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Yes! Have a No-No Day ... often

When your job’s up in your head, you take it with you everywhere. How lovely and super is that, to have a commitment and dedication to your craft so intense that it accompanies you every waking hour?

It is with you every second of every minute of every day, sitting in your brain screaming for attention like a toddler on a sugar high, like an attack of tinnitus, like a buzzy blue-bottle that refuses to fly out of the window.

Writing is intensely rewarding yet spitefully unforgiving. It demands peak perfomance from you all the time and haunts and taunts you if you don’t give it. It expects nothng less than constant undiluted orginality, perpicacious wit, dazzling insight, profound observation, pathos, bathos, irony, piquancy, laughter and joy. Give it a rest huh?


Please, let me just kick back and think of nothing for just one day.

This is where the No-No Day comes in.

Let me explain for those who don’t know. A No-No Day is when you do nada, zilch, nothing.


Because it recharges your batteries

But here’s the catch: It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Here are five tips for achieving a day’s calm in the incessant storm of writing…five ways to stay one step ahead of the demons in your head and the nagging neurosis in your noddle:

  1. Cast caution to the wind: don’t worry that the day following a day on which you do nothing you will be plagued by guilt and self-doubt; damn the carp, as the opportunists say.

  2. Eat peanuts: as Hamlet says: “I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space were it not that I have bad dreams”. They’re full of protein and ideal for fiddly slightly hyperactive snacking given that you tend to be jittery when you’re doing nothing becaue IT’S THE LAST THING YOU SHOULD BE DOING.

  3. Free the devil inside: as Beelzebub states: “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”. So rustle up a heavenly chocolate drink, put on your Snoopy slippers and watch a really really rubbish movie. And leave the dishes in the sink.

  4. Turn the computer off: it will only sit there making you feel like a sloth. So make sure you have some DVDs in because you won’t be able to stream. In fact, cover it with a cloth. Or better still, carry it out to the garden shed.

  5. Focus on feeling relaxed: you’ll bring so much back to the task the next day, if you can only ignore how irresponsible you are going to feel, how much time you lost on your well-deserved No-No Day, who the hell do you think you are anyway everybody else has to go to work whether they like it or not what makes you so special just because you’re a writer…aaargh.

Take tomorrow off too.


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