Writers Need to Take a Break Every Now and Then


Since the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Conference ended, it has been non-stop. After the three day conference, I was scheduled to be at work at 5 a.m. two days in a row, this was after three days of being at the conference from 8 a.m. until I felt like leaving the hospitality suite, which was hard to do with free drinks and such pleasant company. After getting home from work, it was back to editing and making sure my manuscript was completed and ready to head to the two individuals who requested my manuscript. This is all taking place while also in pursuit of an MBA in Marketing.

This week, when I did have free time, I couldn’t bring myself to write. Being in the mindset that stopping will cause a slow downward spiral, I forced myself to continue editing until I realized something, it was terrible. I was not invested in it and my mind was screaming for mindless escape.

As a result, I realized that it would be more productive to just take a breather, think about what I will accomplish in the coming weeks as the last quarter approaches, and enjoy some things outside of writing. This included cooking pork roast sandwiches with a New England spice rub in a Marsala wine au jus, that was paired with Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio, I was pretty proud of that one, especially since we had the pork sandwiches on whole wheat bread with avocado and honeyed goat cheese.

We indulged while watching some Community and The Office season premieres. Community started its third season last night and did so brilliantly. The shift in The Office did exactly what it needed to by focusing on the ensemble more than anything else. However, I am still far from sold on the character of Robert California and the opening that explained how he became CEO was some of the laziest writing I’ve seen. However, Jim and Pam had another of their amazing moments that has been the heart of the show for so long. They continue to give Kevin Malone some of the best moments of the smaller, side characters. It was followed by Whitney, which I couldn’t get past the opening sequence. Nothing drives me away from a show more than when the creators of the show shove the quirkiness of the characters down my throat. It’s like the creators of the show are asking, “Do you get how fun and quirky they are, yet? I’ll bet you’ll want to watch their zany antics for years, huh? Right? Right?”

Today, I’ll be helping my little sister restore her furniture to a newer look that better reflects her age. She got the set in high school, which she graduated from a few years ago, and therefore wanted it to reflect her new, and amazingly selfless, lifestyle. Seriously, I have never seen anyone so willing to help others with so little hesitation.

Writing will be there for me next week to plug away as I continue the first draft of my second book whilst editing my first, looking for that one moment that missed a subtly placed adjective. What is the entire point of this rather disjunctive post, you ask? Every now and then, put the writing down and just have some fun. Writing is a long process and without some time away from your work, you’ll go crazy.

While writing is a passion, it also needs to be a part of the larger element of your life that needs to include indulgences, side projects, and time with friends and family. If you’re looking at your writing for the day and realize it’s not working, realize that it’s your brain telling you to chill out, and take a breather.

P.S. Pictures from our furniture renovation (done for less than $100) will be up next week.
P.S.S. Find a way to use the word “whilst,” your day will be better for it.

A side project while I was heavily in the editing and writing process of "Current."
The end result of the side project in spring, the first part of our backyard renovation by creating a 300 square foot patio space with flagstone (purchase remnants from a landscaping company, it cut our costs on flagstone by over two-thirds), shade sale, and grilling area. Find something to devote a little time to when you need to escape the writing world for a while, it helps.

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One comment

  1. Wonderful words of wisdom, thank you Tom. You have worked so hard and you are right, you need to take a break. Congratulations on submitting two manuscripts, that is awesome. I can’t wait to hear about the next chapter! The patio came out beautiful as did the front yard. Have fun with the furniture, can’t wait to see the end result. You are very kind and loving to those around you.

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