On a Break



Arnie has no problem relaxing…even on my laptop!

I’m a huge FRIENDS fan. I own the whole series and still watch even though I can pretty much say the dialogue along with the characters. Remember when Ross and Rachel were “on a break” and that became something of a catch phrase?

Well that’s kind of where I am right now.

On a break.

Me and writing. We are on a break.

See, I’ve taken on too much over the past few years. This year alone, I have 6 published works releasing.

That means I’ve been on a constant deadline for a very long time. And that was a real blessing–I’m fully aware of that. I’ve been so blessed to get the opportunity to write those books. I love each of them dearly and can’t wait for readers to read them. I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it, except for those long sleepless nights toward the end of each deadline when I fear that I’ve lost the ability to write.

But a few months ago, I took a hard look at my life–and I didn’t like what I saw. My super wise grandmother told me that she feared I was WRITING about life instead of LIVING it.

Yikes.

And the truth is, she was right.

Somewhere along the way, between working full time for NFT and writing on a constant deadline, I’d become a shell of a person. I regularly missed family dinners and get togethers and reunions with my friends. I rarely went anywhere. My excuse? “I have to work. Sorry. Maybe next time.”

Even worse, I realized that when I did get together with my family and friends, I WASN’T PRESENT. Not really. My body was there, but my mind was with my manuscript. The tension that I carried with me, knowing I was running behind (as I always was) on a deadline prevented me from really enjoying those moments.

There was always a little piece of me that thought if I wasn’t at work, then I should be writing. Or editing. Or working on galleys.

And that piece kept me from being fully present in my own life.

From fully being able to have a good time and live in the moment.

How awful!

So I’m on a break. Sure, I have galleys for two more books that will be due soon, but other than that, I’m taking some time off. Time to live. Time to enjoy life. Time to unpack my house that still has boxes in every room because I haven’t had time to unpack even though I moved months ago.

So for a couple of months, I’m on a break. A friend told me recently that I needed to learn to relax. You know what? That is exactly right. I don’t relax very well because I always have this idea that there is something else I should be doing.

So I’m going to  take time to smell the roses. I’m going to sit in my backyard and read books. I’m going to watch movies. I’m going to paint my kitchen. I’m taking a tap and ballet class for fun. I’m going to cook new recipes. I’m going to spend more time with my family and see my friends as much as possible. I’m going to stop taking myself so seriously and laugh a little bit more.

And when I come back to my laptop, things are going to change. I’m not going to let myself get overloaded again. I’m going to be more selective when it comes to saying ‘yes’ to projects. Even better, I’m certain my little self-imposed sabbatical will make my future books better.

I think I’ll come back inspired and eager to get back to work. I already have some book ideas brewing in my head that I’m sure will need to come out soon.

But for now…

I’m on a break.

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