This month, we're blogging about ways we recharge and relax and deal with the many pressures of trying to balance our writing careers with day jobs, motherhood, and so on.
I haven't had a vacation where I actually went off somewhere and did the tourist thing in years. My time off these days is typically spent attending writer conferences. Days off, weekends -- those are for writing and catching up on the chores I didn't do during the week because I was writing.
When the words stop flowing, when I can't find the right mood for a scene, that's when I know I need to walk away for a little while. For a mini-battery recharge, I grab the Kindle and hit the elliptical machine. I find exercise does a great job of clearing away the mental cobwebs. Picture vacuuming a dust-clogged vent and how the air flows stronger and clearer. That's how it feels. The Kindle helps me pass the time. If I can get absorbed by a book, I can pedal that machine for thirty minutes. If I'm staring at the clock, I don't do more than five because I'm bored.
I like to re-read old favorites. I hear many of you gasping. But it's true. For me, it's like hanging out with an old friend. I save books where certain scenes punched through my chest to squeeze my heart. I read those sections, study them, look for the traits that made them work for me. There are sex scenes and then there are love scenes -- the two are not always the same thing. There are action scenes and fight scenes -- also not the same thing. There are break-up scenes, reconciliation scenes, growth scenes -- every author writes them differently and reading their work helps me reclaim my lost focus on my own writing.