I knew it was the right choice, both to let the book I’d been trying to read go and the manuscript I’d been trying to work on go, because of the change I felt when I did. I picked up a new book and instead of fighting to make connections, the book I started reading began to fill with post-it notes and folded corners of pages as the connections fired off on their own accord. The manuscript I started working on also started sparking ideas for revision and post-it notes filled up the plot board every time I opened it up. The two also connected to each other as I worked and after I read a chapter, I would set it aside with a pen thrust in the center to keep my place while I dove into the manuscript in Scrivener to check a point in a chapter and then quickly write a note on the plot board. I worked that way for a few days, dancing my way between the two and it was awesome.

It’s been a very long month in some ways and a very, VERY short month in others. I’ve made great progress on what I set as tasks for myself this month, though having to stop reading a book and set aside a manuscript, both things I thought I’d accomplish this month, was disheartening. I hate to feel like I’m giving up on anything, though I know it was the right choice to set aside both. I have to learn to realign my thinking, because it’s not giving up. It’s setting a thing aside until later (as in the book) and putting a thing away because it’s finished in terms of what it is (the manuscript).

I also took my typical Friday night of working off. It’s a huge goal of mine this year to recognize when I need to stop and take a break and I recognized the signs of weariness and crispiness piling up and set myself the task of stopping and taking a break. Instead of researching agents, reading for research, working on revising, etc., I nestled on my couch with my journal, my planner, an old favorite show, and tea. I’d like to say it was enough to fill my cup and soothe the weariness, but it wasn’t. And that’s ok. I have plans to get some things done this week, but I’m going to take it slow. I’ll work Friday night, but if I need to stop, I’ll stop. The work, the rest, and the importance of finding balance. That’s my story this week.

When was the last time you took a break? Do you find it easy to listen to the cues and take the break, or is it difficult? Have you had those moments where something wasn’t clicking and as soon as you let it go, you found yourself moving freely again?

Happy Writing!

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