Thursday, April 8, 2010

Taking a Break

I sent in my manscript for the Highlights workshop last week. We were told to stop working on it because that's what the workshop is for. So, I stopped.

It's driving me nuts!

Let's talk about taking a break from our writing. Do you take breaks? Why? For how long? Are breaks beneficial? How?

I am reading Terry Brooks' latest trilogy, Genesis of Shannara. Ohmygosh. I seriously want to have lunch with this man! HA!


  1. I have the opposite problem, Pam. I have so much going on in my life that I'm constantly trying to take a break to write.

    How cool is that, you sent your manuscript to Highlights! When is the conference again?

  2. The conference is May 1-8th. Three weeks from today!!!

    I met with my friend, Kim Sponaugle, the artist who drew the header for my blog and who illustrated my picture books we published with Concordia. We talked over a couple of new children's picture book ideas and I'm going to work on them while I'm waiting for the conference.

    So, I'm relieved to have found something to work on while I'm waiting.

  3. Sometimes breaks are forced. Sometimes not. When God rested after Creation, He gave us an example to do the same. It's always good to take a break and get refreshed.

    I've been so focused on my fantasy novel for the past three years, I've almost totally neglected my children's projects. With this forced break from fantasy, I can come back to my picture book projects. I had forgotten how much fun it is and how much I love it.

    I also take a break from writing to do some quilting. As I've said before, anything we do that is creative can only help our writing. Putting a quilt together is much like plotting a novel. I usually don't follow a pattern, but enjoy coming up with my own designs and color patterns. Sometimes, it works out the first time and sometimes I have to switch the materials around.

    We are too close to our own work to see all the mistakes, repeated words and phrases, passive verbs, etc. That's why we send our pages to a writing partner or critique group. Then we can sit and make changes with new eyes. A break from our writing does the same thing. When we leave it alone for a while, we come back refreshed and ready to go on.

  4. I think it makes a difference that I'm working two part-time jobs right now, plus cleaning for an elderly couple every other week. It's been really crazy. And my husband is out of work, so he's home all the time, also driving me crazy. I feel so scattered, it's hard to find time to write, and when I do make time, I can still feel the pressure of all the other things I'm *not* doing.

    Teaching is such a consuming job. I always have work to do at night and on weekends. And my husband doesn't cook at all, nor is he good at managing money. All the cooking, food shopping and bill-paying falls on me. But I do think this time off has been good for us as a family, and I think he's starting to "get" what I do all day! He now actually gets upset if I do the dishes, saying, "You cooked, I'll do those." So that's nice!