I’m really happy with the way my WIP is shaping up. I wish it would come together faster, and I have lots of discovery work still ahead of me, but I like what I have so far, and I have a clear idea of the remaining scenes that will get me to the end of the first act. I think it will take me about two weeks to get there, and I’m really excited to write it.
I expected to wake up this morning refreshed and raring to begin, but out of nowhere I feel drained and mentally lacklustre. That’s not a feeling I want to infuse my story, and once I get started, I want to write through to the major turning point without losing momentum, so I decided to award myself a day to recharge.
I might think about my story – I almost certainly will – but I won’t set myself any specific tasks. No word-count goals, no problems to solve.
My plan for the day looks something like this:
- Start with a great cup of coffee. My favorite coffee merchant, HR Higgins, recently acquired some beans from a small estate in Nicaragua called Las Morenitas. I treated myself to some, and I can confirm it’s a great way to begin the day.
- Spend half an hour or maybe even an hour on my current jigsaw. I might find a few pieces or fill in a whole section. Whatever. It will keep my problem-solving brain ticking over.
- Cook a good old-fashioned British Sunday lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. I bought the beef from a local farm shop in Derbyshire last time I went to visit my mum. It should be delicious, and I’m thinking the perfect accompaniment would be a bottle of excellent Bordeaux wine that my ex-boss gave me for Christmas a few years ago.
- Watch the final of the ATP Madrid tennis tournament. Regular readers of this blog might remember that I’m a big tennis fan, especially when fellow Brit Andy Murray is playing. Tennis at the top level is an extreme mental test as well as a physical one, and I love to watch how the great players rise to the challenge. A hard-fought match is a great test of character and often stimulates my story brain.
- Immerse myself in a long, luxurious, steaming hot bath with muscle relaxing salts and a dash of aromatic oil, accompanied by my kindle (sealed in a waterproof freezer bag). I’ll probably re-read an old favorite rather than something new, but I’ll leave myself time to read the whole book before it gets too late.
- Go to bed early, in crisp, freshly laundered nightwear, on fragrant, freshly laundered sheets.
If all goes to plan, I’ll wake up on Monday morning bursting with inspiration and energy, ready to accompany my heroine Alexis on her adventures.
Fingers crossed! I’ll report back here in due course.
Do you find taking the occasional time-out helps your productivity?
What’s your favorite way to recharge your batteries, physical and/or mental?