So, as you read this, I should be on a short break in North Yorkshire enjoying some R&R and taking some time to myself to read, daydream and generally put some distance between myself and the novel I’ve just completed rewriting. I might even dabble in writing some stuff ‘just for fun’. After a good, hard slog to acheive a goal there’s nothing like just sitting back for a while to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment – even when you know that there is more work to come. Especially when you know there is more work to come.
I very much used to be one of those individuals who had to be doing something all of the time and was rarely, if ever, seen ‘resting’. At one point I had three part-time jobs – a two-day a week post, a three-day a week position (with a 1hr commute) and a job teaching adults on one evening a week (which took at least a day to prepare). I was also attending a writing class, going out most weekends with friends or my partner and walking the family dog when I could, alongside writing short narratives in my ‘spare-time’. Somehow I also managed to read quite a lot in this period too.
What I learned from all of this was that, while I was managing to get a lot done, I wasn’t able to enjoy the feeling of actually having done it. Now I always try and plan some time in after a project to reflect and take part in some activities that will distract me from the work I’ve just done. Not only does this refresh both body and mind but it also allows my friends and family to get reacquainted with me after a period of solitary confinement.
As a result, for the next four days I’ll be sharing a caravan with my parents and laughing with relief at the fact I don’t have to share a tent with my partner and his kids. (I’ve also packed Notes on a Scandal to read and am taking a notepad and pen to jot down some ideas for future projects).