Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Is Time Off a Good Thing? ~ Vonnie Davis

Have you ever heard the expression my horse--or cat or dog--is "off his feed?" This expression kind of refers to me, but in a different way. No, I'm not off my feed, but I am off schedule. Most of you know I am a fulltime writer, retired from outside work, but writing all day nonetheless. In three years, I've contracted ten titles. Three more are in various stages of production. If my eyes are open, I'm probably writing. What can I say? It's a compulsion.

Until...

Until we went on vacation for three weeks. Although I did research and took plenty of pictures to pour over for descriptive facts in future stories, I did next to no writing while we were gone. My mind needed a break. I'd reached the point where I questioned every sentence I wrote.

Besides, who wants to bend over a laptop, ignoring what's happening around you when there are so many fabulous sights to see, people to watch and goodies to eat. Like bowls of French Onion soup at one of our favorite outdoor caf├ęs in Paris. Alyson and Niko in MONA LISA'S ROOM ate here, too. See? I can eat and do research at the same time. How's that for multi-tasking?

I did write one scene while we were in Berlin. Calvin and his son Kelly were deep into a physics conversation, which was waaaayyy over my head. Kelly has a PhD. in High Energy Theoretical Particle Physics, if that gives you any indication as to why I wanted to zone into my characters' lives for a couple hours. I mean, string theory? Time and space dilation? The very real possibility of being able to travel through time...wait...let me pay attention to this part...

The laid-back atmosphere of Berlin is so different from the high energy of Paris. I liken Paris to a fashion model, preening her beauty, daring you not to fall in love with her. While Berlin is like a hard-working woman determined to get the job done.

Here's a shot of the River Spree that flows through Berlin. Kelly lives two blocks away in a condo or apartment. Most apartment buildings are situated as sides of a square with a park-like square of green grass and trees in the middle of four buildings. Kelly and his Berliner wife, Katrin, live on the sixth floor--with no elevator. Calvin and I nearly died going up and down those steps.

This is a picture taken from Kelly's penthouse patio filled with pots of miniature trees, flowers, herbs and cherry tomatoes. While the French include cheese with every meal, the Germans have an affinity for potatoes.

I absorbed as much of our travels as I could, glad to be away from the writing...yet, eager to return. Writing can be addictive, after all. But...but now we've been home for three weeks and what have I done? I've written three measly chapters. Count 'em...three.

Getting back into the routine is like getting into the pants I wore ten years ago. Such yanking and pulling and struggling.

I tell you, I'm off my feed. Off my schedule. Off.

Oh I'm at my laptop for hours every day, but I'm checking email, facebook, Amazon, shoe sites (it's an addiction...don't judge) and anything else to keep me from delving deeply into my writing. I need someone to ride herd over my wondering mind. Sigh...maybe I just need a vacation.

22 comments:

nicoleleiren said...

LOL - I loved this post and can so relate. Sometimes it's tough to get "back on the horse" or in this case "the feed" as it were.

I have the utmost confidence, though, that you'll get back into your grove because, as they say (whoever THEY are)... writer's write. And you are a writer!

So the only vacation you get is your mind's vacation into your character's lives for now - Enjoy the trip (as I know we will when we get the finished product!)

Ashantay said...

Yes, it's difficult to get back into the disciplined routine, but think back to when you worked in a corporate job (because you did, right?). Coming back from vacation then was hard also. But you did. . .and you will.

Joanne Stewart said...

Well, my husband's a workaholic, so we don't actually "do" vacations (don't get me started), but...sometimes I get so darn stuck on a story, I have to take a step back. And sometimes that step back can last for weeks. And I do find I have trouble getting back into the swing of things. I tend to do the same things, too. FB, play games, heck if it's really bad, I actually clean. lol

Perhaps, though, your brain is telling you that you still need a little bit more of a break. At some point, I always find the pull comes back. So, relax, my dear and enjoy it. You'll be harried again in no time. :D

Angela St. Clair said...

I completely understand! Breaking away from the routine is nice and gives me a break, but getting back in the groove is troublesome, at best! It happens to me far too often, and the only think I have found that actually helps is trying to restart the routine-- start with a 500-word day, then go to 1000, and then try to go from there. Before I go to bed, I have to have something to show for it, either a chapter, a character sketch, or a scene to fit in somewhere. Hopefully you can get back to business soon and start pushing out your normal word count!

LaVerne Clark said...

Oh, Vonnie! What a fantastic analogy - getting back into writing after a break is like trying to fit into pants you wore ten years ago. Talk about LOL - and so true!!

I say you've earned a wee bit more of a break. You've been so productive over the last three years, and then you've fired up your brain with all those wonderful new images and experiences. Now's the time to let it all settle and recharge your imagination.

I've no doubt those delicious heroes of yours will come a-knocking on your bedpost when they've determined you've had enough time off.

It'll be worth waiting for, I reckon :)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Nicole. I certainly hope I soon get back in the swing of things. Discipline...I need discipline!!!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Yes, Ashantay, I was a technical writer in another life. Coming back from vacation always involved a couple days of settling in again. But 3 weeks seems excessive to me. I'm starting to panic a little.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Good idea, Joanne, and thanks. I did write a chapter for Dawn to submit in response to a publisher's call. I forgot about that.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I hope so, too, Angela. I really need to up my word count. Your step by step progress sounds like a great idea.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I hope I can deliver with heroes you'll like, LaVerne. I'd like to do it relatively soon. Thanks for your best wishes.

Angela Adams said...

Great pictures! Welcome back!!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks, Angela. There's no place like home.

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Vonnie - I am just back from two weeks of vacation, too, so I know the feeling. I have a deadline looming so I had to pick up with my characters and move forward. It took half a day to get to know them again, but since then I've been moving forward. I think the deadline is what is forcing me back to work.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Deadlines are powerful catalysts, aren't they? I loved your vacation pics on facebook. I'm glad you had such a good time.

Nikki Howard said...

I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!
http://ravenousreads.blogspot.com/

Rolynn Anderson said...

I understand your sense of worry...like the athlete who has burned out from the tension/stress/output. You needed a break, my dear! No, our characters don't get one (we crank up their tension terribly), but we humans need change and distance to get us back on an even keel. Soon, you'll be cruisin' into another story...I'm sure of it, my friend.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nikki. So thrilled to have you visit!!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Rolynn, I was thinking of you the other day. When is your knee surgery??? I'm putting myself on a word count goal for awhile until I get back into the rhythm again. So I hope the characters don't mind waiting. ;-)

joann tracey said...

Glad that you had a great time on vacation.Loved your pics and your humor.You always make us laugh.Keep up the good work. LOL

Chrys Fey said...

Ten contracted books in three years? You're amazing!

Vacations are for relaxing! I'm glad you had a great time. And I'm sure if you just sit down and concentrate on your work you'll get on your feed. ;)

Kiran Acharya said...

Ten books in three years! Wow, you sure needed a vacation. Vacation must have generated new ideas. You'll be back to routine in some time.

I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

Calisa Rhose said...

I got off my feed three years ago and I still struggle at times. I'm sure you'll come out of that starting gate any day now, V. Loved the pics though!