Friday, June 11, 2010

Sometimes You Just Need a (Physical and Mental) Vacation

This past week, I spontaneously made a visit back to Atlanta. Oh, the good old South :) I love the city, but sometimes it can get a little...claustrophic here. Everything is tiny, space is limited, and my family is far away. At home, I get to fatten up, sleep excessively, and be worthless in so many ways.

I started reading a new book, which I am really enjoying so far. The author, Lisa See, includes a lot of description in her writing. Sometimes, I find too much description to be boring and more of a distraction. However, she does a good job of weaving it with action.

For the first few days of my visit, I made a genuine effort to write. I would keep my laptop and notebook nearby, scribble in any random musings, and stick to my chapter goals. I also made frequent note of changes to incorporate. (One of my writing professors told me that writing is never finished, but just abandoned, so it is theoretically possible to edit forever...which is what I will probably do.)

But, on the third day, I realized something: taking a break from my writing is extremely valuable. Sometimes, a break gives you the chance to renew your yourself...and your vision. I honestly feel that I was able to view my work through a fresher perspective after tucking it away for awhile. I think I read it more like a "reader" than a writer who obsessed over every page.

Do you ever force yourself to take a break from your writing? Does it make a difference?

In the girly department, my mom, sister, and I went shopping. One of the many things I love about my mom is that she accepts my differences from her. She does not enjoy outfits or accessories, but she embraces the fact that I do. When we went shopping, she surprised me with my very first Chanel bag! I have been eyeing it for a little over one year now. I know it sounds really stupid, but I cannot wait to pass it on someday. I think it's such a timeless piece!

Do you have a family heirloom or a precious "first" purchase?

"A woman should be two things: classy and fabulous"

"Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger."

"A woman has the age she deserves."

-Coco Chanel


  1. I haven't stopped by for awhile...sorry about that!

    I don't force myself to take writing breaks because with a full-time job and three kids life makes me take plenty of breaks!

    I've never been to Atlanta, or the South for that matter, but I would love to go visit an old plantation...such gorgeous architecture and the history!

    word verification is that what we become we all start using electronic books? hahaha

  2. I have to say, I'm like Vicki. With kids and such, life forces enough breaks on me.

    How fun to go shopping with your mom. I'm not an accessorizer myself, but find the art fascinating.

    Thanks for stopping in my blog and commenting. :)

  3. I have never forced myself to take a break, because I think I'm taking enough breaks as is. :) But I do think breaks help.

    I hope you had fun shopping!

  4. I take breaks, but usually when I have to, like my betas reading, or life getting in the way. But it does really help lend fresh eyes to what you've written.
    I don't have Chanel Bag, but I have a few pieces of jewelry my daughter has already laid claim to!

  5. OMG; I wish my mom bought me a channel bag!!!! But she still kicks asses...

    And I do force myself to be away from m WIP, things look so much fresher when we take some time apart...My Wip consumes me too much, I believe im in an abusive relationship...I will denounce it to the authorities...wait, I can´t, I love my WIP so much! (ok, bad taste joke here, very aware of it)

  6. I find taking a break totally helps, not only to be able to look at something with fresh eyes but to find new avenues, new strengths, and sometimes even new character choices.

    I haven't gone girly shopping in so long. That bag is totally fab. My weakness is shoes. Of course high heels are out but a nice pare of skippy sandals would do nicely.

  7. Putting my work aside helps a lot. That's why I don't usually write on the weekends, except in my journal. It's good for me and my WiPs to get away from each other for a couple days!

    I've been wanting to read Shanghai Girls for months. But every time I go to the library all the copies are checked out. Well, some day it'll be there!

    Glad you had a fabulous and relaxing visit in Atlanta!

  8. I wish I needed to force myself to take breaks - with my busy schedule, I have to force myself to write most days. But I have been there, and breaks are invaluable. Sometimes you can get too immeshed in something, and you need to step back to see it clearly again.

  9. Love the Chanel quote and Shanghai Girls sounds really good!

    I totally agree with you: taking a break from writing can sometimes be the best thing possible! It's amazing how some time away can infuse you with new enthusiasm!

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, it was such a nice surprise!

  10. Your posts make me feel so darn guilty. I abandon my writing projects more frequently than I pick them up. Also, I have this awful habit of starting a book, moving to another and then another and then abandoning all three:|

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog. It was very nice of you.

    I'm always so torn with action vs. description. I love description and if there isn't enough or there is too much I don't like it. It's such a fine line for my preferences.

    If I take a week or two off writing I get more ideas, that parts true. However, I feel like we can never really have FRESH eyes because it's too close to us even if we take time off. I don't know maybe that's just me.

  12. Shanghai Girls looks really awesome.

    Agree that taking a break from writing can be good. I think I go a little insane if I take too long a break from it, though!

  13. Love the purse! I think it's worth it to wait to buy a classic accessory like that than to buy yourself a cheap new look every few months or so.

    Sigh...I can't speak about the benefits of taking a break from writing, because I'm not consistent enough! Well, I am during NaNoWriMom but the rest of the year, I only manage to write about twice a week.

  14. I think sometimes you need to force yourself to take a break. I usually break after writing first drafts. I need to let it sit and forget about it for a bit.

    Glad you had a good trip home!

  15. Thanks for stopping by my blog today.
    Taking a break from writing DOES make a difference. It gives you distance, perspective.
    And I LOVE your colorful blog. Makes me want to do pink? But no no no. No more blog changes! I must stay with blue.
    How lovely that you have a fun relationship with your mother. Differences can be exciting.

  16. Taking a break from your writing really does help! Sometime I need a few days and other times just a 15 minute walk to get away from the computer. It depends.

  17. Taking a break from anything always helps you to feel rejuvenated and excited to do that thing again! Sometimes people forget WHY they like what they're doing. Lovely blog! ♥

  18. You have an award at my blog!