When I was the mother of seven children under the age of 10, I had some stressful days. I was dealing with children in school, children out of school, children with ADHD, and an autistic child that was going to pre-school. There were some days I wanted to just hide in a room and lock the door.
It wasn’t that I didn’t love my darling children, it was just that sometimes as a mom I needed a break. I’m sure every mother has experienced that feeling, and there are usually several times during this period of life that you need a break. I read once that Linda Eyre takes what she calls ‘Mommy Weekends’. I thought that sounded like a wonderful idea, but I’ll talk about that experience another day.
What I discovered that helped me short term, was taking a break in my mind. I would go to the library and check out music that was calming. My favorite tape was one with the sounds of the ocean. I would go into our TV room where the stereo was, close the door and put on that tape for about 20 minutes or so. The kids were usually taking naps, or playing outside - but somewhere safe that I didn’t have to worry. I would lay on the couch, close my eyes and imagine I was there. While it was hard to come back to reality, sometimes it was okay. But it was always a wonderful spot of relaxation.
There were also times when I would set up a date night for my hubby and we’d have dinner or just sparkling apple juice by the little kiddy pool, music playing from a window and the big beach umbrella opened so it looked like a pool area. Those were some of my fondest memories.
Since we are writers, and need to write every day to hone our skills and further our craft, I’m not going to suggest taking a vacation from writing. I was recently on vacation, and while I managed to skip most of the days, I made myself get some writing done. I made a commitment to myself that it would be a priority, and that I would keep it up.
I know there are some days when the story we are working on won’t cooperate, the characters don’t want to follow the plot and the words just won’t flow. Instead of feeling like you’ve hit the proverbial wall...take a vacation - in your mind. Go sit in another room and close your eyes and dream of what you will do when the story sells, or some other goal you’ve chosen. If nothing else, just dream of your favorite place to go. It’s good for helping you in writing scenes, descriptions, etc. It’s good for your peace of mind.
I’d still pick the beach. Where’s your favorite place to go? Tell me about it, I’d love to know.