Mind Nap

27 Oct

As someone who is constantly telling herself little stories in her head, I’m wondering today how to know when to take a writing break.


I once heard a very popular -not to mention prolific- writer say something along the lines of “When I’m writing that’s all I do, but for a couple months between books, I do everything else.” She went on to clarify that everything else was not plotting and editing. Those are part of her writing schedule. She meant being a wife, mom, person….doing all the things that writing takes to much time do do. Takes up a new hobby or restarts an old one.


So, during Fast Draft, you may remember me saying that it just wasn’t going as well as it typically did and one of the reasons I came up with was that I hadn’t been far enough into the story to be running at break-neck Fast Draft speed. I think another reason is I was only able to take a couple days off before I started from all writing activity.


And so now, with NaNo right around the corner, people keep asking if I’m Nano’ing and what I’m working on. Is book 2 almost done (my personal favorite)? Are you still working on more than one thing? And a ton of other questions. And I find myself getting odd stares (or cyber-stares) when I say I’m not working on anything, I don’t think I’ll NaNo (I never have before) and I’m just kind of ‘feeling out’ some stories.


Taking a break doesn’t seem to be the norm in the writing world…But then I remember my Vows To Myself from when I was a Purple Heart. I remember saying I would treat writing like a job….INCLUDING scheduled breaks to avoid burnout. So here I am….scheduled breaking….and I’m unsure when I’ll start writing again. I think I need to play a little with the stories in my head and see where they go. Relearn to listen to my characters.


And so I ask you — breaks, do you take them? How do you take them, scheduled? What do you do while you aren’t Writing? How long are your breaks? I’d love to know!

6 Responses to “Mind Nap”

  1. Savvy October 27, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    I take them all the time, probably too much. When I’m not writing I journal, I do morning pages (3 of them every morning) got this from Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way. It helps me unleash all the itty bitty crap floating in my head. And if I’m not working on a book, I paint and craft a lot with my kid or just be. I don’t schedule any projects much.

  2. briaq October 27, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    Am I the only person who couldn’t get into the Artists Way???

    Maybe I need to try it again — after the Mind Nap that is 🙂

    I’m sure having kids keeps you on the creative “how do I keep them occupied without sitting them in front of Barney all day” way too!

  3. Savvy October 28, 2008 at 8:33 am #

    NO, I’ve never finished it either! lol i got about half way but i did like the idea about the morning pages. helps me get a lot of internal garbage out – pissing and moaning that really no one needs to hear and i dont need ot lay awake at night over the piddly stuff of life either. i should do them more often. and yeah i do let the kid watch tv (mommy needs a wine break lol!) but it is fun seeing my 3 yo boy dig arts and crafts. 🙂

  4. briaq October 28, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    Yeah, I’m not ANTI-TV, although I watch very little of it. But I KNEW you wouldn’t be one of those moms that thougth 8 hours of the television babysitting the kiddos would be ok 🙂

  5. gwen hayes October 30, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    I read like a fiend. Or I watch movies while I knit (for those of you wondering, I have multiple knitting WIPs as well).

  6. briaq October 30, 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    I hear you Gwen – Sometimes I feel like my life is one long list of WIPs 🙂

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