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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...

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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  1. LPC November 9, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Wishing you well. And good luck.

  2. delialloyd November 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Thanks, LPC!

  3. Andrea November 9, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    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!

    • delialloyd November 9, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks, Andrea. I’ll let you know how it works out!

  4. Colleen Wainwright November 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    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!

  5. delialloyd November 9, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    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!

  6. daryl boylan November 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    You go, girl!

  7. Nancy Sharp November 10, 2009 at 1:19 am #

    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!

    • delialloyd November 10, 2009 at 11:18 am #

      Thanks, Nancy. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this! We’ll see how it goes. Cheers, Delia

  8. Maria del Mar Paredes Maña November 10, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    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).

  9. delialloyd November 10, 2009 at 11:44 am #

    Thanks, Mara!

  10. Sally November 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    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.

  11. delialloyd November 11, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    Thank you, Sally! Let us hope for that!

  12. PNW Gal November 13, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    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.

    • delialloyd November 13, 2009 at 9:58 pm #

      thanks for visiting. rest assured- i’ve been collecting stuff all week for next week’s friday pix!

  13. playa del carmen travel February 12, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi. I honestly liked reading your post!. Quality information. I might suggest you to come up with articles a bit more regularly. Using this method, having this kind of a useful blog I think that you will probably rank higher in the search engines :) . I also subscribed to your RSS feed. Carry on this good work!

  14. Self Hypnosis Relaxation February 26, 2010 at 11:34 am #

    Hi! I really love to read your articles. I am visiting your articles whenever I have free time

  15. Bev April 8, 2010 at 1:38 am #

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

  16. jaque July 21, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    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!


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