Wednesday, September 8, 2010

At My Own Pace by Morgan Mandel

As I repack my vacation clothes, ready to leave for home again at the end of another NorthWoods vacation, I wonder where the time went. Why couldn't I manage to get more done on my work in progress?

I did have visions of putting aside at least an hour or two each day to enjoy the freedom to write, but that unfortunately didn't happen. Vacation and fun somehow got in the way of my resolve. Going out for breakfast, taking long walks with our dog, Rascal, visiting friends, enjoying the weather, taking naps, reading my kindle, great dinners, and spending hours at the casino - all kinds of alternatives got in my way.

I'm afraid I needed this vacation a lot. I'm stuck at my present day job and not liking it. This was my time to let go and not worry about anything. I know lots of other authors are more conscientious and wouldn't think of abandoning their writing even for a day.

I've decided if I don't write at my own pace and in my own time, there's no sense in my writing at all. Okay, maybe I lack discipline, but whether that's a fault or a blessing, I'm not sure. Yes, I do feel a little guilty, but really not that much.

What about you? Are you strict with yourself when it comes to writing? If you miss opportunities, do you feel guilty?


Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful and well-earned vacation. You shouldn't feel guilty about taking a respite from work of all kinds. My writing is usually generated by my characters, and sometimes they tend to take vacations without telling me. I'm left at home without the stimulation I need to write. Do I feel guilty? No...when they come back, I'll be busy and wish they'd leave again for at least a weekend.

Unknown said...

MORGAN--that's what vacations are for. We did that two weeks ago, but only for four days. Yes, we're both retired, but both of us have involvements that seems like work much of the time. I did not take a computer, and the time away felt like sweet freedom.
I don't have a strict writing schedule--I don't have a schedule for anything, except when I promo, that gets to be like a schedule, but very sproradic. If I had to write on a schedule, I couldn't, wouldn't do it. Good questions. Celia

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Morgan,

I am very strict with my writing schedule at home. However, I bend the rules in these instances: when there's a family function, when there's a family need that's time sensitive, when I'm sick, or when I'm away from home. In each of those instances, my time is not my own. I find it frustrating to expect to write on vacation. I need those breaks. Heck, that's what vacation is, a rest from your daily activities. And many of us forget that while writing often doesn't pay as well as a day job, it is a heavy time commitment. We all need breaks.

Don't feel guilty that you took one. You may surprise yourself at how rejuvenated you feel when you get back in the groove.

Liana Laverentz said...

Sounds to me like a vacation was just what you needed. Sometimes not writing can make you a better writer, just by giving you a chance to step back and refocus.

Margot Justes said...

I agree with the comments above, a break means total freedom to do as we please.
I don't have a set schedule, I don't want writing to be a chore, I want it to be an adventure, a break from reality. But I do feel guilty if I don't write at least a little bit everyday.
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris