Friday, March 4, 2011

Gimme a Break

I took yesterday off and boy do I feel guilty. But I also feel rejuvenated. I have to run errands today before my husband takes the car, but all I want to do is sit down and write. As physically sore and tired as I am, my mind is ready to write the next installment. I'm also ready to finish my edits.

My super uber awesome Critique Partner has been patient with me as I deal with sickness, children and remodeling. I've only written just under 7k this week. I should have been about 10 or more by now. I will be making that up tonight when my husband goes to work.

Sometimes, in life, whether it's mothering, working, writing, remodeling, you have to have a break. A sick break doesn't count because your mind and body is busy fixing that. I mean a real break.

My goal in this blog is to help encourage others who are working, or full time moms or have other responsibilities that make it hard to find the time to do what you love--namely write. It can be applied to all things, but that's my focus here. But what happens to your writing when you don't--or can't-- take breaks? Also, what should you do on these breaks?

Number one thing you need to do is drink lots of fluids. It's easy to get caught up in your writing and forget to drink. Lot's of peeps drink caffeine, I am the caffeine high priestess so that's okay, but don't forget to drink other liquids.

Number two is exercise. This envigorates the mind. I'm bad about this one. Right now I'm doing fine because I have lots of physical housework to do. But I don't live in an area where I can pop up and take a good walk. So I have to be more creative. May have to invest in a Wii or kinect.

Number three eat. Sounds funny in a way, but your brain uses up carbohydrates as much as your muscles do. Healthy snacks and meals are the best thing for your mind.

Number four socialize. I can almost hear your minds coming to a screeching halt at this one. But let's think about this. You need to stay up on current events. Maybe not as informed as a news anchor or anything, but find a way to stay connected.

Recently there were earthquakes in New Zealand. Pretty serious ones. I have a few friends over there. I popped onto twitter and bugged the heck out of them until they popped up and said I'm fine. One person's house was damaged. Also, although I missed this, one was also looking for his fiance. My other twitter friends did catch it and retweeted for him. That's the awesomeness of the writing community at work there!

And then there's encouragement. If that chapter 6 (hehe hi Tina Lynn)is really chomping your hide, you can get on and commiserate with hundreds of other writers who understand your frustration. If you've conquered that chapter six that's been giving you hell, plenty of good for you's to be had.

Then there's the business end of getting social. Developing your brand. There's a hundred thousand rules to this and I'm probably breaking them all. LOL just do your best and keep going. As I stated here and as you can see under my title, my blog is not only about my journey as a writer, but as a mother. I hear a lot of people who say they can't find the time, but they want to.

If you don't take a break your writing suffers. Pacing, characterization, word choices, all of it is influenced by how tired your brain is. I know it's hard to find time to write, much less take a break, but you need to.

This blog is supposed to help them find the time and encouragement even as their emotions and responsibilities take them in a hundred directions. But that's my hook, so to speak. That's what makes my blog different and stand out. Hopefully better than a sore thumb!

So give yourself permission to take breaks now and then. You may find that you're better, faster, more creative and enjoying yourself again.

PS One word of caution... Taking a break is not an euphimism for stopping. Putting it off cuz you're afraid, or making excuses. Be honest with yourself. If you find yourself slipping out of the habit of writing ruthlessly get your arse back in the chair and do something!!

1 comment:

  1. This is so true. I had no reason to particularly need to take a break this week, apart from the fact that I had taken one day off from writing in two and a half weeks. But I just went stale on my novel. It wasn't flowing and that for me is hard, because my characters usually do their thing and I just have to write down what they're doing.

    So I took a break. One day, then another. Today I worked on planning out what was going to happen in the rest of my novel. But that didn't do it either. I finally cracked it - I need to ask the characters what they're going to do. I need them to react to this knowledge and then do what has to be done. Hopefully tomorrow they'll be up for the job again.