Looking Back At My Thanksgiving Break

My postcard collection is growing!

My postcard collection is growing!

Last weekend I blogged about how I planned to take this Thanksgiving week off from my work work to focus on writing and reading. Although my week hasn’t been as productive as I thought it would be (I hadn’t foreseen how tired I was and how much I needed to restore my brain) I am satisfied with what I’ve done this week in terms of my writing projects.

A rundown:

  • I brainstormed some column ideas for The Butter with a writing buddy.
  • I revisited a pitch for a column for Chronicle Vitae–and it was accepted! (More on that soon…)
  • I read articles that I had put aside in my Pocket account.
  • I started taking more notes in a notebook instead of opening my Evernote app and jotting them down, forgotten forever
  • I tried to write something on my computer every day.
  • I purchased the full version of Scrivener for the postcard book.
  • I thought and wrote down ideas for my postcards project (including visiting an antique maps store and talking to the owner about my thing for old postcards).

My week isn’t over, mind you: my vacation email responder goes off on Monday, so I hope to work on a draft of an essay I want to pitch to nonfiction travel writing site Vela over the weekend, and of course do more thinking and writing about my postcard project. I also need to put together the latest installment of my e-newsletter.

On Sunday, November 24, I set my intention for the week: “I will create. I will laugh. I will care for myself. I will embrace this time by myself.” I think I did pretty well.

Dear readers: how was your week, writing-wise?

Postcard Wednesday: Give Thanks

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I am thankful for new friends and old friends who listen to me rant and ramble and attempt to make funny jokes, and who stayed with me when I started ranting and rambling and joking about my postcard project. I am thankful for my family because they do not hesitate to swoop in when I need someone to hold me up. I am thankful for Miss E because she doesn’t think mama is weird…yet…and she accepts me as I am, silly songs and bright lipstick and veggies and all.I am thankful for my new home and for being able to stay in touch with my old homes. I am thankful for travel because traveling makes my heart happy. I am thankful for writing because it was patient and waited until I was ready. Now I’m ready.

 

A collage of postcards I've received that are special to me.

A collage of postcards I’ve received that are special to me.

Taking Care of the Writer

Next week is Thanksgiving. My daughter and her dad will be leaving town, and I will spend the holiday in Houston. Instead of lounging all week on the couch with snacks and reruns of Key & Peele (which doesn’t sound bad, honestly), I thought of taking some time to write.

The first reaction I had when I thought of taking the week to read and write was, “wait, what if I have something to do for work?” I thought of tweets unsent, I thought of emails unanswered, I thought of drafts left unread. I thought, I have so many things to do!

And then I realized, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Let’s be honest: I’m a freelancer. The fact that I can actually take time off from freelancing means I can afford to take time off from work. Any time I spend not working is income lost. But here’s the thing, so often I spend time not writing, not reading, because of my main gig. I love editing, but writing is also part of my career. I have to give it time. I have to give it space. I have to give it love.

Even though writing is difficult, I enjoy it. I spend time thinking about it, jotting down ideas, trying to figure it out. Although I’m not ready to leave everything and dedicate myself solely to writing, I need to do this.

So next week, while my little one is out of town and the next issue of Women in Higher Education heads out to the printer, I will take time to read, write, and think. I will allow my writing time to spread out over the week. I will give myself writing dates, reading dates (although maybe not on Black Friday). I’ll cook in bulk and take home Thanksgiving leftovers. I will schedule myself time to work…or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just let the time unfurl before me.

I’ve never done this before.

What’s my plan for next week? Well, I have some articles I want to draft, I have some books I want to start reading, and I have a few pitches doing circles in my head. I also want to take some time to look at the short posts I’ve put up here about postcards and see where they’re headed right now. Are they working? Can I delve deeper? Am I liking them? I even upgraded my Scrivener trial to see if that helps with the book process.

More importantly, I’m doing something for the writer inside me. She needs a little love too.

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