Monday, April 27, 2015

Down Time: What This Writer Does To Relax

Those who are familiar with my work routine can see the irony in this week's blog post. The busiest time of the year for cake decorators is coming up--the entire month of May, or "May-hem" as I've come to call it--and down time is the last thing I should have on my mind. Mother's Day, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, and, the most stressful event of all, graduations are looming in the month ahead. People must have cake in order to properly celebrate these milestones and every year for the last twenty years (seventeen of them with Walmart) I have geared myself up mentally and emotionally to deal with an overload of work, picky customers, and too-little sleep (we've pulled a few all-nighters when we've only had two decorators and 80+ cakes to deliver!)
Yep, I made these!

However, the promise of having some time in the month following "May-hem" is the light at the end of a very long, tiring tunnel. So in order to give myself a little motivation to keep my spirits up when things are getting very hectic, I like to think about the things I like to do when I have some time to myself:

1) Read -- Duh. No, really, it's nice to be able to have a long stretch of time when I don't have a busy schedule in order to really get into a book and read more than a chapter or a few pages at a time.

2) Write -- As in, actually put words down on paper. I'll tell you a secret: writing is a never-ending job with me. Even when I'm not sitting in front of the laptop, even when I'm with family and friends, having a meal, shopping, working, whatever... I'm writing storylines in my head. They don't all make it onto a printed page, but when I have the time to sit and write it down, it's like embarking on a road trip. Which brings me to....

3) Road trips -- It doesn't have to involve a suitcase and an overnight stay away from home. Getting up, getting in the car, and driving around "with no particular place to go" rejuvenates me. It feels like an escape. Sometimes I take my camera along and sometimes I take a notebook. But I always come back feeling refreshed.

4) Cooking -- Of course, I cook almost every day. My family and I have gotten into this bad habit of needing to eat every day (or else we fall over), but when I have time, I like to pull out the cookbooks and cooking magazines I've collected over the years and find something new to make (if only cleaning up were just as relaxing....)

5) Spending time with family -- This month, I fall into a routine of work, home, dinner, bed, repeat. I don't get a chance to really socialize with my family and loved ones (not even the ones that live in my house!) So once "May-hem" is over for another year, I like to plan time with my husband and son and with our extended families and our friends. Every moment is precious, as we've come to discover as we get older, and we look forward to relaxing with our loved ones.

What all this means to me as a writer is that I build up the energy--both physical and creative--to write the next book in my series. After all, writing is an extension of me... and it's necessary to refuel in order to keep going!

And now, back to work....

No comments:

Post a Comment