Saturday, January 15, 2011

The importance of r and r

Hi all,

Just before the holidays I reached a place I thought I'd never go as a writer--burn out. Actually, it started with the mid-term elections. I never knew so much anger and negativity could drain me like it did. I felt traumatized. Seriously. When political ads came on TV, I had to slap my hands over my ears.

Then, the lack of sun drained me a little more. As a friend of mine would say, "I'm a delicate, fragile flower." I was wilting fast.

Now toss in the holidays, which are always hard for me since I miss my family the most at that time of year, compound it with a malfunctioning antidepressant, toss in an argument or two and what do you have? One hot mess.

When the situation reached critical levels, I did something I never do. I took a couple of weeks off. I didn't write a word. I slept late. Read a lot. Puttered. And eventually, with the help of a different antidepressant, got back on my feet. I feel a lot less fragile now, but I'm looking forward to a little fun in the sun. I'm leaving for Miami tomorrow a.m. and will be attending the Cruise with your Muse next week. I already feel like letting out a big Ahhhhh...of relief!

Conferences often help re-energize us writers. And I can't wait for this one! I'll tell you all about it when I get back. Right now, I just think it's about the greatest idea ever!


Katie Reus said...

Have fun on your cruise!! It sounds like taking a break was just what you needed :)

Wynter Daniels said...

That conference sounds like so much fun. We all have to get away from the computer and responsibilities every now and then. Glad you're taking time for yourself - you deserve it!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Thanks ladies!

I'm so focused on vacation, I forgot to plug my book release in a few days. Oh blog!


Brenda Williamson said...

Ash, I started reading your post and for a minute I thought I was reading a blurb for a book. I'm so hoping the heroine triumphs in the end.

I'm also envious of the cruise thiny. My parents, brother, his wife and their thrr yr old are also going on a cruise end of Feb. and I can't go because I have to watch all their pets.

Enjoy your trip and the inspiration will come. :-)

Ashlyn Chase said...

LOL, Brenda! That's really funny! I'll have to finish it least in my head.


Jina Bacarr said...

I love cruises! The idea of being adrift in a new world brings about so many possibilities. Especially a writing cruise--it's as if the lure of the sea is a like a siren/harpie whispering new stories in your ear...

Have a wonderful time, Ashlyn! Looking forward to hearing all about your adventures on the cruise.

Christine H said...

HI Ash, I had to think about an Author reaching Burn out. Mostly because it's your living.

I know about burn out too, I don't know why but I haven't finished one book I've started in months, well there might have been one ot two, but I c an't for the life of me remember what ones i did read. Just seems to long ago now. lol
I start reading them, go a week with out ever picking it up to read again and then put it back on the shelf. I love how reading makes me feel!!! I can't wait til I get back to it for sure.
It's so happy to hear your doing better and feeling better too!! :) And yes, Your going to have to spill the beans when you get back!!!! Have a wonderful time, hope the weather's great for ya!!

Cara McKenna said...

Hey, Ash! I did this too—I was smart this year and actually planned in a two-week no-writing vacation for myself, but telling myself that December 20 was the last day of the year, and all subs and goals must be complete by then. It can't recommend it enough. I was really able to enjoy the holidays this year, without feeling guilty about neglecting either my writing goals or my family.

Oh and needless to say, I'm totally jealous of your cruise. Oh to escape New England in the dead of winter!

Dalton Diaz said...

I'm so jealous! I'm looking out my window as it's snowing yet again. If you come back with a tan, I'm going to have to hurt you. ;)