So I’m at the place in my novel where I’ve finished (whew) and I’ve put it down to let it simmer for a month before I lay ‘new’ eyes on it for revisions. I can’t tell you how hard it’s been to STEP AWAY FROM THE BOOK, ma’am.
I’ve been gathering all of my revision materials (notes, articles, etc.) and working on my query letter in an attempt to keep my head in the story but still I’m full of anxiety. I don’t even really know why.
I recently went on a 4-day weekend trip with my sisters to Vegas. We worked out a few times but nothing like what I’d do at home. On top of that, we did partake of the beverage more than I ever do. And additionally, I left town with a blossoming cold and came back with a fully birthed sinus infection. That created a perfect storm for my body to shut down and reject any notion of my former exercise routine. Somehow over 4 days I’d deconditioned a depressing amount. It took me at least a week and a half to resume my normal exercise schedule. (I know this sounds like a silly thing–4 days of easy workouts, poor me–but when you look forward to a certain level of exercise it’s actually very hard to accept anything else).
I think my anxiety about stepping away from my novel is a fear of deconditioning. I’d developed a writing routine that allowed me to finish my fourth novel and stopping feels unnatural. I’ve written a short story and a blog or two during this hiatus but somehow I still feel like I’m missing something every day.
I realize I’m a type A, OCD-kind-of-gal. I don’t do well with change and I’m VERY organized and structured in my daily life. When I change my routine it makes me anxious, period.
What’s my point? As hard as taking a break has been I know that it’s necessary. There’s a reason EVERYONE recommends that if you’re going to self-edit you MUST get out of the novel for a period of time. It works. Plain and simple. Go back and read something you wrote over a year ago. I promise you’ll see it as another person. It may still be awesome (Go You!) but you’ll see something there that you didn’t see before.
As difficult as it was on my psyche to do a week of wimpy workouts so my body could build itself back up, I know it’s also good for me. Muscles (and brains) need a break.
So, HERE’S TO TAKING A BREAK! Take some deep breaths and Enjoy! <cheers!>
The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister (audio edition)
The Merchant of Death (Pendragon #1) by D.J. MacHale
City of the Beasts (Eagle and Jaguar, #1) by Isabel Allende
The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles, #1) by Holly Black
Current Workout Video:
Body Max by Cathe Friedrich- This is an old school (circa 1998…she’s wearing a headband, people!) hard ass workout! It’s long, too–90 minutes, I think. There’s a cardio portion (with a step) followed by a segment of short cardio bursts (on the step) paired with weighted lower body. Finally she does upper body weights and then abs. I burn over 600 calories when I do this workout. It’s very hard. The choreography is not advanced but the intensity is. Go for it!