A deer goes to a stream to take a drink to get refreshed. We must do the same as writers. We cannot keep up a fast pace indefinitely. We need a break. This means we need to take vacations, cook or do whatever else we would like.
Recently, I have been on a cleaning and refurbishing spree. Of course, I have relatives visiting from out of state so this does give me an incentive to get things done. However, even when we do not have something pending, we need to cleanse our minds.
What does this do? It gives us new perspectives about our writing, and the projects we have on hand. When I am stumped on where to go in a scene, I get away from the computer to think. Time away from it helps me come up with ideas.
When we put our writing on a shelf, it enables us to spend more time with friends, family and our spouses. A husband lives for our kisses or hugs and when we are busy we brush those aside. Love needs refreshing even if you are married for 33 years as I soon will be Aug. 2. After all, if you are a romance writer is this not what it is about? Those tender times we later embellish in our writings without naming the source of our material.
I belong to many writing groups either locally or online, thus I receive many e-mails. When I miss a day, they add up. To alleviate this stress, I take the weekends off. If I do not, I get a sickish feeling in my stomach. My body is telling me to leave it behind and regroup before I return to the Monday grind.
Movies are great downtime moments. Last Saturday, I watched “The Quiet Man,” with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. I observed the characters’ interactions - their facial expressions, gestures and actions/reactions. For example, while sitting on a stream’s bank O’Hara gives Wayne a shy look, takes off her nylons then runs through the water. He follows her. This was what she wanted. The scene shows her playfulness and her strong and growing love for him.
When we take deep breaths, it provides us time to view our work in new light. Sometimes “you cannot see the forest through the trees” so to speak. But by laying the piece aside, we can see its flaws. In fact, professionals recommend this. Watch, though, in doing this for long periods, leading to you not finishing a work or substantially delaying its output. For example, a summer off is fine but more than that could make it difficult to get back into the writing rhythm.
Thus, it is alright to take a break to refresh your writing skills. It does make your product better just be wise about it. Well, as always I look forward to your comments. God bless.