Friday, August 20, 2010

Reset Button

I'm in Maine for a few days, hanging out with my kick-ass parents (and before you run off to burgle my house, it's only fair to tell you my husband's home). I come from a very calm and low-maintenance family, and going home for me just means a two-hour drive, some vigorous hugging, and a flurry of catching-up chit-chat over a) Gennessee or b) Reuinite. The rest of the time we're very laissez-faire. We have a few rituals, including the dinnertime viewing of an hour's worth of taped court TV shows, sometimes Jeopardy! if I nag loud enough.

Whoa, Rambles McNoPoint! Can you tell I'm in vacation mode? I did have a point, though, and it's about the value of the Reset Button. I've got a lot of things on my plate, leading up to an actual vacation (don't bother burgling my house then, either—it's a third story walk-up on a lively street with plenty of neighbors and locked doors. Plus we don't own anything. So not worth your trouble.) Some of the items on my to-do-before-vaca list are big—second revisions for my first Blaze book, Caught on Camera (COC—snicker snicker snicker) and a new proposal to submit [check]. Other items are small, such as my evil conjoined erotica-writing twin's blogging and promo obligations, finishing my RWA chapter's newsletter, calling to demand some explanations for the new monthly fee that's appeared on my checking account…

[Unrelated aside, my parents' sociopathic cockatiel is trying to burrow into the wedge-shaped cavern created by my folded-over iPad case as I type this.]

So all these deadlines, big and small, have been swirling around in my head for the past couple weeks, and it's put me in a state of scattered distraction, a state I do not thrive in. For the first time ever, I found myself putting off fairly simple edits because they seemed utterly daunting. My head was cluttered and I passed a whole week during which writing felt like pulling teeth, and I was starting to despair. Luckily I've been mired in plenty of similar funks before over the course of my moody thirty-one years, so I knew a change of scenery might snap me back into productivity mode. Hence the three days in Maine, virtually a no-charge, no-frills writers retreat for one. Just being in a different environment, away from my desk and my housewifely duties, I feel reset. I'm typing on a different bit of hardware, in a different room, drinking slightly different coffee, surrounded by different ambient noises (and a screeching, sociopathic cockatiel). I'm reading my manuscript on a different platform, so the words seem fresher than before, and the rewrites feel easy and insightful—and exciting! I feel like a TV that was on the fritz until someone gave me a good thump and all the static went away.

That's all I really wanted to say. No grand revelations, just wanted to share that I kicked the writing-day-job blues with a quickie trip. No fancy spa weekend required, and no time off required either, really. I'm working as hard here as I would be back in Boston, but it doesn't feel like a slog. It feels new again and pleasurable, thanks to a firm poke of the old reset button. Okay, back I go to put the polish on COC. Snicker snicker snicker.

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