Monday, April 06, 2009

Everybody needs a little time away*

In the time-honored fashion of true procrastinators, I forgot I had to blog today until the last minute.

See, I had a pretty good weekend. Friday night, the hubby and I took an impromptu trip to Bridge Street, which is a really cool mall that's built like a European shopping area -- outdoors, cobblestone walks, bridges, and even a lake with a gondola. We sauntered up the street, encountered the Von Braun Astronomical Society out with their telescopes (totally cool), then wandered into a wine shop where we bought a bottle of wine and had a tasting of several nice wines.

Once we got home, we went up to hubby's man cave and watched a movie. He has a 106" movie screen and a popcorn maker. Who needs theater prices, right?

Saturday, we met friends for a wonderful dinner, then came home and repeated the movie experience. Sunday, we went out for a while, worked out, and then -- you guessed it -- repeated the movie experience.

I'm wandering, right? Desperate for a point?

No, not really. See, in between all that sauntering, shopping, eating, drinking wine, and watching movies, my brain was churning. I have a book due in June, and I'm only about 15k into it. I should be in panic mode.

I'll get there, no doubt, but this weekend I refused to panic. This weekend was about doing things other than writing. Refilling the well? Possibly.

I'm not sure what to call it, but I know that when I wasn't forcing myself to think about my characters, I suddenly started thinking about them all the time. I went to bed thinking about them. I woke up thinking about them. And I didn't write down a word. I think that might have made them evaporate, sort of like waking suddenly in the middle of a dream and being unable to recreate that world when you fall asleep again.

Hopefully, my weekend play will translate into words and scenes. Today, I *have* to think about the characters. But I think I'm ready for it. Sometimes, you have to give yourself permission to play in order to make the work fun again. Writing is hard work, but it's also supposed to be fun. If you aren't having fun, take some time away -- a day or two or three -- and just play.

I think the idea we have to write every single day is great in a work ethic way -- and lousy sometimes in a way that stifles that which we seek to create. What do you think? And what's your favorite way to recharge?

*From the Chicago song, Hard to Say I'm Sorry, of course. :)

17 comments:

Kathy said...

Movies are a great way to wake the muse. But I'm whining... you didn't say which movies you watched. ;)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

We watched Wall-E and The Wedding Date and I can't remember the third. :) We actually watched a lot of stuff all week long in the evenings, which isn't like me at all. So I lost track a bit. :)

Annette said...

Sounds like a nice break, Lynn. Here's hoping it all pays off with an easy flow of words to paper!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Thanks, Annette! I hope so too. :) So far, so good, but we'll see...

Karen Beeching said...

Movies and books are great ways to refill the well. My fav is a hot bubble bath.

Angel said...

Sounds very relaxing. I usually recharge by reading or watching movies or scrapbooking. But if my characters start talking, I jot down notes, otherwise I'll forget what was said by the time I come back to it. :)

Danniele

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Oooh, I hot bubble bath! That would be great too. I should really use my bathtub more. I tend to take showers because they're faster, but I have a great jetted tub. I should use it, darn it!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Scrapbooking would be a good way to be creative without forcing yourself to work on a story! I've realized over the years that I am drawn to crafty things, and I think it's simply another way to work those creative muscles. I also know that when I start thinking hard about painting my house, rearranging furniture, or heading to Lowe's to look at plants, I'm probably avoiding my WIP. ;-)

Prisakiss said...

I like to watch a romantic comedy or reread a favorite book to recharge.

You picked two feel-good movies: WallE and The Wedding Date. Man, the hero in Wedding Date has some gooooood lines. :-)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Pris, you're so right about romantic comedies being just the thing! And yeah, The Wedding Date was quite inspirational. *sigh*

Louisa Cornell said...

Nothing wrong with taking a little time to feed the writer, so to speak. I give myself time to crawl into bed on a Sunday afternoon with a stack of DVDs and a stack of romance novels, food that is bad for me and the necessary attendance of dogs and cats lounging all over the bed in bliss because I am home and being lazy. I don't do it often, but when I do it really helps!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Now, Louisa, THAT sounds like an indulgent day! But do the animals jostle you out of bed? Because my two manage to somehow crowd me even though they are small!

Christine said...

Great post! I am in "limbo" so forced to take a break while I wait for my CP to get back to me with the last 80 pages of my MS before I dig in again. I think it's a good idea to recharge the well. I used the time to research some business ideas, went to Bridge Street as well on Saturday (yeah got my GH awards dress), and helped DH work in the yard on Sunday. Yesterday I had no internet, so I went shopping. With the weather getting cold (again!when will winter just GO AWAY???), I wanted some projects to do around the house today.

Glad you had a fabulous weekend. Sunshine and being with your hubby is a great way to recharge the batteries :)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hey, too bad we didn't run into each other at Bridge Street! Now I am curious about the dress. Haven't shopped for mine yet, but will in the next month or two. I hear you about the weather. :( But it could be worse! We could be in Buffalo. Brr!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Great post, Lynn! I think it's SO important to fill that creative well on a regular basis. Chick flicks always are a great option, as are reading books outside the genre, or people watching at the mall or airport. I also find that a daily walk is a huge help. I'll get into my story in my head and all of a sudden, an hour or more has passed, my puppy's exhausted, and I can't wait to get back to the computer.

M.V.Freeman said...

Lynn,
What a fabulous way to recharge (I love bridge street, as do my children...they are quite miffed we don't sell everything we have and buy a pent house at the Westin...I mean who needs to eat?)

For me, Recharging is imperative. A weekend to cook, workout, hike, read a book, and watch a movie (sometimes all in the same weekend) help immensley. :)

Cari Hislop said...

Excellent advice! I live by it.