What I Do When I’m Not Writing

When I set out to write a novel, I usually get about 20,000 words into the first draft before I sputter out and just go into mush-brain mode for weeks. I’ve been talking about this stagnant period on the blog quite a bit lately, but what does a writer do when she is not writing? How does she spend all that down time before getting back on the draft horse and charging forth into the next 20,000 words? I can’t speak about all writers, but I can speak for myself. Today, I’ll share five not-so-writerly things I get up to in my not-so-productive streaks.


This is actually still pretty writerly, but I love to read. Sometimes reading books can burn me out, too, but I find I get mopey when I haven’t read anything good in a while so my book breaks don’t usually last too long.

Play The Sims

Nothing provides me with excellent fictional drama fodder quite like The Sims. Constant cheating, secret whirlwind affairs, illegitimate children, unfortunate pool “accidents,” undead monsters stalking innocent Sims in the night to feast on their delicious plasma… ahem. Wait, you mean you don’t play The Sims like that? Well, this is awkward.

Netflix and Binge

If you’re in your twenties and you’ve never watched more than three episodes of your favourite show in a row on Netflix (or any other streaming service), you’re probably lying. The one I’m obsessed with right now is Once Upon a Time, but I’m a big fan of Supernatural, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Merlin, and Stranger Things, too.


I love colouring books. They’re so fun and so relaxing. I have a big stack of colouring books for every occasion and a large plastic container filled with a variety of colouring supplies. Pencil crayons, gel pens and markers in glitter, metallic, milky, matte, neon, pastel and any other kind you can think of. I’m stocked up. I even have the Recolor app on my tablet so I can colour on the go whenever I need some quick colour therapy.

Cats. All the Cats.

I’ve accepted my fate as a single crazy cat lady. I prefer the company of cats to the company of most people. Cats live in a permanent state of aloof superiority and they hate everyone except their human slaves whom they’ve trained to give cuddles and treats at their every beck and call. I understand cats and cats understand me. We are one. Nothing makes me happier than a long snuggle session with one of my feline furbabies. I even dedicated my debut novel to them!

What do you do when you’re not writing? I’d love to hear all about your hobbies in the comments.

Copyright © 2017 A.A. Frias


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