loafing – #WhatImWriting

It is better to have loafed

This time last week I was very excitedly making sure everything was in place ready for the launch of our ‘What I’m Writing’ linky. Last Tuesday the linky went live here for the very first time and my co-host Chrissie and I were thrilled with the response! We had lots of interesting linkers with some very thought-provoking posts. I loved reading all of them and look forward to reading (hopefully) many more in the weeks to come. Thank you all so much!

And I’d like to add an extra-special big thanks to Chrissie who not only did lots of work behind the scenes to enable us to go live last week, but also let me launch the linky on my blog. She willingly let me have all the excitement and fun of hosting the very first #WhatImWriting right here – how awesome is that?!

On that note, this week it’s Chrissie’s turn to host so if you’re looking to link up please head over to Muddled Manuscript. I’ll be linking this post up too and will be over later to read and comment on your posts.

So, this time last week I set myself a writing challenge… which was not to set myself any writing challenges at all. I’ve been really used to pushing myself along by setting goals and targets and was interested to see what would happen if I took the pressure off. A week of loafing it was to be!

The above quote was one I had stuck to my bedroom door at university. Loafing is something I have always valued and not just because of how good it feels to pour a glass of wine, put my feet up and watch some telly. I think loafing is important to all of us: It can re-charge our batteries and re-set our creativity. It gives our brains time to think about nothing… and into that nothing can pop ideas. So actually I don’t think it’s possible to really ‘loaf and lose’, not in the long run anyway.

But in the short run? Well, I have to admit, this week has not been my most productive in the creative department. I’ll re-phrase that. This week has been almost entirely UN-productive. I certainly haven’t written any more of my novel and have barely blogged. BUT in other ways well… I went away for the weekend to visit my parents and my grandparents, took my sons to a family fun day, caught up with a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in a while, had a night at the pub with some other close friends, finished making a photo book for my sons (which they will love) about our recent trip to Legoland, cleared out a huge box of crap (not literal crap – papers, drawings and bits and bobs) that had been sitting in our kitchen getting on my nerves for months and watched the last two episodes of season four of Breaking Bad. And those are just the highlights.

It was great! Obviously some of those – like the weekend away and the fun day – would have happened regardless of my loafing-challenge but it was lovely to be able to enjoy them without feeling the slightest bit of pressure. One of the best things about this week was feeling able to focus on other things without that niggling voice in the back of my head saying “You should be writing, you’ll never get to x number of words if you carry on like this!”

And now? Well today I woke up raring to go! I’ve been working on some guinea pig limericks for a project I’ve agreed to be part of and am really keen to get back into my novel as soon as I get the chance. So I feel like the loafing was very productive in all sorts of ways. So much so, that I’ve decided I’m going to have one week a month like that from now on. Not a week of no writing (the horror!) but a week where I put myself under no pressure. It’s even possible I might write a lot during some of those weeks or differently during those weeks just because the pressure is off. Basically I think my experiment has too much potential not to repeat *whispers* and I want to watch some more telly.

But no more loafing this month, so my challenge to myself for the rest of September is to write 5000 words of my novel, a limerick challenge and a piece of flash fiction. At least. Hopefully by next week I’ll have some writing to report back on!

16 thoughts on “loafing – #WhatImWriting

  1. Mummy Tries

    Oh Maddy I am well jell of your week, it sounds like you had a blast! It’s important to remember to have fun, especially with the family, otherwise why bother having kids?! You’ll make your challenge. Can’t wait for this week’s limerick, I always enjoy them xxx #whatimwriting

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Yes it was fab, thanks! I went on a helterskelter! The boys have asked me to write a limerick about a penguin *gulp*. I’ll do my best!

      Reply
  2. Iona@redpeffer

    Sounds just what was needed-taking a break can be so helpful. I do it a lot, but my trouble is I struggle to let go of the guilt of ‘I should be writing’ sometimes-very annoying! Looking forward to your increased productivity and reading what comes out of it :)

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      I know what you mean about the guilt – that’s one of the reason I’ve decided to make it a monthly thing, so I can get used to it and train my brain to entirely filter the guilt out. Here’s hoping! Thanks Iona.

      Reply
  3. Sophie Lovett

    Sounds like a fantastic week! And even better that it’s spurred you on to get all productive now. I think it’s so important that we give ourselves a break sometimes, in the literal and metaphorical sense. I really wound down over the summer and it’s left me raring to go – I just wish there were more hours in the day to fit everything in! X

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh yes I would love more hours in the day… well, as long as they were nice, quiet ‘sitting on the sofa reading and writing’ hours anyway! Glad you’re raring to go now!

      Reply
  4. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    It sounds like just what you needed, and also sounds pretty wonderful. I’ve never been very good at doing nothing without the guilt! Having said that, my husband has been away since last Thursday and I’m starting to get quite tired, so I’ve given myself a little bit of time off each evening, it’s been rather nice! I’ve been trying to work out how to get a complete day off a week without letting anything slip on the blog… I think your idea of a week of no-pressure is perfect, we all need a break to let our minds whirl away without distractions x

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Well done for coping with three kids on your own since Thursday! Your blog is so packed full of posts I can imagine it would be very hard for you to find any down time, but a day off a week sounds great. Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Chrissie

    I should be thanking you for launching. I had no idea what to say that first week, but you kicked it all off so beautifully, I didn’t have to worry this week (copy and paste is my friend.)
    Much more fun than my week! So glad you had fun. That’s what it’s all about, innit?
    The guinea pig limerick sounds interesting. Is there more than one on the horizon or did I read that incorrectly? X #whatimwriting

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      I’ve written four guinea pig limericks! It’s for a project with an illustrator. She’s ‘given’ me andy the guinea pig to write about. I’m trying to capture his personality in limerick form. He seems to be anxious mostly. Not sure what she’ll make of them!

      Reply
  6. Mummy Plum

    Getting lots of home admin / sorting out done can be very cathartic I think. Aside from the obvious satisfaction I find that it lessens the guilt when one returns to writing – i.e., I don’t sit there thinking ‘I should be clearing out the messy cupboards/ the hall is a tip. Also, tv can be a great source of inspiration too!
    #whati’mwriting

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Exactly – clearing out ‘the big blue box of doom’ (as I call the box in the kitchen that we chuck everything into) was very cathartic and satisfying. It’s already filling up with stuff again though! x

      Reply
  7. Morgan Prince

    I think taking a break is really helpful. Creativity needs a break sometimes so that it can re-charge, like you said. It sounds like you’ve had lots of fun and finishing that Breaking Bad series means you can get on to the next one! ;)

    Reply

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