Friday, 11 February 2011


By Richard Jay Parker

I'm writing this at just past ten on a wet Friday morning and another weekend is in the offing. For some writers (full or part time) the weekend is an opportunity to..well..write. I'm lucky enough to spend a large proportion of my week days at the keyboard so I do (often reluctantly) try to stay out of the office for a couple of days.

That's not to say I'm not working. I'm usually turning something over in my head throughout but outwardly I'm engaged in normal, human weekend activity. It's one of the great advantages of being a writer - you can do the important groundwork anywhere.

Even if sometimes you itch to get at the keyboard it's often valuable to have time away from a project so you'll feel refreshed when you next sit down.

OK - as I'm going to a rock gig this weekend and will lubricate the event in traditional style 'refreshed' probably isn't the appropriate word for how I'll be feeling Monday morning. But distance from your own writing is often the best way to see its faults as well as the merits you forget as you read it for the umpteenth time.

We all have different ways of operating. Some writers I know 'blitz' a project and don't step away from it until it's finished. If there's a deadline in the offing there's often little choice. But although I like to set my own deadlines for completion taking a break from a draft, in my case, always proves worthwhile.

I'll be applying this method as I near completion of rewrites on book 2.

So however you're spending your weekend, remember to enjoy yourself. Writing or resting - it's all for the good of your creativity.

Visit Richard at


  1. This weekend, I'm at work Saturday (OK I have time to write here but I'm still on duty), meeting with agent Sunday - then back at work on Monday. I do have an afternoon off on Wednesday (for a live radio interview) but then it's back to work for a Parents' Evening after the BBC studio... Relish the luxury of writing full-time, Richard. You deserve it. Hope I do too before too long. Although of course I love my job - (in case The Boss reads this!)

  2. I think deadlines and setting priorities are the key, whether you're contracted or still looking for that other sort of break (like me!). But the most important thing has to be enjoying the craft of writing.

  3. There is an art to taking breaks. And like so many deadlines, it's escaped me.

  4. I think the only answer is to scrap sleep, Leigh!

    Thanks, Derek. Enjoyment is key. There's very litle point otherwise.

    Have looked at the clock many times in the past, Bob, and realised it's way past my deadline.

  5. I signed up for a degree as a way of hopefully finding time and inspiration to allow me to write... All I seem to have done is spent all my time researching for essays! On the upside I have a ton of ideas for future use, so that can't be bad.

    I think the key to writing has to be allowing time for other pursuits - what else will we have to write about but writing unless we do?

    I hope the gig was a good night out? Those post-gig sensations of greyness, the standard issue ringing in the ears, and the bed-hair you can do nothing with because you fell intoxicated into a comatosed heap, are all good writing fodder :)