Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hit Refresh: Abandon Word-Count Requirements

Twice a year my writing schedule and milestones go to crap. Total. Utter. Crap.

I love it.

The timing has less to do with seasons and far more to do with events. Twice a year, I head east for a notable amount of time to play the roles of sister, tante, daughter, and puppy-petter. My thoughts and my energies are completely devoted to the people (and beasts) for whom I care deeply.  

I need the break.

I am such a creature of habit that one snag in my routine can throw the entire day to shit. When I'm on my seasonal escapes, there is no routine. There is no indulgence in habit. All problem-solving abilities are concentrated on the people and projects at hand. My brain is forced to focus on things unrelated to my stories, which (naturally) leads to white-hot flashes of plot clarity compressed into a passing thought. Yes, scrap paper and a pen are always nearby. If they disappear, I've a #weeniece who can reenact every conversation I've had with myself whenever it's least appropriate.

I return hungry.

Not for food. The saying in the various Krantz households is, "You leave here hungry, it's your own damn fault." No, no. My hunger is for the stories I've left unattended. By the time I return home, I've a renewed drive that's comparable to starting a brand-new story. Only it's better. I know where I'm going and how to get there. I know how long it should take me. Best of all, my refreshed brain knows what tangents to cut to get my story back on the path to Awesome Fiction.

How about you, dear readers? Do you take breaks from your writing to refresh the ol' grey-cells? How long do you allow yourself and what do you do to recharge?


  1. I fully understand that. I go off a couple of times a year and do the same thing. No writing. By the time I get back, there are things in my head that want out on paper. :)

    1. Yes! And by the time you get back to writing, you encounter the moments of being angry at your body for needing to sleep instead of finishing the WiP. Aaaah, good times, good times.

  2. Hmm. This sounds so tempting. Maybe I should try this...

    1. It'll totally skew the spreadsheets, but it would be interesting to see how your productivity changes after a reprieve.

    2. Not the spreadsheets!!

      Ah well - it won't happen yet, but maybe next year. 2014 is looking good!