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Monday, February 18, 2008

Making myself take a break


This week, I'm going on vacation.  A real, honest-to-goodness, no one but me and the husband vacation.  Why is this mention-worthy?  Because it's been eleven years since the husband and I went away together by ourselves.  Fourteen, if you consider that I was six months pregnant with the second child (AKA, the Diva) on the trip eleven years ago.  Now, I haven't been completely travel-free, obviously, since then.  Because we lived away from both our families for many years, any time we had off, we generally had to dedicate to trips home to see the family.  Then, we finally caved and moved back to Florida so we could be closer to family and wouldn't have to spend all our vacations on family trips and wouldn't you know it?  The husband's work schedule and mine rarely coincided.  Which is really pathetic when you consider I'm a full-time writer and I work from home.  But there was always a conference or a research trip and then I was working, working, working, because I love nothing more than working.  A vacation?  What's that?  It's an imposition and time that would be taken away from working—what if I get a great idea and I can't work on it?  What if?  What if?  What if?

Hi, I'm Barb and I'm a workaholic Virgo.

Thing is, I'm getting rather crispy 'round the edges.  I'm frustrated with the project I'm working on and I'm tense waiting for my next round of revisions and all sorts of things I've never been before with respect to writing.  So I know I need a break.  I know I need to get out of my cozy little environment and shake up my surroundings and just get out and see new things and, you know, other people, and get out of my routine.  Because I'm just self-aware enough to know that change can be the best inspiration and motivator.  And the irony is I love travel and adventure and seeing new places and things.  But I'm a Virgo, through and through and practically have to be pried out of my Aeron chair with a crowbar.  And the husband, God love him, is the ultimate homebody—he'd be happy to hang out at home in his sweats on a vacation, so he's not going to be the one with the initiative.

But again, thank goodness for self-awareness and that Virgo thing, because another very Virgo trait of mine is I loathe wallowing.  So when it looked like I might be headed straight for a good old-fashioned wallow, I finally did something about it.  And we're going on vacation.  Somewhere neither of us has ever been—San Diego.  That picture above?  That's our view.

And no, I won't be answering the phone.  

So what do you do when you finally find yourself hitting the breaking point?  Or are y'all a whole lot smarter than I am and actually have lives?

7 comments:

jennifer echols said...

Now THAT is a view. This trip sounds so awesome. I know you're going to have a wonderful time and come back refreshed, and AFTER you get home, inspiration will come to you unbidden. Yay you! I'm so glad you're doing this.

Or are y'all a whole lot smarter than I am and actually have lives?

Definitely not me. I'm a Virgo too.

Jessica Burkhart said...

From one workaholic to another, yay for your vacation! :)

taltebrando said...

Hope you're having a long overdue, much deserved wonderful time, Barb.

I'm going to Florida next week and have been saying, for months, that it's going to be a proper non-working vacation. So why, oh, why did I feel compelled to tell me husband a few days ago that, "I think I'm going to want to write for a few hours every morning when we're in Florida"?

I guess it's just who we are/what we do!

-t

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Thanks, so much guys! I am looking forward to this like you would not believe! The museums and the zoo and shopping and just walking on the beach—you know honestly, the thing that I think I'm most looking forward to is simply going where the wind takes us, you know? Whatever we feel like doing, with no set agenda.

And Tara, I know what you mean about the non-working vacation. I know myself so well that I don't promise myself that, but I'm also not banking on doing any writing either. What I'm most likely to do is jot notes down in my wirebound notebook that I take everywhere.

Right now, sleep sounds really good. :-)

Jenny said...

Yea, you! I think writers, especially, need to get away and recharge. We spend so much in our heads, talking to characters, seeing how sentences sound, we're always working no matter where we are. It's impossible to get away from. And we need new material, new faces and places to draw from.

I'm turning in my revisions for RICH BOYS tomorrow and I plan to be an absolute potato for a while. I wrote the book in six weeks and I think my husband and kids were (are) ready to kill me and throw my laptop off the roof. My husband and I are heading to Anguilla for a week in April so now I'm going to focus on getting the bod bathing suit ready. While writing on Saturday night I baked a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and they were gone by Sunday. That doesn't exactly scream bikini, although it does reek of a lack of self control.

Kelly Parra said...

I've only been in publishing a couple of years and I've already hit stress points many times. I'm very much a homebody so taking a break is just not writing for a week or two, but I haven't been able to do that because I'm pretty much a slow writer and need to write to keep up with deadlines. haha.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I try to give myself a week or two between major projects to recover, but that doesn't often work. Like for example I just finished getting book 2 ready for submission and as much as I'd love to kick back I know I need to get into high gear doing promo for JOEY and since I don't really know what I'm doing... sigh.
But I actually have been forcing myself to take a vacation a year since 2004. And I've been a broke grad student/writer most of this time so it means using that tax refund money. I generally go with one of my best girl friends Eryn to our fave city Seattle. This year I am taking the boyfriend to a bunch of places on the west coast though and though I'll be doing promo stuff, I'll make sure it's vacay, too!