I love my in-laws :) Every summer they drive over 1,000 miles to spend time with our family and spoil us rotten. However, it's murder on the writing time. After being lavished with gifts, treated to a pedicure, and being plied with one delicious, totally fattening and wonderfully tasty meal after another, I find myself returning to unanswered emails, deadlines approaching t warp speed, and obligations that I have yet to begin fulfilling, let alone meeting. *Sigh* To be independently wealthy! LOL!
Seriously though, a word to wise, if you know you will be away from your work for at least three days, there are steps you should take to make your 'homecoming' all the more easy--steps I neglected to take myself this time around. However, this is what I normally do when preparing for an extended leave:
1) Go on Digest or 'No Mail': If you belong to Yahoo groups, this is simply done by accessing your groups page and selecting your choice, then with one click of a button, you can 'set all' to that preference. If you don't have access to this feature in other list groups, try emailing the list manager and requesting either option.
2) Get BUSY!: Finish up as much as you possibly can--better to leave knowing you'll only have the 'new' to return to and none of the 'old' overburdening you. Finish critiques, if you belong to a critique group, finish any materials outstanding for your editor, publisher, or agent. Make sure all your correspondence is up to date.
3) Clean your Desk!: If you're like me, it's often clean beneath a host of open books, turned to the correct research information, notebooks, open folders, sheets of printed information, pens, and usually mail. Get this all tucked neatly away, completing tasks as you go. Treat yourself to candles, music choices, or special little accessories (such as chocolate, but I recommend you hide this if you have children!) that make working a pleasure. There is nothing more inviting than a beautiful workspace when you return!
4) Make a List!: Detail the work you wish to complete when you return--writing the next chapter, scene, or editing, research you wish to begin, anything that you couldn't complete before leaving. Having a sense of direction will greatly help eliminate that appeal of a few thousand games of solitaire or surfing Yahoo Messenger or MSN for a few chatty friends ;)
Had I done all that, I wouldn't right now be blogging :) I'd probably be finishing the manuscript that's due on the 1st of July. How quickly time flies!!!
Until next time, I leave you with with this excellent resource:
Charlotte Miller: Press Kit
Excellent information on putting together your own press kit--great for newly published authors like 'moi' (can you just hear Miss Piggy?? :) )