Monday, February 22, 2010

Writing Vacations

I took a writing vacation this week. No, I don't mean one of those retreats where you spend a week writing in the mountains whilst the nature in which you're submersed fuels your creative drive. That sounds heavenly and something I would love to do once the kiddos are older -- it'll be a nice change from writing whilst submersed in chaos and Cheerios. What I mean is I took a vacation FROM writing -- for the most part. I had family in town the last 2 weekends and have spent time skiing (see prior post), eating, playing Wii, watching a plethora o' Netflix movies, and just hanging out. Also, a ton of Olympic watching has been going on in this household. I did do minor revising during commercial breaks between skiing and figure skating, but there's not an Olympic sport I haven't found fascinating (my hubby draws the line at ice-dancing).

My only other book-related activity involved hosting book club and cooking for 11 women but we read and discussed a non-YA book which was a nice change of pace. Side note: The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent is an A-MAZING book told by the 10th generation granddaughter of a woman who was hanged after accusations of witchery in Salem.

Why I took a break:
Normally I do something writing related every-single-night. Even when I'm tired, even when the thought of revising again makes me want to vomit. The night before I took my break, I told my hubby for the first time that I was sick of the sight of my book. He laughed and told me now I know how he feels. When he's played a show, I've asked why he didn't sing a song he wrote that's one of my favorites -- he says because when he's sung a song 300 times, it starts to get old. I felt like I'd read my ms at least 300 times and didn't want to look at it again. I was gentle with it though. I told it I wasn't breaking up with it or anything, but I needed a little space.

What happened?
Nothing. The world didn't end. I had a great week and am ready to get down to business. Best of all - I missed my book. I'm ready to resume the relationship. The thought of revising motivates me again because I'm so close to the end. Granted, if I had things like editorial deadlines, etc., I'd have to plan my vacations accordingly. But for now, I can recharge my batteries whenever it feels necessary.

Bottom line advice:
I'm not advocating for slackerdom here. I am super hard on myself when writing the first draft, which is why it only took me 6 weeks to write. I give myself deadlines and stick to them. Despite the spontaneous vacation, I'm still on track for my end of month deadline. I'm just saying it's okay to give yourself a break once in awhile. In fact, by resting and enjoying friends/family/Olympics/whatever, you enrich your life and chances are, you'll enrich your writing as well.

What about you? Do you take vacations from writing? Are they always planned? Have you ever broken up with your manuscript and gotten back together?


  1. I am on a vacation right now. I have been for the last two weeks. I've taken vacations for the same reasons you have, but not this time. This time, I can't concentrate on any of my projects while my baby is with you and Valerie!

    I have worked on my short story and sent that back to the editor, but mostly I've been piddling around on the internet, working on my blog and getting in some reading.

    A break can be very refreshing. You just have to remember to come back!

  2. Lacey - I'm loving your revised 'baby!'

  3. Thanks, Kristi :) If you have any suggestions where I can elaborate a scene and bring out the building relationship and the characters a bit more, please note it.

    I can think of a few places I'd like to do that, but I don't want to wander too far off the plot path.

  4. I've been on a kind of forced vacation what with all the family stuff. It sucks because I'd hoped to get more done this month but it did give me more time to think about my story and also a Shiny New Idea that, of course, I can't write until I finish rewrites. Oh well.

    I've been watching the Olympics too! Can't wait for figure skating tonight.

  5. Valerie - figure skating is my favorite!

  6. I sometimes take writing breaks too. I tell myself the field is going fallow for a spell!


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