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Monday, June 23, 2014

Take Breaks from your Work

Blogathon, day 23. 

Yesterday afternoon, after spending hours at the pool with my family, I alerted my husband that I would be taking a "mommy break." I ran a couple of errands ALONE (any parent of young kids knows what a treat this is) and then had a Chinese foot massage. There's a place a couple of miles from my house where you can get an hour's massage that focuses on your head, shoulders, and feet, and incorporates reflexology into the massage for just $40, including a generous tip. I leave there feeling loose, relaxed, and completely content.

I try to schedule a "mommy break" every week or two. Sometimes I meet a friend for lunch. Sometimes I go to the library or bookstore to browse. And sometimes I get a foot massage. Regardless, I come home relaxed and rejuvenated.

That's what a writing break does for you, too. I'm learning a few things from the blogathon and one of them is that I do not like writing every day. I've been freelancing full-time for 17+ years and the only way I've managed to do that is by taking most nights and weekends off. Yes, there are exceptions when I have a tight deadline or have to do revisions ASAP but I've found I need breaks. I need to be able to shut my laptop down and step away from it overnight, or for a day or two each week. (I check my email on weekends but that's about it.) 

The same is true for when I work during the day. Some writers say they sit and pound out words for hours. I can't do that. I have to get up every hour or so, and even on deadline, I will take 20 or 30 minutes to eat lunch away from my Mac, and maybe take the dog for a quick walk or throw in a load of laundry. I don't look at breaks as "lost time." In fact, I'm much more productive when I give myself regular breaks, and you will be, too. 

Your assignment: Take breaks from your writing.