Managing Your Workload: Take a Self-Imposed Vacation

I’m taking a vacation this week.

Well, actually I’ll be right here in my home. But I’m going to pretend that I’m on vacation…with respect to this blog, at least.

You see, among the many different slashes I wear in my current life as a freelance writer, one of them is novelist. OK, that’s not quite right. Why don’t we say “aspiring novelist”? (I’ll feel better.)

You see, I have the novel written. I just that haven’t sold it. And in order to do that, I need to clear a couple of days in my schedule to send out the draft to the appropriate people. I know who those people are (some call them agents), and I know which ones I want to send it to. I even have all the materials ready. So I just need to sit down, go through the list, figure out who needs what, and then do some photocopying and stapling and standing in line at the post office. (If it isn’t on strike…).

In short: I need to put the rubber to the road and just do it, in the immortal words of Nike.

Which takes…time. And that’s something I don’t have a lot of because I’m, well, blogging. (She said, fully aware that she was blogging about not blogging. What can I say? Old habits die hard…)

It’s really hard for me to take time off from this blog, mostly because I love it, and partly because – as someone with a super-ego that even Freud would find daunting – I feel that I *should* be blogging (unless I’m on vacation).

So I decided to tell myself that I am on vacation. One of the many things I’ve learned from my beloved life coach is that in order to change your behavior, you need to change your expectations. She always gives me the example of the “sick day.” When you’re sick, you don’t expect yourself to get as much done. You go easy on yourself. Similarly, when you’re on vacation, you don’t bring work along with you (hopefully). You understand that the point of the holiday is precisely to stop working for awhile.

So I’m going to put myself on a self-imposed vacation, during which time I am going to do my very best to send my novel out to ten more agents. Because we all know that the secret of being a writer is persistence. Sometimes, that’s about forcing yourself to sit down at the computer and bang out those 1000 words. Sometimes, it’s just about sitting down, period. That’s not my problem right now. My problem is committing myself to selling the book that I wrote. And making the time to let that happen.

So good-bye. And wish me well. Feel free to imagine me wherever you’d like…Tahiti? Iceland? The Galapagos?

See you next week.

Image: My Feet in a Paradisiac Beach by Princess Cy via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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25 Responses to Managing Your Workload: Take a Self-Imposed Vacation

  1. LPC says:

    Wishing you well. And good luck.

  2. Andrea says:

    Good luck, Delia. Published or not, congratulations on finishing your novel. I am at the stage where I’m trying to find the time to write. Hopefully, in a year or so, I’ll be in a position to take the exact same vacation!

  3. Good for you! Hardest thing in the world, carving out time for the Not Immediately Necessary. But how else does the big stuff get done?

    See you when you’re back!

  4. delialloyd says:

    Precisely. I felt that it was just sitting there on my to do list, gathering dust (along with the ms. itself!) I am hoping public accountability to stated goals will help me achieve this one. Thanks!

  5. daryl boylan says:

    You go, girl!

  6. Nancy Sharp says:

    As a fellow blogger, freelance writer and mother of four, who is also knee-deep in writing a memoir, I totally relate to the notion of seizing time for yourself. Best of luck to you, and thanks for your wise words. I love Real Delia!

  7. Maria del Mar Paredes Maña says:

    With my best wishes: good luck!! and whishing you well, and, please, do not forget (when you get famous) to sign one of the books to all my family or at least to me!!.

    There you goooooo! (like a roller coaster).

  8. Sally says:

    I’m imagining you on your way to which ever of those destinations you choose – presenting your passport and visa – with the words ‘published author’ in the box where it asks for occupation.

  9. delialloyd says:

    Thank you, Sally! Let us hope for that!

  10. PNW Gal says:

    I just logged on to see that you’re on vacation and read probably your longest post ever–procrastinating-ly long and funny. I check in on Fridays to see your recommended reading picks and was disappointed that to find none. Nevertheless, I hope your vacation was productive and wish you luck on your novel.

  11. […] it’s me. I’m  back from my self-imposed vacation. Not nearly as relaxing as I hoped. But yes, I did the deed (and have a killer tan to show for it!) […]

  12. […] week I took a self-imposed vacation from this blog in order to focus on marketing my novel. It was an unusual thing for me to do, but […]

  13. […] can take stock, clear the decks and plunge in with some new projects. Back in November, I took a self-imposed vacation so that I could send out my novel to […]

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  16. Bev says:

    Man I wish I was on vacation. After a few nice days it is supposed to snow again!!! Arrgghhh, when will it end 😦

  17. […] was actually my mother who sent me this poem. She did it back in November when I took a self-imposed vacation in order to spend some time sending my novel out to […]

  18. […] already on vacation, who cares if they’re up late? (I used the same strategy when I took a week off of blogging to send my novel out to agents. I treated the week “off” sort of like a sick day so that I wouldn’t feel guilty […]

  19. jaque says:

    I have also done that kind of vacation. staying at home.. and pretending that I don’t have a work to do and forgetting stressful problems.. just stay at home and enjoying my family’s company.. just enjoy!

  20. […] know, the proverbial one that sits in a drawer somewhere, only to be very occasionally dusted off and sent out to greet the world?) It’s time for a fourth down, kick-0r-stick moment with that sucker. (Forgive the cheesy […]

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