by Anna Campbell
If I'd been writing this a little over a month ago, that title would have been AAAAARRRRRGGGHHH as I shrieked with the pressure of getting my latest manuscript in. But right now, I'm taking a bit of a break. I'm still making an effort towards constructive activities, but I'm not stressing out. I'm taking my time, catching up on things like writing articles, answering emails that have dust on them and reading blogs and doing tax.
In between, I'm refilling the well. This is what a lot of writers call letting the mind wander, doing things that inspire, letting the emotions and the energy recover from the marathon effort of getting a book done to a deadline.
Because I write big, dark, passionate books, I always get to the end of a story feeling like a wrung-out rag. I go through all those tortured emotions with my characters! Many times as I write and rewrite!
In fact, I told a friend of mine I didn't have the energy to get out of the way of a charging bull if one was headed for me. Probably a slight exaggeration, but only slight! This period of recuperation and relaxation is necessary for me before I launch into the next Regency noir.
So what do I do to refill the well?
Writing is a fairly solitary occupation so after I finish a book, I try to see my friends and get out of the house to remind myself that there actually is a world away from my feverish imagination and my tortured characters. I also just spend time veging out doing nothing particularly constructive. One way I relax is to have a glass or two of red wine. I can feel all the troubles of the world drift away with that first sip.
I swim. I'm lucky with my deadline this year that the book finished and the summer arrived at the same time. I find drifting around in a swimming pool on a beautiful sunny day while the birds sing and the sky is a perfect blue dome above is ideal for relaxing the mind. By the way, sadly, this is NOT my swimming pool. It looks like something from a Harlequin Presents, doesn't it? I should alert my friend Annie West - I can see one of her Sheikhs powering up and down this pool!
And best of all, I've had a chance to catch up with some of the books weighing down my TBR pile. So far, there hasn't been a dud amongst them! On my website this month in My Favorite Things., I'm talking about some of the treasures I've found. So pop over and check it out if you get a chance - I'd recommend every single book I mention there!
Of course, the TBR pile still blocks out the moon. But I've learnt it always will. Once I take something off it, I put three more things on. It's so sad to be a reading addict!
So what do you do to relax?