5 Writing Tasks for Off Days

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Ever have one of those off days? You don’t sleep and wake up grouchy. You’re half sick but not really sick enough to call it a sick day. You are just disgruntled and don’t know why.

5 Things to do on Off-Days

On those awful days, there are still tasks you can do to be a productive writer.

  • Read out loud. We all know the value of reading a work-in-progress out loud, but do we do it? Not always. So take this day and just read the story out loud. You don’t even have to change anything. Just mark places where the word jumble up when you read that sentence aloud. Or places that confuse you. Or places that displease you. Plan to tackle those places tomorrow when you feel better.
  • Spell check & grammar check. This is a great day to do those grunt tasks of spell checking and grammar checking. Just run the software and make the changes that you can without really thinking about it. If you run into problems that will take too much thought or concentration for today, then mark them to take care of tomorrow.
  • Write letters. This might be a good day to toss off a first draft of a query or a synopsis; wait for a better day, though, to edit and send it out. Or write a fan letter to an author and make his/her day. Write a fan letter to yourself. Write email letters to friends and catch them up on your life. Letters are great pieces of writing and the process of connecting with another person might just brighten your day.
  • Write an acrostic poem. I just took Crescent Dragonwagon‘s class called Fearless Writing. Crescent recommends doing acrostic poems at many times in the writer’s life. For example, before she was married, she wrote acrostics on the word marriage, on her current name, on the name she would have if married, and other related terms. Not fond of poetry? Then try writing something, anything, but in a new and different format from what you usually use. Try something new.
  • Take a Sick Day. If you truly feel bad, give yourself the day off. Most jobs give employees at least ten sick days a year. When’s the last time you took one from writing? Take the day off and don’t feel bad about it. Sleep. Go out to eat. Take a walk. Relax. And come back tomorrow, ready to work.

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