Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ein Kleines (fort)Nacht Break

Sometimes you get caught in a certain pattern and don’t realize you’ve got trapped.

I’ve been working too much and getting just about nothing accomplished. Part of this is that I tend to do this when there are to many demands from disparate locations coming at me. I want to do everything and end up doing nothing.

In this case, it’s trying to get things setup for the holiday and my official (we have two anniversaries. Long story) Silver Anniversary coming up while trying to finish a book. Nothing is set up and the book was just not progressing at all. But worse of all, I felt like all joy had gone out of my life.

So I called my editor – I’ve worked for her for eleven years, she knows the book will come – and asked her if I can send it in in January, on the tenth. She said sure.

I hate doing this, but I don’t think I would survive this next week otherwise, and I suspect the book would still be not done.

So I’m taking a vacation for two weeks. It is the first vacation I’ve taken for a long time. Mind you, the next two days will be cleaning and setting up so the house is ready when the guys come home for the holidays that start on Friday for them. BUT it’s a change of pace. I’m going to sleep late, and then clean tomorrow and then maybe go visit my friend Charles at the bookstore and get a bunch of truly trashy books (Yay!).

What are you guys doing in the next two weeks? Do you try to write when you have vacation? Or is it free time? And do you ever get in the frame of mind that you’re trying to do everything and don’t realize you’re killing yourself?

crossposted at According To Hoyt


C Kelsey said...

Editing this weekend, and then I'm working through next Wednesday morning and then hurtling through the sky in a pressurized tube for a few hours (followed by a three hour drive to the parents house). After that, I have slightly more than two weeks off. I'll be reading all the books I bought and haven't had time to read. Playing with the puppy. Somewhere in there may be some writing.

MataPam said...

Yep. My brain finally just goes on strike and I sit there doing _nothing_.

I have finally realized that I simply do not multi-task. I can have a day of running around everywhere, shopping and doing errands. I can clean house, current evidence to the contrary. I can write.

But I need clear breaks between them. A walk, a shower, a snack, a nap. Sometimes several days, sometimes I can just put my feet up for a few moments of satisfaction with one job done, then jump right back into writing.

The problem with being overwhelmed is that once you've gotten there, you can back off from it, but never seem to get to a safe distance. Uncomplicating a life is tough.

The kids growing up and moving away has helped. Sort of. The worry is still there, in the back brain. And you can't jump up and go help them, when their cars break down.

Jason Cordova said...

I'm finishing up the final edits for "The Absolute True Story of Santa Claus", which will then languish for all eternity. Preparing to be interviewed by the local paper (holiday season bumped me back, and it won't go to print til after the New Year) and trying to avoid this STD known as Holiday Cheer.

Anonymous said...

Time off? I'm freelance, and we need my money to help pay the bills. I get time off the dayjob when there's a forced holiday, and I can't work. Then that's usually spent with the family depending on what holiday it is.

Otherwise, we're just hanging around this year since our family is in town (it is nice not to have to spend time traveling for that). I am hoping for a visit to Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile to see their Christmas lights. I've always heard they were beautiful.


Rowena Cory Daniells said...


Time away will do wonders to recharge your batteries. Have a great holiday!

Jim McCoy said...


This sounds like where I'm at, except for the vacation part. It's currently finals week AND the holidays AND I work full time AND I take care of my daughter while my wife is at work.

I think that's everything...

And right now I can't tie my shoes because I'm too busy doing everything else. A vacation would be a good idea but I just don't have time for it. Thank God the semester ends on Friday.

Chris L said...

I've just moved house and the boxes of old stuff I never knew I had seem to be breeding rapidly. I can't imagine where the stuff's all going to go.

Also just got a new puppy like C Kelsey, which is using said new home as a toilet so have to sort that out quickly before we end up living in a sewer.

I'm preparing to list a mineral exploration company based in Botswana on the Aussie stock exchange (writing prospectus - budgets etc) and do the rounds of various investment banks to raise the capital. That will probably have to wait 'till Feb but porspectus is due...oh, now.

Ferrying kids around to school, sport, friends, movies etc.

Then there's the masters degree - hahahahahahahaha.

Then there's writing - hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!

What do I do to get away from it? I go to bed at night.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

I'm not saying there will be ABSOLUTELY no writing. Just no serious writing. I'm considering a series of fun posts for my blog, etc. Like, News From Goldport. I also have a surprise for the diner (both diners) and my blog soon. Hint -- Conan finds a girlfriend But mostly I'm going to laze about, read and take walks.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


The problem is the brain went on strike a month ago and I kept pushing it, and the returns kept diminishing. So... ain't gonna study war... er... writing no more. For two weeks and a bit, I'm gonna lay down my keyboard and thesaurus, down by the river side.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


If you can't or won't sell it, consider giving it away for publicity. Short stories are always, at best, loss leaders -- what you use to bring in the paying customer.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...


Well, I work for myself and the boss is a bitch, but when it starts endangering my health, I NEED to take time off. Once every five years or so...

Sarah A. Hoyt said...



Sarah A. Hoyt said...


I'm taking time from writing. That leaves cleaning, cooking, sewing, house repair, painting bathrooms ... I think that's it. Ah. Relaxing.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

Chris L

THAT has been my life for the last ... six years. NOT the stock exchange, but other stuff, and this year the cats started a p*ss war over our sofas, now in hiatus as I made impremeable-backed sofa covers, and they can't permanently mark -- ah ah ah ah ah

But then all our appliances broke and... ew.

Kate said...

This seems to be a common problem. I'm totally fried right now with work on full feral, and absolutely nothing else getting done.

Enjoy the break, and tell the boss to lay off for a couple of weeks. She's too much of a bitch.

Sarah A. Hoyt said...

I think only valium will make my boss lay off.