Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Ways to Re-Charge After a Writing Project

My late husband told me a story of how a certain country decided people should work seven days a week. Instead of increasing productivity, the experiment had the exact opposite effect. Workers slowed down due to exhaustion and low morale. They went back to a 5-6 day week, and things returned to normal.

All of us need to take a break from the daily grind. Here are some of the ways I kick back and rest:

1.  After a monster-sized project like writing a novel, I take off from writing. Deadline pressure and the fast pace of writing can take a toll on spirit, soul, and body. The most I'll do is write a blog post or journal.

2.  Do the million and one chores I've neglected while operating in super-writer mode. All that stuff piling up can create its own stress. I've washed and ironed curtains, ironed clothing, cleaned closets, cleaned my desk, and restored order to my house.

3.  Sleeping late is a luxury that doesn't happen when I'm birthing what I hope will be that Great American Novel. Staying in bed until 8:00 A.M. on Saturdays and 7:00 A.M. on Sunday is sheer heaven after I've been getting up at 5:00 A.M. every day.

4.  Reconnecting with friends keeps relationships alive and relieves the isolation associated with the writing life. I'll give them a call, go out to lunch, hang out and enjoy their company without looking at the clock.

5.  Spend an extended period of time in prayer and Bible study. I like to make notations in my journal about things that catch my eye. What does that word mean in the original Greek or Hebrew? What do other scriptures say on the same topic?

Gradually, I re-enter the writing life as edits come in, proposals are written, plans are made for book launches, and another book takes shape in my heart. The entire cycle repeats itself, and each part is special in its own way. 

Writers:  What are some of the ways you rest and restore your creative well?

Readers:  How do you re-charge after a particularly busy period in your life?


quietspirit said...

Susan: Great thoughts on how to regroup.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I like the reconnecting with friends one. When I'm super busy, I do what I call "turtling," which is like hibernating. A friend called a few nights ago and asked if it was a good time to come over and chat. I said, "No night this week is going to be good--so come on over!" Just the half hour break of sitting outside on lawn chairs and visiting with my friend gave me the boost I needed to get back to work!


Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Challenging question Susan, I write on and off, blogging is constant, articles regular, books irregular :) Re-charging? When I go on a road trip with my husband to visit countries and projects I relax and recharge.

Laurel Garver said...

Reconnecting with friends is a big one. I also like to spend time in nature. There's something very healing about surrounding one's self with the beauty God created.

Terri Tiffany said...

I do that same thing. I usually read books for pleasure, watch some TV shows and do other hobbies.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Sorry I'm so late replying to your lovely comments!

Hi Quiet Spirit - I hope you're enjoying the R&R.

Hi Jeanette - "Turtling." I love it! Mom and I went to see the movie, The War Room, last week. It's been ages since we saw anything, and it was an inspiring film.

Hi Laurel - Yes, friends are a big one for me as well. I tend to isolate myself, especially when on a big project. They remind me that if I want to write well, I need to live well.