Happy 4th!

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We're up at the lake with the family for a few days, and I'm thinking about going into the other room to play Wii with everyone else, watch some baseball maybe, have a little more apple pie…

But a competing desire has me thinking about all the writing I haven't been getting done while I'm bounced out of my schedule and I'm wondering how to keep writing when I'm away, on vacation, just thrown off my regular game. Sure, there needs to be time to take a break from production and get away for a while, clear the head. But I don't want to break momentum in the middle of a chapter–I'm too far along to stop now and I'm wondering what happens next. You know when you're at a place where it's time to stop or time to keep going–and they just never seem to fall at the right times.

Is it a matter of planning better? If anyone has a thought about how I can manage this better, I'd love to hear it. I'm trying to stay close to my characters and how they're developing right now and I know I can't make life stop for it, so I suppose it's a matter of being as efficient as possible with the little time I do have. Capture what thoughts and developments I can and come back to it as I'm able.

Of course, being fully present and enjoying family time is necessary too. There's definitely a balance to consider here. You don't get these moments back.

What I'm thinking is probably best is to enjoy both writing and family time as I'm able and make the most of every bit I can. I can accept that I can't do it all, and I know that I'll get to finish that chapter eventually. I certainly don't want to miss the time to enjoy and make memories and get inspired by the hanging-out and just enjoying together….

Anyone else think about this? And if so, what do you think?

Happy 4th, everyone. Hope it's a fun and fruitful one.

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3 thoughts on “Happy 4th!”

  1. My best ideas are to keep notepads handy so I can jot things down as they hit me, or to e-mail notes to myself, or to be stinkingly anti-social for a while when I can’t stand to stay away from those chapters. When I’m forced to take a break, I do, and sometimes it gives me a fresh perspective.
    Enjoy the lake and family time!

  2. I am of the opinion that the whole angst-ridden package that begins and ends with writing is like walking a tightrope.
    Too much time away and your characters will give you the cold shoulder. Too much time together and they begin to get annoyed with you.
    But this much I do know: The very fact that there is angst is a good sign of creativity on fire, and as long as that fire is burning you’re in a good place, no matter which side of the fence you come down on during different parts of the day.
    A good friend once gave me a great piece of advice. He said something along the lines of: “Chill out. It’s a novel. You’ll write many. Relax. And just get this one done.” I’m still working on putting that one into practice. It’s all just part of the process.

  3. Get up early, Mick. :-)
    I like to get up before the kids and hubby are awake when I’m on vacation. I head outside with my notebook and pen. If I can find a practical place to fire up my laptop I will, but free writing parts of my story in a notebook works too.
    Sometimes my vacation mornings are just a quiet walk with my characters and we chat about what is going on in their lives and what their dreams and goals are. I ask them what will happen next and they tell me. :-)
    Speaking of which. I am supposed to be on retreat while hubby is on a business trip. No kids this time, so I better get going. Write until noon today and then play. I think spending time in God’s beauty will help my creativity. You cannot underestimate that kind of inspiration.
    Write on!

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