Taking A Break

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As you should know, if you’re a regular reader of our dear little blog, I’m up to my elbows in revising my latest novel, with a deadline of mid-July. I realized that I needed to cut back on extracurricular activities in order to free up time for the revision. I dropped out of a show I’d been scheduled to dance for, and I’ve gotten rid of everything else extra that I possibly could. But the stress lingered. With every paragraph I worked on, there was still a nagging voice behind my eyes, telling me I’d never do it, there just wasn’t time, that I was destined to fail.

On Sunday, my husband insisted on taking me to the beach for the day. Normally we pack up as soon as the Beetle is out of school and head down for a week, but this year, between his graduation ceremony and other family obligations, the trip had to be cancelled. It’s a long way to drive just for the day, and I fought the idea of going. “You’re wasting a day you could spend working,” that voice kept saying. “You should have stayed home.” And honestly, I thought I’d made my peace with not having any beach time this summer, which is why I nearly gave in and listened to the voice. I’m so glad I didn’t – when we arrived on Edisto, and I heard the wind in my ears and tasted the salt on the air, I knew I hadn’t made my peace at all. I needed to be there. We spent the day digging in the sand and splashing in the waves, and I came home slightly sunburnt and more rested than I’ve been in weeks. I still have a deadline, but I’m not panicking any more.

Sometimes, when due dates are looming and time is short and you believe you just don’t have energy to do much more than breathe, you need to take that break. Go to the place that feeds your soul. Spend a day listening to music or watching movies or walking in the woods or whatever it takes to soothe you. That little voice will, at first, be fussing and fuming at you, but the longer you break, the softer it becomes, until at last it gives up and lets you find a little solace.

I’ll be away for the month of June, by the way. Kalayna Price, who just stood in for Faith in May, is going to post for me. I’m definitely coming back, and I’ll have lots to say, I’m sure. Not to mention that I’ll be dropping by the comments now and then. Y’all have fun, and I’ll see you on the other side of this rewrite. Wish me luck!

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16 comments to Taking A Break

  • You’ll be missed. Pound away on those words and return soon.

    Cheers,
    NewGuyDave

  • Hurry back with even more of your scholarly words of wisdom! 🙂

  • Best of luck with the rewrites. Don’t get too used to being away from us.

  • We’ll be waiting for you, Misty! I’m right in the thick of revisions with you, so I will be keeping you in my thoughts. Looking forward to your triumphant return. 🙂

  • Yay for the break! Everyone needs one now and again. Good luck with the revision and the deadlines! Take care!

  • Ditto, ditto, and ditto.
    I did the same thing yesterday on the water at Landsford Canal, losing myself among the rocky shoals spider lilies, the flowers so dense it was like floating lost among long green stalks topped with white froth of huge lilies. It was like God’s wedding gress. I am so refreshed and ready to write.

  • Good suggestions, Misty. I’ll also be away for a little while but back by the end of June. Hoping to see as many readers/commenters/contributors as possible at Con Carolinas this coming weekend.

  • Best of luck with the writing, Misty. We’ll miss you, and will be looking forward to hearing all about your time away from MW.

  • Best of luck, Misty!

    I’m at a conference this morning, which is held this year at a museum that looks over English Bay, Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains. It’s a rare sunny day in Vancouver, and everything is so calm and peaceful. Connecting with nature is so vital. I’m glad to here you had such a relaxing, invigorating experience!

  • Unicorn

    Happy writing, Misty. I’ll miss you… Come back soon!
    When my head is too full and too dusty, I saddle up and ride to the very end of the farm… Sometimes I dismount and sit in the grass and watch the sky for a while, as my horse grazes. Sometimes I point my horse at the far horizon and let her flow forward into a gallop that blows all the bad stuff away. It always works for me.
    Oh, and I just downloaded the Character Keeper program onto my computer. I like it! Should’ve done it long ago. Thanks everyone 🙂
    Unicorn

  • Razziecat

    Good luck, Misty! I’m sure you can do it and that book will be totally awesome.

  • Absolutely – one reason I made it through my dissertation revisions was that Emily regularly said “Stop writing and eat dinner.” or “Shut off the computer and go to bed.” Everybody needs a friend to keep them balanced when their working like crazy for a deadline. I’ll miss you at ConCarolinas this weekend! Can’t wait for the book to come out.

  • We’ll miss you, Misty. Write well!

  • Good luck! See you soon!

  • I absolutely agree with the advice here: sometimes, you just need to recharge, and however that works for you, you just gotta do it and get it out of your system and relax so you can jump back into the writing and embrace it with the energy and enthusiasm you really need.

  • Beatriz

    I have no doubt that the editing will be done on time and the book will be all the stronger. I have faith in you. 🙂

    I didn’t read this post until this afternoon and laughed out loud. I’ve got a zillion things on the to-do list. The project for work has eaten my brain. I’m exhausted and still have a long way to go until I reach the finish line.

    So what did I do last night? Pushed aside the furniture in the living room, turned up the music and danced!

    Air, water, food are required to live. Nuturing your soul is required to live.

    Thank you for the reminder.