I had the sheer luxury of a day off this week.
My parents bought some property in an adjacent state earlier this year and have been fixing it up ever since. This week had the perfect balance of “no interviews” and “no interns” so I stacked everything I possibly could into the first half of the week and on Thursday, I took my first day off since April 11. Those who know me know I push myself seven days a week. I don’t ever expect anyone to do the same—I fully admit I’m a workaholic—but I do expect to meet our standards and deadlines. So when I say “since April 11”, I do mean I’ve worked consecutively every single day for over three months. Migraines and illness included.
The home away has limited internet and I must admit, as someone who cannot stop herself from constantly checking work chats and emails, this was what I most looked forward to. If I plan a break at home, I end up working through it. I’ve been on shopping trips where I swore I would spend the whole day away from work and yet I answer emails and respond to chats at every opportunity. So much stuff has to get done and it’s my job to make sure it does. But in a land with internet so limited that even the house is a dead zone for cell service… I didn’t take my laptop out of the bag at all.
I packed my things very carefully: two pairs of pajamas, a swimsuit, beach towel, six books, seven (mostly) empty notebooks, and five pens. I claimed a hammock in the shade and immediately passed out. I relaxed on a raft so long my entire front half burned. I had the kind of vacation I dream about because for a whole day, I had zero thoughts. Not one.
Days later, I still have the prickling, swelling effects of deep sunburn. I hope that’s not nature’s way of telling me to stay inside and work more. True, that single day off put me around 17 hours behind schedule, counting the time I spent traveling, but it was so worth it.
On my vacation, I had one WW idea and four fiction ideas. I started working on another piece I’ve wanted to write for ages but couldn’t find the courage. I’m woefully under-practiced with horror so I’ve been scared to write this idea. I let the fear rule me for too long but I guess if you’re working in the horror genre, that’s a good thing. We’ll see how well it pans out.
The exciting thing is, my new ideas are all over the genre map. Since I was in high school, my plots centered on crime and psychology but these new ideas are different territory for me. I’m planning ghosts, historical fiction, a thriller, and an epic adventure (plus some crime, as always). For my own sanity, I’ll probably spend a lot more time in the planning phase as clearly, the “I don’t know where this is going” is too nerve-wracking for me. I don’t want to quit again because of panic.
It’s been so long since I planned a novel but I’m the good kind of scared.
Fiction projects: 1
Fiction words this week: 476
About the Author: Theresa Green is the co-founder of The Writer's Workout and a crime fiction writer.