I’ll be taking a break from the blog , the conference, and the revision that’s making me CRAZY next week. Mr. Husband and I will be in St. Louis on a semi-working vacation. The Gateway City is a special place for us and thanks to the best mother-in-law on the planet, we’ll be kid-less. That means no strollers to be checked, no fridge-in-the-room requirement and we can stay out past ten! Thank goodness they’re playing Michael Jackson in the clubs again. We can go dancing without looking like dinosaurs. (This applies to Mr. Husband more than me, you understand, since I am still in my thirties. He’s crossed the bridge into his forties—although I will have to say it’s definitely working for him. 🙂 )
The Cards are hosting the LA Dodgers, so we’ll be going to a couple of games. (http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com). We’ve already got reservations at our favorite resturants—including The Feasting Fox (http://www.feastingfox.com) , and I plan to spend at least one day at the St. Louis Art Museum. And we may be able to fit it in Zoo in Forest Park! (http://www.stlzoo.org/)
What’s the point in sharing my itenerary?
Sometimes it’s great, as a writer, to take a break. See new things. Eat new food. Divorce yourself from all the distractions. It’s amazing how just a few days in a different place can get you re-energized and re-inspired to write.
I’ve learned over the years to allow myself time to NOT WRITE. Sometimes NOT WRITING is the only thing that will push your writing to the next level. I’m not suggesting a long break—just a few days, here and there. It’s kind of like being on a diet. If you deny your cravings too long, instead of having one piece of cake, you find yourself in Wal-Mart a 2am buying an entire bag of Baby Ruth Bars and eating them in the deserted parking lot. As a writer, you need a break from the self-discipline and constant brain activity it takes to be successful in this game. You need non-literary stimulation.
It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to pause, take a deep breath and look around. You might find the answer to the plot problem you’re having, or you may find the dynamic character that’s destined to be the hero of your next novel.
Be good to yourself. You’re the only writer who can write what you write they way you write it. Your brain, creativity, style are unique and valuable. Don’t work so hard that you burn yourself out and never want to write again.
Stay inspired and look for me on the JUMBOTRON.
Stay tuned for the next two parts of Carrie’s blog on critiques and pitches. I’m leaving you in excellent hands, dear readers.