Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Take a Break by Diana L. Flegal

In a perfect world, the first draft of every story or self help title would be camera ready, every agent that spent countless hours finding the right desk for the right project would shout Eureka as a contract for each one came in offering outstanding advances, every author would sell a gazillion copies and be able to quit  his day job, and all in the chain of publishing's lineup had fat bank accounts enabling them to go on exclusive getaway vacations.

Yes, well, the above has to be labeled  Fiction and truthfully is a boring story at that. A story with out conflict or too many sweet moments one after the other is...well boring.

Really we ask? Really?

Rather we might remark, welcome to my life. A life where I have re written this story so many times I can't stand it anymore. Where my bum goes numb because I spend so much time sitting at my desk- pounding out my dreams and having hope deferred over and over again. Coffee no longer helps energize me and my dog or cat and even the fish in the bowl stares in a different direction not knowing how they can encourage me anymore, my sighs depressing even their constant optimism. I am sure my agent cringes when I call her/ him and my husbands or wife's favorite refrain is, Show Me the Money.

Maybe it is time for a vacation. A break.

Rest is something we must have in order to refresh ourselves and renew our vision and passion.

It is a good thing that this 4th of July holiday falls in the middle of the week and messes with our routine. And here in Western North Carolina it is raining. The fireworks might have to be delayed and all of our best laid plans might have to be as well. Which leaves us with a break in our schedule that we all probably need more than we are willing to admit.

My radio is broken in my car. That might seem like a random comment. But seriously when I am driving from point A to B, I have nothing that can distract me. In these mountains I do not always get a strong cell signal. I am left alone with God and myself. It has been a revelation to me that I can enjoy that time, allow myself this enforced downtime and even enjoy it.

I encourage you all to unplug. Schedule your tweets and FB posts ahead of time and 'go off the grid'. Stretch the holiday into a long weekend. RELAX. Do not look at your to-do list. But keep a notebook handy. I know you will get inspired, so yes, jot down that thought but resisting turning on your computer. Save it for later. Your tiny note will jog your memory later on.

I hereby give you permission to take a break. Author Bob Hostetler offers you some suggestions here how you might do that. (Thanks to anonymous for sharing one of Bob's prayers in the comment section.)

Happy 4th you all!

See you next week!



Anonymous said...

Bob Hostetler's Prayer Blog has had several "vacation prayers" recently. Loved this one:

Gracious God, it’s hard to shift from a life of busy work to a period of quiet relaxation. Help me let go of my need to produce and of my worry over what will happen at work while I am away.

As I give myself to the relaxation of mind and body, let the activities of my work life silently recede into the background. Let me open my soul to you as if it were an empty canvas waiting for the creative touch of the artist’s hand.

I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

Michele Huey said...

Wise advice. And I love Bob's prayer. Happy 4th!

inChristalone said...

I enjoyed reading your thought for the day, Diana. I think you are right. When we try to do so much, we only end up being ineffective. That much needed break recharges us. Thanks for giving us "permission."

Megan Vance

Diana said...

Thanks for the Bob Hostetler prayer. What perfect timing. And Megan, yes, busyness isn't always productive! Thanks Michele :-)

Robin Bayne said...

Very timely comment! I took a "vacation day" today while hubby is out golfing, and I just keep wanting to work. Need to relax a bit! Happy 4th, Diana.

Cindy Sproles said...

Everyone needs the three R's - Reboot, Rest, Reorganize.

Rest is a good thing. Try it. You might actually enjoy it.

laramvh5 said...

I agree! I'm taking a break from Facebook and twitter this month. In only a few days I've already seen how much more present I am in my life as well as my work. I'm actually talking face to face with people, noticing the world around me. And in my work I'm not wasting time reading how many words other writers are doing per day, I'm writing my own.

Anonymous said...

But I honestly love doing the first draft of a column, short story or novel more than anything I know. Honestly. Seriously. Can I have permission to take the long weekend off my day job instead? Blessings to you Diana, keep blogging. Max

kay Moser said...

Great advice, Diana, which I will take in August in the San Juan Islands of Washington. So, for me, July is a work, work, work month so I can play later. Enjoy your holiday, everyone!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Thanks for the permission, dear. I had planned to relax tomorrow, anyway, but now it's official.

P.S. I get some of my best praying done in the car with the radio off.

Sandra Ardoin said...

No guilt? Seriously? I'm on it! Loved the prayer, too.

Thanks, Diana. Have a great 4th, everybody!

Debbie Presnell said...

Diana, I enjoyed your post and permission to rest. Thank you! I know to be still before God so I can understand how he is organizing my steps, yet I often fail to do that. Instead I choose to worry about the project and its outcome. But I will take your advice and celebrate the 4th with my family and then get back with you next week with my new rested self! I loved the prayer too!(from Bob)

John Snyder said...

Diana, Thanks for the great advice. We're planning on enjoying celebrating July 4!

Cliff Keller said...

Finelly, advice I have a natural talent (and inclination) for. Rest it is. Thank you, Diana.

Marlene Banks said...

Great advice, Diana, rest and relaxation produces a rejuvenated soul. We need to find balance...always balance or we end up spinning our wheels. The problem for writers is to detach from your work and budding ideas during your rest time. I find that difficult to do sometimes. I find stories in so many ordinary things. I'm trying to train myself to shut that tendency down.