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Do-nothing time

Cheryl's Musings: Do-nothing time

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Do-nothing time

Cheryl’s definition of a perfect afternoon: curling up in a mega-armchair with a poodle, anise tea, a Buttercream-scented candle, a plush blanket—and nothin’ I have to do.

It’s especially delicious on a crazy weather day like today. When I left the house this morning, blizzard conditions ruled. Two inches of snow fell in approximately two minutes. When I headed home a few hours later, the roads were barely damp. There’s still a wicked wind, though, doing its best to rearrange the remaining white stuff; and the clouds are so low, half the city seems to have disappeared. It’s a good afternoon to be inside, cozy and warm and peaceful.

I know this sounds crazy in today’s fast-paced world, but I actually try to make Sunday a day of rest around here. It’s extremely freeing to have one day without expectations or demands. (Well, okay, there are still some demands—this morning’s kids’ program, for one, and various activities like violin concerts and birthday parties….) But for at least a few hours, I get to chill out. I recharge and reflect.

What would you do with an unscheduled time chunk? And I don’t mean the Saturday afternoon let’s-squeeze-in-an-hour-of-writing-time kind of unscheduled. I mean the swinging-in-the-hammock-watching-the-clouds kind. No TV, no e-mail, no computer—maybe a pen and notebook, but only if you feel like it. Maybe a good book to read.

Here’s what I think: writers need time doing nothing. That’s when the mind gets a chance to stop spinning in a directed fashion. It’s when all those “shoulds” and “have-to’s” drift away. It’s when the brain, free of all its usual clutter, plays with new ideas. Take some doing-nothing time today. I think you’ll like it!


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