I am the worst at taking a break. I’ve been this way my whole life—relaxation is a thing I enjoy, but most of the time, there has to be something else going on simultaneously. Hell, it wasn’t until recently that I took up watching some TV before bed while needing to talk myself into lying still on the couch (because, sadly, reading revs me up and makes it impossible to pass out). I have a friend who describes me as being incapable of slowing down, but I often correct him to say that I can, I just prefer to have my wheels spinning at all times, if not in person, then at least in the back of my head.
The slowing of the wheels is something I’m actively working on this year. I’ve been going through a lot that I’ve mentioned on the blog, but there’s been other off-site stuff, too, which has made my series-writing ride quite the adventure. Add to this that moderation is a concept lost on me (just give me a pile of candy and I’ll blow your mind, swear), and the fact that I’m still pretty good at pushing past pain…well, put all this together, and you’ve got a flashy sports car that eventually has a major break down and stops working.
Obviously, that, in the middle of a 3-book series, simply will not do.
Which is why I’ve set up various rewards to honor the need to slow my roll in this already unique process. Since I just typed “The End” and closed off the draft for The Discipline, book 2 in the Lessons in Control series, the one I greet you with today is a deal I made with myself long ago: two full weeks off! This is a time for me to not only not think about the book while it simmers, but to essentially take a mini-writing-pseudo-vacation. Yes, writing is my passion, my sustenance, my love—but revisit that moderation in all things clause, and eventually, one can overdose in love, too.
Plus, a “vacation” always brightens the landscape of pretty much anything, so here I am, taking one!
What does this mean? Save for the potential of my copy edits showing up during this rest time, I’m not doing a lick of writing beyond a blog post or two, and maybe even a little revise of a poem and a piece of flash I wrote a while back, since it’s high time I get some fiction up in this joint. But beyond that? I’m practicing chilling out interspersed with moments of handling a short To Do list I avoided while staying focused on the series. This last weekend, for example, I swapped between bills, taxes, and major social time with friends. I even kicked off Saturday morning with pancakes, bacon, and a coconut milk latte in front of a TV show while still in my robe. Guys, this sort of thing hasn’t happened in years. And you know what? It felt pretty good.
There are other cool things happening in this two-week break, too. One, I’ve got a slew of awesome social encounters I’ve delayed: karaoke, luncheons, dinners, happy hours, and, hell, I might even take myself dancing and then sleep in this weekend! Whoa! Also, I’m finally reading a book. I know this sounds like a no brainer—but between being all up in this series and not being able to read before bed lest it keep me awake, I’ve pretty much been catching only blog posts here and there, and thus haven’t touched a book since, oh, late August (shameful, I know, but it’s the truth). Oh and extra chill-worthy: I’m rewatching Fringe from start to finish. This is my favorite series of all time, right before the wicked tie for second between The Tudors, Dexter, Friends (bonus points if you caught the show reference in the title of this post), Grey’s Anatomy, and the first six seasons of The Vampire Diaries (don’t even talk to me about the current season). I have tons of other good things planned for this time, too, but let it be said: there will be some real relaxation for me. I’m excited!
On top of that, I’m not going to feel guilty. Not at all. I know my lovely little characters can wait for me, and everything—life, series, etc.—will return to normal when I’m back.
We are, after all, on a break. 🙂