A day off. Sort of.
Today I took a day off. This might not sound all that remarkable, given that it’s Saturday, and a holiday weekend in the US to boot (one of my favorite kind: something initially celebrated for a great deal of importance, now co-opted for the purpose of eating and getting drunk. Also, car sales.) I work 2 jobs during the week, a day off makes sense.
I woke up late today. Late, for me, is 7:30. I felt drugged. There is a glory in sleeping late, but also a sense of massive discombobulation. I was confused. I stumbled out of bed and couldn’t quite figure out what to do with myself.
I went with brushing my teeth and yelling at the kids.
I spent the morning aimlessly clicking the internet and drinking coffee. I made myself a breakfast no one else in the family eats (making it, naturally, my favorite, as it means I don’t have to share). I made dough for dinner. I showered.
By noon, I had no idea what to do with myself. I laid on the bed and stared at the ceiling until my body gave up and went to sleep.
Today, I haven’t written.
It took me until 5 in the evening to realize the link (I never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, after all). I am used to getting up at 5AM, pounding out 500+ words before I have coffee, maybe another couple hundred before I leave for work. After work, I write some more. If you’ve been keeping up with my Twitter – and why wouldn’t you be? – you’ve seen that Laila and I are neck-deep in another project, one that has resulted in 40k words in a single week. I have, in a sense, written more than 20k words myself. For perspective, the average novel is between 85 and 100k words. We’ve written half a novel IN A WEEK.
Today was the first day I haven’t written in about a month, likely since I was in Boston. A month solid, I’ve written at least 1k words a day, usually more. My brain can’t comprehend rest. I stupefied myself.
Writing, as with anything, must be done with some regularity if you’re to expect yourself to be any good at it. You wouldn’t expect yourself to cook once in awhile and be able to replicate Julia Child’s beef wellington recipe. You wouldn’t ride a bike once a week for a couple months and then sign up for the Tour de France. Writing, as much as its an art, is also an exercise. You have to exercise it to have the endurance, and the skill, to keep going.
A break is good for the body, and good for the brain. But you tend to feel the day you skipped pretty quickly.
So now I’m writing. My brain, my poor frazzled brain, is calmed. It might ONLY be a blog post (yes, I’m fishing for compliments, have at it), but it’s writing. And that’s the most important thing. Writers write.