Having nearly two full weeks off from school is great. There are fewer time crunches and far fewer stressors that weigh on you when you get a little time off. It is so easy during these lower stress times to fall into a pattern of laziness and relaxation. Lord knows I am guilty of it myself. The problem with falling into that relaxed rut comes when classes start up again. Often times, it will lead to a sluggish start.
Luckily, there are ways to combat the slump. The best way is to find something to fill the void school leaves. For creative writing majors, a great way to do this is read. Take the 15+ hours a week you would normally use for studying and coursework and devote it to tearing through your reading list. Depending on how fast you read, there is a potential to put a huge dent in your list. If you don’t have a reading list, break time is a wonderful time to create one.
Creating a reading list might feel like a daunting task, but it’s a lot easier than it seems. There are a ton of reading challenges and must-read lists out there. Google a few for inspiration to help build your list. You can look for lists from your favorite author or in your favorite genre. If you have a publisher or agent you are interested in working with, search for the authors they represent and add their books. Take a look at the teaching staff at your school as well, in any accredited program for creative writing there should be multiple published authors on staff so their books would also be great to add. Just keep adding to the list and you can hit up your local or school library to grab a free read.
If you aren’t in the mood to just read, you can always take the free time to write more (though let’s face it, you SHOULD be reading anyway). Down time between courses is a great time to get caught up on your writing goals that you may, or may not, be behind on. Maybe get some editing done too, if you can. You can even create a mini-retreat for yourself. Grab your favorite portable writing tools and get out of the house to go write. Remove your at-home distractions, treat yourself to your favorite coffee shop or diner, get some fresher in your favorite park, or just go somewhere that you can unplug and get some work done.
Of course it stands to be said that there is nothing wrong if you use your down time to relax and recharge. Go on vacation. Take a nap. If that’s what you need or want to do, do it. There is a lot to be said for staying in a good routine but sometimes you do need a break. The key is having the ability to jump right back into a routine when classes start again.
Down time is a great time to be productive. There is so much you can do to keep yourself in a good routine. It’s a great feeling when you can hit the ground running once school starts knowing you are prepared to tackle whatever the course throws at you. Coming up next week… Week One of Intro to Critical Thinking where we will learn how to think outside the box more and look at various things objectively and from different angles. The class comes HIGHLY recommended for creative writing students and I am looking forward to sharing what we learn.