compounded if you let it. Some part of your normal daily or weekly routine is already being broken, by ostensibly a day of rest, relaxation, remembrance, or other “r” words.
So what is the solution? Routine is my answer. On a normal workday, I wake up, get ready, go to work, come home, do a couple minor chores, maybe a load of laundry, prepare and eat dinner (or bring dinner home), relax for a little bit. Then I get down to writing. Most days I don’t do the “fun” stuff until I get my words in. Some days I might read or play a game or watch some TV, or if I have social engagements I’ll do those, but I know that by a certain time I have to be done, and get myself to work. Mostly I do the writing before I do the fun.
So on a Holiday, or any day in which your routine is less stringent or otherwise broken, you have to emulate that routine as best you are able, or at the very least plan ahead for the broken routine. Otherwise that thing you said you’d do won’t get done. And while it might be satisfying to engage in a little schadenfreude when others fail, never give others the same satisfaction.
Don’t give in the temptations of the sudden surplus of free time, at least until you’ve taken care of the daily habit.
And always remember to write the hell on, writers.