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Sunday, January 08, 2012

BIC or Pajama Day?

Friday was a fantastically awful writing day. I slogged through my daily word count. Sure, I wrote 1000 words, but my editors will never see any of it.

The next day everyone else in the family had a Boy Scout hike. Ten blessed miles. That meant I would have something like six interruption free hours. What to do?

I could take the BIC approach. For those of you not familiar with the phrase that means Butt in Chair. You sit down and write even if all you produce is crap.

Thanks, but no. I’d already done that, and I was frustrated beyond belief. I’m sure you understand the horror of struggling all day to produce . . . nothing. Did I really want to do that again?

The BIC crowd would have said yes, but I’ll let you in on a secret that I’m hesitant to admit. I’m not a BIC kind of girl. Any time you tell me that I have to do something without fail, I look for an out.

Fortunately, I saw an out and I took it. Instead of practicing BIC on Saturday, I declared my day alone Pajama Day. Pajamas during the day means one of two things: Either I’m sick or this is a relaxing, fun day. Obviously, I was opting for the latter.

Clad in flannel pants and a long sleeve t-shirt, I could have still put my BIC. Instead, I baked two batches of cookies while I listened to an audio copy of Louise Penny’s A Trick of the Light. I finished reading Debby Dahl Edwardson’s My Name Is Not Easy. I baked bread. I even took care of some business e-mail, not because I had to but because I wanted to. Pajamas have amazing powers to let me do what I want, not what someone else says I have to do.

What does this have to do with writing? BIC when I’m tapped out is nothing but frustrating. My writing doesn’t get better. It gets worse.

On Monday after Pajama Day, I was fully recharged. How do I know? I wrote approximately 2500 words and most of them were usable.

If you normally advocate BIC but seem to have hit a wall, try switching projects. If that doesn’t work and you simply cannot get the words to flow on any project at all, give yourself a Pajama Day. Or you might try a jeans and hiking boots day. Or a swim suit and flip flops. Whatever you wear, spend a day doing whatever you want.

You may be surprised at how the words flow when you sit back down at the keyboard.


Author Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writer's Journey.


  1. Sue,
    Good point that sometimes we need a break. Love the term Pajama Day and love that picture of those slippers. Where can I get some of those? :)

  2. I added that pic, Margo. :) I hope you don't mind, Sue! I saw it on istock and thought it was cute...even though the legs are a guy's legs. ;)

    I'm a firm believer in Pajama Day. I often combine that day with BIC day though. So I usually go for Bikini Day or Hiking Boot Day. When I want to get away from work I pretty much have to get out of the house. Then I can come back recharged!

  3. Angela,

    Too funny about the photo. My first words? "Hey, my legs aren't hairy like that. Wait, those are man legs!" Yep. I'm a top-notch observer. To truly look like me, you would have needed flour on the flannels. I'm not that neat in the kitchen.

    I love Hiking Boot Day. Or Apple Picking Day.

    I'm pretty good at avoiding work at the computer when the family is home. Unless I shut the study door, they're pretty distracting. Sometimes when I shut the study door, I still need to nail someone with a Nerf dart. Unless, of course, he's bringing me coffee.


  4. Sue,

    I've never heard of BIC before, but soon found out I am well acquainted with the term after all. I recently wrote a similar post about being Warm, Fuzzy, and Blah! It happens more often than not. We have to learn to make the best of it and move on. Great post!


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