For many writers, autumn is the perfect time of year to curl up with a cup of hot cider and begin a new project. Whether it’s the chilly nights, the smell of leaves, or ghost stories around the campfire, there’s something about the season that just leaks creativity.
Of course, once you’re a few chapters deep, and the novelty of your story begins to wear off, Fall is also an excellent time of year to practice procrastination. From apple orchards to the pumpkin patch, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities beckoning you away from your desk before the snow kicks in.
But fear not! For those of you looking to get away from your writing space without the soul-crushing guilt of leaving your characters behind, I’ve pulled together a list of three quick ways you can procrastinate this Fall without really procrastinating at all.
1. Decorate Your Writing Space
This may seem like a cop-out, but one of my favorite ways to procrastinate is by cleaning or decorating my writing space. In October, this means pulling out my tiny battery-operated jack-o-lantern, Plumpkin, and creating a small shrine for him on my desk. As a writing companion, Plumpkin’s patience knows no bounds. When I turn him on, his smile literally lights up the room and makes him an excellent partner for storyboarding.
If you’re not as into the whole inanimate-writing-companion thing as I am, adding an applie pie candle, a string of fall leaves, or even a few gourds, can really brighten up your writing space while giving you a quick break from the actual writing process.
2. Go for a Drive or Walk
It’s no secret that October is one of the best months for leaf-peepers. In fact, entire websites have been dedicated to providing people with “foliage reports” and guides on where you can find the best leaves in your area.
And sometimes, getting out of the house and seeing a glimpse of the real world can be just the boost of inspiration your imagination needs to get you over a writing slump. So if you find yourself stuck on a particular scene, hop in the car, put on some tunes, and enjoy the scenery.
3. Go Apple Picking in Character
This piece of procrastination gold is even more fun if you drag friends along for the adventure. All it takes is a character, a closet, and a little creativity. No matter what genre you’re writing in, it’s easy to reflect your characters in your outfits and your accessories without going the full monty.
For example, you could be writing a fantasy novel in which your fierce heroine is a knight who prefers armor to ballgowns. No worries! Dig out that studded belt you haven’t worn since middle school, grab a pair of riding boots, and order a badass dagger necklace from Etsy (apparently this one glows in the dark). Et voila! You are participating in a walking, talking character study! After all, what’s more in the spirit of Halloween than getting in costume?
So whether you’re new to the procrastination game, or a tried-and-true procrastination princess (or prince), there are always opportunities to take breaks from writing without abandoning your project completely.