Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Refocusing after a Vacation from Writing

In my July post, I shared that I was going to give myself a writing vacation.  No writing blog posts, revising manuscripts or developing first drafts.  I have a lot of writing projects at different stages of development, but I was not anxious to work on any of them.   My writing time was going to be reallocated to summertime fun and travel.  I was going to give the written word a rest.

During my writing hiatus, I visited with friends, went to museums, read more and travelled.   I also spent way too many hours stuck in airports—travelling over 15,000 miles in the month. 

In an attempt at full disclosure, I have to admit that I did jot down some notes during the month.   As I traveled the country or roamed my hometown, I jotted down ideas, quotes, and books that piqued my interest.  These ideas may become seeds of a new project or tidbits added to a manuscript I need to finish.  Even my impatience with airport delays was somewhat alleviated by observing fellow travelers whose antics became scribbles in my notebook.
As writers, I think it is important to allow the space and time for new ideas to be sprinkled into one’s life.  When dealing with the pressures of deadlines or the struggles of revision an occasional writing vacation can help generate new ideas.

After a writing break, try the following tips to get back on track.
  1. Summarize any notes from the writing vacation and save them in a file
  2. Read your unfinished writing projects
  3. Assess the next step for each project
  4. Prioritize your writing projects
  5. Establish and track your writing goals.
  6. Try using a goal setting/tracking app.
This fall, I’ve decided to try lifetick, a new goal tracking app.  I let you know if it helps me re-focus and stay on track.

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life coach. For more information check out:



Anne Duguid Knol said...

hmm from time to time I seem to be losing my Google comments. I'm interested in hearing about your experiences with the goaltracking app, Mary Jo and thanks for the organizational tips. Have lots of ideas after my minibreak but am apt to let them fritter away,,,

Debra Quarles said...

Wow! The timing of your post was perfect for me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing as Debra. September 2nd I get back to writing! Thanks for this timely post. Happy writing!

Karen Cioffi said...

Mary Jo, wow, 15,000 miles in a month! Sounds like you had an amazing summer.

These are great tips on moving your writing forward, even if you didn't take a 'writing' break. I always think of the year in quarters, and we're now moving into the end of the third-quarter. It's time to re-evaluate what we've accomplished and where we're heading. And, what steps we need to take to get there.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Karen, I like the idea of thinking of the year in quarters.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

I've used mindmaps to track my projects which has been helpful, so I thought I'd try a goal app. I'll keep you posted.

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Synchronicity is great!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

September is always a great time for BACK TO.....

Shirley Corder said...

Thanks Mary Jo. Your tips are well timed for me. Thanks to severe influenza and also family visits (mercifully only a few days coincided!) I have had an unplanned break lasting 8 weeks. During the time I was able to keep up with blogs and critiques but no actual original writing. I always battle to get back into gear after a long break.

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