What to Do With a Break?

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Ironically, I’m probably doing this week-long topic at a time when I’m toiling away at a project.  My hope is that my calculations are correct (they never are) and this is the week between the personal project and Ichabod Brooks stories.  Keep in mind that I’m writing this up in January in order to give myself a bigger February cushion.  No idea what I’m going to post in April, but I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.

Finding time for a break seems to be a harder job than any career out there.  You toil away at whatever you’re doing in the hopes of getting some rest on the weekend or in the evening.  Sadly, many of us reach this point when we’re too tired to enjoy it to its fullest or accept sleep as the break.  Humans are strange this way.  We spend 25% of our lives learning information (most of which we have no use for), the next 50% working hard at a job we might not have dreamed of, and the last 25% with plenty of free time that we might not be able to enjoy.  Age and mileage build up after all.  This is why breaks throughout life are really important.  Just so, so elusive.

My breaks are always strange.  I’ll choose a DVD set to watch and toss it in.  Working my way through Seasons 1-10 of Supernatural right now.  Got through the first 6 before I had to get back to work, so I’m watching 7 if I’m free.  I don’t feel as rushed to get my biking done, which is good.  More thank likely, I’ll grab a notebook and do some low stress character creating.  My mind will always slip back to future projects and worrying about time being of the essence.  Especially with another Legends of Windemere book coming down the pipeline.  I should probably edit the 14th, but that can come after Ichabod and I probably need to find some beta readers for that.  Doesn’t help that an idle author is a universal signal for those around him/her to give them chores, errands, tasks, etc.

As you can see, the body might be resting while the brain keeps trying to push.  That makes me wonder about grabbing even a small break.  Is it possible that the way some of us work puts our bodies and minds out of synch?  I rest my body, but I can’t do the same to my mind.  The two aren’t on the same wavelength.  Frustration sets in as I try to work, but the fingers stumble and the brain is already far ahead.  Still, every little nap and snooze helps keep me going.  It’s a long road we take through life and not many have the luxury of floating along with the current all the time.

So, what do you do when you take a break from things?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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53 Responses to What to Do With a Break?

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    Take a bath with a book…or walk the dog… that’s my daily break. A good book stops my mind misbehaving and trying to work when I want it to take a break. he dog takes all my attention anyway and I get fresh air 🙂

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  2. Bookwraiths says:

    Read a book. Watch a movie at the theater or a dvd. Take a walk. Simple things. But, honestly, I never feel like I ever really have a break. Even when I read, I’m snatching an hour at lunch or right before bed or whatever.

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    • I feel that way too. Even when I’m having those periods between projects, I still feel like I have to do something productive. Almost like it’s unnatural to take a break.

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      • Bookwraiths says:

        It is just part of normal life, I guess. Hopefully, your family is more understanding of your need to relax than mine. Whenever I try to read or do anything, I’m always bombarded with everything I should be doing/fixing. 😦

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      • That’s pretty much what happens here. I settle down with a book and get a list of requests. If not that then my son decides it’s time to play. No rest of the relaxing.

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  3. What is this break thing you keep mentioning?

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  4. Since I started having more luck at actually sleeping at night (a battle I’ve been fighting with my body for several years, but that’s another story) I made it a personal rule that once we’ve cleaned up after dinner, my computer goes off, I’m not allowed to check social media, and anything that absolutely can not wait until the following morning as regards household chores is ignored. The time between when dinner is over and when I go to bed is my time to relax, to do things because I want to and not because I need to, and let at least my body rest, even if my mind doesn’t always do so well at doing so. Most evenings this will see me playing with my rodent gang for a while, and then curling up with my Kindle until bed time. Sometimes I’ll switch things up and watch TV instead of reading though.

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  5. twixie13 says:

    Well…there’re those required breaks for cleaning, walking the dog, food, and sleep. Wish I could go without the cleaning or sleep, but one’s necessary for survival and the other one needs to be done so I don’t get yelled at. But during most of these things, my mind is still on whatever number of projects I have going on. I tend to procrastinate a lot, if that counts as a break. Now, as for actual downtime between projects: puzzles and reading.

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    • I’ve met people who forego the cleaning and it is not recommended. At least if you want to interact with people, leave the house, own a plant, have pets, or retain your own sense of smell. I wonder if physical rest counts even if it isn’t matched with mental rest.

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  6. I walk the dog, go play tennis, read a book, etc. I’m good at taking breaks. Like, I should have a degree in it. Getting errands done, on the other hand, nah… they can wait.

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  7. All I get is when others insist. My wife decides it’s time to air me out, or the dog wants to play, this weekend my son wanted to show me a video game. We will be taking the camper out once the seasons change though.

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  8. I don’t think I take breaks. Well, I write short stories which are refreshing. I write scripts for radio shows which are restful. I write blog posts which are a break I guess. I have, to be honest. There is not a day free of writing. So a break for me is a walk on the beach, mow the lawn, make a killer meal, watch an hour show and maybe a movie on the weekend. Oh yes, I go to the bathroom.

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  9. C.E.Robinson says:

    Walking the dogs gives me a refreshing break! I do watch movies on weekends! All writing gets done in between. Have a good week, Charles! 🎶 Christine

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  10. L. Marie says:

    When I have a break, I also work my way through a season of a show. Working my way through the Pokemon X and Y anime, since I’m playing Pokemon X for the 3DS.
    I like your low-stress character creation idea. Think I’ll do that right now.

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  11. Housework. Combines physical movement with non-thinking activity so my mind can plan. Afterward, I even have the pressure off from my house being messy.

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  12. For me, taking a break is taking the dog for a long walk (where I get lots of ideas for more writing), or watching TV or a movie (where I get lots more ideas for writing).

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    • I’m getting the feeling that a dog can really help here. Taking the 7-year-old for a walk doesn’t have the same level of relaxation. That and he keeps slipping the leash. 😀 I wonder how many wonder authors get ideas from watching TV and movies. Seems to be rather common, but many people say it as if they’re either ashamed or think they’re the only ones.

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