Tuesday, July 26, 2011

“Taking a Break”

Ever wonder what writers do to “take a break?” Do they go swimming? Maybe take in a movie. Sometimes I play blues on my guitar to relieve the stress.

Last week, I was half-way through the final edit on a 135,000-word manuscript. Couldn’t eat another peanut or drink another Pepsi. My writer’s cave morphed into a writer’s prison, complete with ominous corner shadows and moaning. (okay, okay, so the moaning was my little Dachshund under my desk groaning that it was time for his dinner.) Anyway, I desperately needed a break. What did I do?

Books! That’s right, I needed a break from writing, so I bought books. Four of them to be exact. I got all the way home before it dawned on me that I didn’t have time to read any of them. Oh well, they can wait, but just the smell of all those books in the “indie” bookstore invigorated me. Add a bag of microwave popcorn and I was ready to edit again.

For me, the problem with taking breaks is that, if I enjoy myself too much, I tend to get distracted and lose the self-discipline for writing or editing. It’s like the proverbial tumble off the horse. Gotta get back on fast or it might not happen.

What do you do for relief during long periods of writing or editing? Do you have favorite rituals or “brain” food that helps you along? Are you one of those writers who doesn’t have to worry about such things. Gosh, I hope I’m not the only one with this problem!


  1. There is always something to do when I turn away from writing or editing. It's putting those things aside that keep me from making progress at times.

  2. If I'm on a break from writing, I'll be doing one of two things: Reading, or catching up on TV series. I'm both an avid reader and an armchair viewer. I watch as many TV shows as I read books. You never know what will give you that little spark of inspiration.


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