Saturday, March 20, 2010

Trying Something Different


Last Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I took a trip to the North Carolina mountains with my father. My sister and her husband were in Blowing Rock part of the time, too.

Taking trips without the kids isn’t something I get to do very often, but it’s fun when I do. I definitely miss the children, but it’s nice to pull away for a little while and not have to consider eating at restaurants that have chicken tenders and French fries on their menus.

Daddy is an English professor and was on spring break. He was excited to have time to read a couple of books he’d gotten for Christmas and his birthday. I was able to do a lot of revision work while he read—and I was even able to take some great pictures—including this rainbow we saw out the back of the cabin.

Doing something out of the ordinary is a great way to recharge your batteries. I have to admit that my batteries needed some recharging. I have one book for one series at the publisher waiting to hear what they think, a book for the other series I’m doing a final proof on before its July release, and a book I’m turning in on April 5. Sometimes it felt like all I was doing was searching and destroying my own mistakes—these novels were all either recently revised or currently being revised.

My head felt really clear in Blowing Rock and I don’t think it was only due to the mountain air. I could see some fresh approaches to my book and I think it had a lot to do with being in a different place and doing different things.

It’s easy for me to get in a rut. I’m a pretty quiet person and I frequently do the same things day in and day out. But occasionally I change things up a little and it always seems to help me out.

These are some (really minor) things I’ve done to shake up my routine sometimes (you can see how conservative I am with changes in my routine!) :) ---

  • Abruptly driven down a road I’ve never driven down before.
  • Read a genre or subgenre that’s completely different than something I’d ordinarily read.
  • Listen to different music (I listen to just about every type of music, so to be different I’ll try listening to the stuff my son does. Hmm…it’s different, all right…)
  • Go to different library branches to write (Okay, y’all are laughing at me now. But this is a big change in routine for me!)
  • Try some different activities—I’ve been gardening lately, which has been impossible due to the cold, rainy weather. Now with temps in the 70s, I’m able to get outside—and even write outside after I’ve done my yard work.

How about everyone else? How do you shake up your routine and get out of your ruts? Does it seem to help with your writing?