I don't know about you guys, but in between books I like to take a little break. Usually this means I read a bunch of books and still think and obsess about either my last project or my project to come. The only difference is I don't touch the laptop. So, after that week "break" I come back to the laptop all wound up with no real sense of excitement or anticipation.
Not this time. Oh no. This time, my break happened to coincide with a trip to New York City with my husband. We went to a Broadway Show (Promises, Promises - I think in all honesty, Sean Hayes if the funniest physical actor of our time - please, someone try to come up with someone better - you can't.) We walked ourselves into exhaustion. We went to a Bruce Springsteen photo exhibit at The Morrison Hotel. We saw some really funny comedy (and in a total New York moment Judah Friedlander came into the club to do an impromptu set - my husband was over the moon). We drank some beer, ate some pizza. I had lunch with Shauna Summers and that included something called Porter Ice Cream which is no freaking joke. And then from that blissful break from not only my children, my life and my books I went to the New Jersey conference. And Maureen and Stephanie were there! And Kathleen O'Reilly! And Jessica Andersen! And Kwana! I sat next to Sherry Thomas and tried to subtly rub her magic onto my sweater to take home and study.
And then I took a few hours to sit down and work on a synopsis - my least favorite part of the whole business - and what do you know...it just fell down from the sky onto the screen. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't torturous. And I'll take that trade off any day of the week.
So, here's the lesson I learned. If we're going to take breaks, which we need, we need to really take a break. Get out of, not only our books, but our heads and our routines and our lives. I know we can't all get to New York - but there's got to be middle ground between amazing break and no break at all - and we've got to find that middle ground. Our writing needs it!