Creative Writing · Life Struggles

Why Do I Waste Leisure Time When I Have More of It?

So, I’ve been on vacation for over the last week or so, and let me just say that at the beginning, I could only think of how I longed to have all sorts of time to catch up on work on my novel, catch up on blogging posts I’ve put on the back burner (like my Coriolanus post, though to be fair, like I said in a previous post, I’ve realized the truth of how boring and draggy Shakespeare’s histories are–maybe I’d do better with something notoriously violent, like Titus Andronicus?), and catch up on personal needs like picking out a new pair of glasses, pleasure reading, sleep, cleaning up/writing articles for my new gig on, etc.

This isn’t to say that I did none of this, but as far as getting work on my novel done? Well…it doesn’t help that I’ve come to a point in the editorial process where I’ve felt I’ve needed to rewrite/rework an entire sequence, made all the more frustrating by the fact that I’m adding  to my word-count and creating what could only be described as a five-car pile-up in my narrative. So while I’ve picked at it, I haven’t had the beautiful writing-filled days I’d fantasized about.

I think part of it is the fact that with such unlimited free time, I’ve been more inclined to fritter a lot of it away. Free of the pressure of making the most of my leisure time, combined with the highs and lows that come with an artist being frustrated with a primary work (and a massive one at that, it being a novel and everything). I haven’t gotten as much done with nearly as much urgency as I’d have liked to have done otherwise, or even as I might’ve managed in a regular work week. And now that my vacation time is drawing to a close, it makes it all the more frustrating.

On the other hand, perhaps I’m being too hard on myself. After all, vacation time is meant to be wasted on frivolity, at least partly, right? That IS what a vacation is for, isn’t it? That, and I’ve always felt that if I ever get stuck in my writing, recharging with a read-a-thon tends to recharge the batteries, as it were.

Should I feel guilty? Well, maybe. But then maybe I shouldn’t, since we all need a little veg-out time, so long as it all amounts to a brilliant burst of creative ingenuity and industriousness. True, the most successful people will tell you that part of their success comes from “never wasting a day”. However, the exercise of imagination and churning the creative juices doesn’t always work on the same schedule as “normal time”. That’s why most successful people, writers in particular, will tell you to overcome this through sheer willpower. I’d like to think though that a large amount of free time, again, is detrimental to willpower, by its very nature of being there in such a large quantity. This combined with the fact that I put far too high expectations on myself as far as what I planned to get done, and, overwhelmed, picked at everything here and there with little sense of urgency, or too much of a sense of urgency perhaps–that and not knowing where to focus throughout the day.

It seems that the struggle to balance the double-life of a writer and a member of the day-to-day workforce marches onward, even when I’ve taken time off.

That and the unfortunate fact that I’m often possessed by a little demon of procrastination.


But now with the most famous time-consuming season approaching with the coming of winter (my internal clock skewed by the time change notwithstanding), I can take my foot off the brakes and go in for the long haul and the home stretch with the goal of at least having my novel done by New Years’.

Now that I’ve gotten all this “time wasting” off my plate. ;D


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