Taking Breaks from Writing
By Janel Gradowski
For me, writing is a joy, but I also sometimes need to take a break from it. It’s fun to basically tell lies for a living. I make up characters then have conversations with them in my head. I also get to be a voyeur and watch the characters talk with each other. It’s great when the writing is flowing and my fingers are flying over the keyboard.
Still, all good things come to an end. Maybe a scene develops an unexpected glitch. Or sometimes my body rebels. Sitting in one position for long periods of time is both uncomfortable and unhealthy. That’s when I often turn to one of the three Cs – cooking, crafting or cleaning.
All of those activities work wonderfully to clear out the thought cobwebs and get me away from my computer. I have loved to cook for most of my adult life. Chopping and slicing have very meditative qualities. Of course I’ll be standing at the kitchen counter, so my achy back is always happy with the change in position. And an added benefit is that sometimes what I’m cooking happens to be a recipe that will go in one of my books.
The crafts that you will usually find me doing are beadworking, crocheting or knitting. All of the stitch counting can actually help with writing dilemmas. It’s rather like giving one dog a bone so you can take the other for an invigorating walk. When you don’t have to worry about being pulled in different directions, you can relax and work things out. While one part of my brain is counting, the other is busy figuring out how to fix a writing dilemma.
Cleaning is helpful in many ways. Housework is a necessity, like it or not. We all have a limited amount of clothes and dishes, eventually we run out of clean underwear or forks. So I often tackle laundry or vacuuming when I really need a break from writing. The physical activity is welcome movement in a sedentary job. Plus the autopilot aspect of doing cleaning tasks is like magic to me. I go through different versions of character conversations or work out the knots in a scene that has turned into a tangled mess. All very beneficial things.
Everybody needs a break from work sometimes. I’m just happy that my breaks often end up making my work easier when I return to it!
The Treasure Hunt letter for Knyttwytch’s Crafts and Stuff is: S