Wednesday, October 1

#WriterWednesday: A Little Downtime

So, it's Wednesday. Are you feeling the stress of mid-week? Getting kids to school, meeting deadlines, fixing breakfast-lunch-dinner everyday infinitum, attending unlimited meetings? And then coming home to write and meet deadlines and critique and revise and submit...and then get beaten down by rejections? Yeah, it's a vicious circle and yet we do it all the time because...sometimes we get that high of a 'we'd like to see more' or 'we'd like to buy your book'.

I live for those moments.

Still, we all need a little downtime - away from the manuscripts and files, away from the write-revise-submit machine. We all need a little downtime to recharge the batteries and get back to doing what we want to do. The question is: how do we recharge without losing our momentum?

For me, the key has been realizing that if I take a little time each day, I don't need a week off - and that week can lead to two and then three and then six months later you've not written a word. So, everybody needs a little downtime. LITTLE, people, because those little moments can add up to a lot.

First step: Know what you need. Downtime for me is going to be different than downtime for you. For me, the best way to take 'me' time is to grab my iPod and sit out on our deck or the in-laws dock. Just listening to the music, sun on my face... In those moments (even in the winter when it's cold and my butt is freezing to the dock) I can clear my mind of manuscript issues or worries about submissions and just be.

Second step: Take the time. Most of us don't do that, especially not on a daily basis and it can be hard. But - as the personal trainer task masters would say - if you don't have 10 minutes for yourself you're killing yourself.

Third step: Figure out what works for you. We're all different and we all need different kinds of 'me' time. So, figure out what your time is: Turn on some kind of low music - the kind that becomes background for you - sit on the floor and close your eyes. think about being totally relaxed and picture where you are in that ultimate-relaxation-space. Keep that image in your head and figure out how you can bring that peace into your daily life.

Do you take a little daily downtime? What are your tips?

9 comments:

  1. My daily "me" time is my walk, whilst listening to an audio book. And if I need some extra comforting, I turn on Netflix, find a Miss Marple mystery, and grab my knitting - bliss.

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    1. You've definitely got a plan, Luanna, thanks for sharing! I love my morning dog walks, although I'm usually concentrating on hitting a certain mile marker or pace!

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    1. what is it about walking dogs that is so relaxing? even when I'm doing it for exercise I can't help that 'ahhhhh' feeling! thanks for visiting, D'Ann!

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  3. My freedom comes from setting my own hours. Occasionally I--gasp--take a few days off. Great post, Kristi--and a great reminder!

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    1. this is true, Liz, nothing is more stressful than someone else telling you how long (or when) to work. I like that I can set my own hours...although I admit sometimes I could be a lot better at time management.

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  4. You're so right about taking a "little" downtime. When I first stared seriously writing a novel I wrote for days: morning, noon and night. I was on a tear. Finally, I wrote a night scene, put all my characters to bed and turned out the lights and went to bed myself. Then I was introduced to the term "pacing" important in stories and in our own lives.

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    1. So true, Tanja! I still go on those tears occasionally, but I'm a firm believer in the more steady approach! Thanks for visiting.

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  5. I like the idea of taking mini-breaks. Of course, you have to be disciplined not to make the break last too long :)

    My downtime is reading or watching Bones reruns.

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