Today is my birthday, and I plan to play. Tomorrow, I'll work like a dog on revisions. Today, it's playtime! I plan to head out to the mall, see Pirates of the Caribbean 3, see what's new at Barnes & Noble, browse through the stores, and eat some chocolate frozen yogurt with strawberries on top. But even with a play day, there's always a writing connection. Movies often inspire characters or new story ideas; people watching at the mall always generates interesting character quirks; and cruising the bookshelves at B&N is always inspiring. You see what's new, what's popular. And you find the spot on the shelves where your book will be when you finally sell and your book is released.
When a person becomes a writer, I don't think it's something that we can turn on and off. Being a writer colors and influences everything we do. I'd bet those of us who are writers see or hear something every day that we could use in a story at some point. In fact, I'll challenge all of you to keep track for the rest of the week. At the end of each day, write down at least one thing you've seen or heard that day that could be useful in a story. Let us know what those things are. I bet we'll have some great stuff.
Even though we know we have to work hard to make it in this writing business, I think it's very important to take a day now and then just to play, an "it's all about me" day. It's rejuvenating, and we typically come back the next day even more ready to work. Though I'm not a mom, I think the writers out there who are moms especially need these types of days. Between day jobs, housework, taking care of the kids and husbands, and the million other things that life requires, moms often just sacrifice their alone/leisure time. I don't think this is healthy -- mentally or physically. I think moms should build in one day a month where they can have at least a few hours that are just theirs alone with no responsibilities. If writing is what you find rejuvenating, fine. But I think it's also fine if you just want to curl up with a book, take a long soak in the tub or go see a chick flick solo -- just you, a big soda pop, a king size popcorn and a bigger-than-life-size Captain Jack. :)