Happy Labor Day! Get Back to Work!

Hacks for Hacks: Sense of Humor Required

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.

Enjoying your long Labor Day weekend? I sure as hell hope not.

Writers labor on Labor Day. This is the weekend you’re going to regain all the writing momentum you’ve lost. No matter how far behind you are on your goals, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to convince yourself that you can atone for it all if you really buckle down over a weekend that is one whole day longer than any other weekend.

Does this sound unrealistic? I’m sorry, but it’s time for some tough love. You’ve spent the last year and a half making excuses like these:

  • There’s a deadly pandemic! 
  • It’s dangerous to go to work!
  • I’ll starve if I don’t!
  • I can’t get anything done while the kids are doing online school at home!
  • I can’t get anything done while the kids are at school because they might bring home a deadly virus and some really hard math problems! 
  • I’m literally in the hospital!

I’ll bet you think that you deserve a break now, huh? The long Labor Day weekend has arrived not a moment too soon, you say, and you finally have a moment to catch your breath. 

You fool. You rube. Writing is your break. This is your purpose, your calling, remember? You want rest and relaxation? The best way to “relax” is spend the “rest” of your time off hammering out 5,000 words a day to make up for all that you didn’t get done while you were trying to hold it together. 

This gentleman is compelled to work on his wireless computer during a family gathering and is seen under the blue glow of his computer screen while shielding himself behind a potted plant and a chair. Orlando, Fl., USA
Photo by Emilio Labrador

By forsaking three days’ worth of fun, friends, and food, you’ll have the satisfaction of being 1.7% closer to finishing your book! There’s really no better way to spend the only long weekend you’ll get until Thanksgiving, when you’ll have four days to torture yourself with writer’s guilt.  

When Tuesday comes and you go back to the workday grind, which would you rather feel? The guilt of not using your time to further your writing goals? Or the despair of knowing that, after spending every free moment typing your fingers to the bone, it still wasn’t nearly enough? The latter experience is called despair, which has fueled a lot of great books, so you’re really just betting on yourself (as well as your therapist).

And after you meet your daily word count, you can reward yourself by deep cleaning the kitchen, unclogging the rain gutters, and all the other household projects you’ve been saving for a long weekend like this one. 

How are you setting yourself up for failure this Labor Day weekend? Share your delusions of productivity in the comments!

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About Bill Ferris

After college, Bill Ferris (he/him) left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.

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