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Monday, January 18, 2021

My Author Vacation


My Author Vacation by Debra H. Goldstein

Sometimes, authors take vacations. Not in the sense of a trip to Florida, California or Europe, but an at home mental break.

During the past week, I took one of those stay-at-home mentally checked out vacations. After pushing and meeting several deadlines, I deliberately forgot about writing. Instead, I focused on catching up with weeks of episodic television, books on my TBR pile, and daydreaming. Pure fun, but now, the itch to write is returning. I’m feeling relaxed and energized – a perfect combination to start a new project.

Writers often get so engrossed in the mundane that they forget to take care of themselves. Whether by overeating, not exercising, or simply worrying about the words that aren’t flowing, they stress themselves out. This potentially begins a vicious circle where one concentrates on the word count but ignores the most important factor behind a decent story or book.

Sometimes, in order to be our best, we need to step back and “smell the roses.” My method is to take mental break. What’s yours?  


Jim Jackson said...

Before COVID, I used to take real vacations and not do any work while traveling and/or birdwatching. Now, I force myself to limit my writing time each day to make sure I have time to stretch and exercise and enjoy a book or watching TV or Facetiming with friends.

Kait said...

Welcome back!

I take mental health days and breaks as well. It was a habit I learned when I worked a day job. My firm must have been in agreement. We had three mental health days a year. When I'm on break I do all those things I've bookmarked to so someday and never, ever, make a to do list.

Molly MacRae said...

Thanks for the reminder, Debra. I've made the mistake of not taking a short mental vacation after finishing a book. These days I put aside fun projects to do after typing 'the end.' A big jigsaw puzzle, learning something new about handmade books and boxes, a TV series I missed, but especially reading.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

I'm with Jim: daily breaks for exercise, long walks on deserted streets, hearty winter recipes, TV.

KM Rockwood said...

At this point in my life, writing is my vacation from other stresses. I don't have nearly enough uninterrupted time, and grab every minute I can get.

There have been times, though, when I've welcomed a brief respite from writing, usually when I hit that strange combination of "It's done!" and "Stop obsessing about it! Don't change anything else, at least for now."

Susan said...

Debra is absolutely right. I have been taking too many mental health days since the pandemic hit. Recently, I've been using Sundays for a mental break from writing and doing business for my writing. We'll see how that works.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Jim, like you, I used to enjoy taking formal vacations.... even a long weekend at the beach recharged me...and often by the second day at the beach, I'd find myself writing (and it was always good). KM, I understand the writing as a break from the stresses you're describing. I haven't quite reached that point... instead I get too worked up to focus on writing; Kait, I used to do the same when I worked -- I'd sit on my bed, write checks, and simply veg. it was great and I returned to the job laser focused to work. Susan and Margaret, whether daily or Sunday, it works. I have trouble finding time once I get involved in something so it's better to make a solid break for a week or two for me.... sort of like what Molly is saying. Instead of a puzzle, I'm reading and watching TV (anyone see WandaVision, yet?_ One more book or maybe two today)

Kaye George said...

It's an excellent idea. Trouble is, I'd have to clean the house if I left off writing. Still...

Shari Randall said...

Oh, how I miss those real, live vacations! Mental health breaks now are just getting in the car and driving somewhere new - even if I don't get out of the car!

E. B. Davis said...

Good going, Debra. Recharge!

Paula Gail Benson said...

This is so true! If I don’t schedule breaks, I find myself rebelling when I need to focus. Rest and be well, my friend!