Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ah, Guilt-Free Goofing Off!

Let’s face it, we all do it once in a while–goof off when we should be working.

I have no scientific data to support this theory, but I suspect writers goof off more frequently than other workers. For one thing, we (usually) work alone. With no boss looking over our shoulders, no co-workers urging us for our piece of work so they can complete theirs, we have little incentive to keep nose to the grindstone. Then there’s the part about how writers are supposed to be creative, artistic types. We need plenty of goof off time, right? You know, to recharge our creative batteries.

What I’ve discovered this week is that there are two different kinds of goofing off. There’s the kind we do every day that consists of things like:

Oh, I’ll just take a minute and check email
Oh, I’ll just take a minute and play a game of Spider Solitaire
Oh, I’ll just take a minute and call So-and-So, we’ve been playing phone tag

Then there’s the scheduled goofing off. This week, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
You see last weekend, I didn’t goof off. In fact, I finished the book I was working on, Pepper Martin mystery #8. Now, "finished" is a slippery word. Though the writing is done, I still need to read the book, makes notes and changes, etc. But the lion’s share of the work is behind me. Before I sit down and read the book, I need a few days off. You know, to clear my head so that when I do read, I can come to the work more objectively.

What that means–at least in my world–is wonderful, glorious, GUILT-FREE goof off time.
You see, that’s what I discovered this week. When you goof off when you should be working . . . sure, it’s fun, but there’s that whole feeling guilty thing that goes along with it.

When you have scheduled goof off time, there’s no guilty involved. Cool!

I’ve been spending my goof off time working on my loom, getting ready to weave a rag rug (I promise pics when it’s done, whether you want to see them or not). Weaving is so completely different from writing. There’s math involved (yikes!) and the mechanics of the loom. It’s quiet and contemplative. At least until I make some silly mistake and start grumbling.

Tomorrow, I have to get to the reading, so good off time will be over. At least until I send the book off to New York. Then another couple days of guilt-free goofing!


Sharon S. said...

Oh, happy looming! . Did you ever come up with a title for this one? This was the one set in the south west that was giving you fits?

Angie Fox said...

Congrats on finishing book 8! That's fantastic. And I know what you mean. I have to take at least a week off between the end of writing and the start of editing. You're goofing off *for* the book. It's very productive. :) Fun, too.

Casey said...

Thanks for the congrats. Nothing feels better than finishing a book. Except selling a book. And thinking of an idea for a new book!

I do have a title, Sharon. Haven't run it by my editor yet so I don't know if he'll groan or think it's as funny and silly as I do. You're right, a book set in the Southwest. Title: Boo Grit.

Sharon S. said...

If I had been sipping my hot chocolate at the moment I read that title (Boo Grit) I think I would be cleaning the computer screen off ! That is fabulous :)

Casey said...

Glad you like the title, Sharon. It's one of those things that makes me laugh, and I'm afraid what other people are going to say!

Reminds me of a scene I wrote in one of the Pepper books once. I think it was in book three and the ghost kisses Pepper and her lips freeze. Gads, I thought I was the funniest person on earth when I wrote that scene. Laughed all the way through it. Then I almost deleted it, because I figured if it was that funny, it must be stupid. I left it in and readers loved it.