I have a bit of a compulsive personality. I thrive under pressure and tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. I can maintain a high-level of activity for insanely long periods of time, and then I crash. For example, I am currently revising a WIP, am 20,000 words away from completing my 2nd co-authored work, have three critique projects going, and am fleshing out a new YA contemporary idea. I also have three kids (in three different schools), a husband who commutes bi-coastal (from California to Cape Cod), one irreverent dog, and a kitten who insists on fleeing every time I open the door. I am a soccer coach, the Vice President of the PTO, and the advancement coordinator for my son’s Boy Scout Troop. I DO NOT have a cleaning lady, I run carpool twice a week, and I have teenage daughter who thinks my sole purpose in life is to supply her with endless wads of cash. Let’s just say, every once in a while I have a melt down – full on three-year-old type temper tantrum . . . as was the case yesterday. The cause of my most recent descent into hell was not a stumbling block in my revisions or even a power surge that erased half of my documents. Nope, yesterday afternoon at exactly 3:07pm I. Ran. Out. Of. Coffee.
My husband, after wisely securing an industrial size container of my favorite brew from the local warehouse store, very sweetly suggested that I turn my computer off, not write, or email, or even check blogs for the rest of the weekend. I grumbled, rattled of all the things I had to get done, then reluctantly agreed. And instead we went out to dinner and the movies, sans kids. I slept in late and took the kids out for breakfast rather than cook. We went to the village festival and let my five year old daughter ride the pony seven times while my son learned how to juggle. I didn't complain about the lines or the three snot-nosed kids who kept cutting everybody else. I let my kids eat ice cream and fried dough and what looked a lot like a hotdog. I didn't even freak out about the lack of hand sanitizer at the petting zoo or ketchup stain on my son's white shirt. And tonight, we ate dinner from a box, no fresh vegetables, no silverware, and soda instead of milk.
And I am better for it! Why? Because my mind is now clear, my focus stronger, and my WIP's will be better because of it.
So what's the moral of this story . . . hmm, perhaps a break from writing is sometimes a good idea, gives us writers a chance to recharge our muse. Maybe, or perhaps it is just to always buy coffee in bulk!