For most of us, it’s the Easter holidays. If like me, you live in the UK, there’s also another bank holiday next week, for the Royal Wedding. If like me again, you’ve taken the days inbetween off work too, you’re looking at a nice chunk of time away from reality.
What are you going to do with that time?
I’m doing two things. First, I’m going to spend approximately 80-90 per cent of my holiday preparing for my impending wedding, including building a path, raking grass and causing myself untold backache. The rest of the time, I plan to write.
Quick correction. I plan to plan to write.
Take your time
When you have an extended period of free time, it’s tempting to dive straight in and write frantically. I know it is for me.
Because I have a full-time job, I have to work my fiction (and blogging) around my free time. When a big chunk of it comes along, I sometimes get excited and rush to the keyboard.
And yet, I know that this isn’t always the best use of my time. Rarely am I able to simply sit down and write for long periods without an element of planning up front.
When the opportunity arises, it’s natural for us writers to worry less about preparation and want to get cracking – to actually produce some work.
But actually, it’s far more important for us to make sure that we use that time effectively. To make sure that we squeeze every ounce of usefulness out of having more writing time available than usual.
Take stock and prosper
Planning isn’t always about planning, not in the typical sense of the word. For me, planning is as much about what’s gone before as it is about what’s to come. It’s about checking in and taking stock.