Thursday, August 27, 2009

Relearning How to Live

“If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live.” – Lyn Yutang

At one time, prior to the release of The Ride, I was quite the expert in my ability to spend time in a perfectly useless manner. Since the release about a year ago, whenever I try to hone back in on this skill, I am besieged by guilt. My mind races through my lists of marketing ideas to act on, updates needed on my website, blogs to write, blogs to read, and writing projects to start or finish. My “to do” list is endless. I scratch off one item and add twenty more to it.

A recent attempt to loaf went something like this:

“How can you waste time with so much to do?” an annoying voice in my head uttered.

“Leave me alone,” I whined.

Lists…voices in my head…conversations with myself…

“Oh no,” I yelled, “I’m becoming Barbie!”

Barbie, for those who don’t know, is the main character in The Ride. She’s a compulsive list maker who regularly carries on conversations with herself. While I’ve grown quite fond of her, I don’t want to be her—especially her “early in the book” self.

I decided I needed a break.

I wrote this blog a few days ago and set it to automatically post. Then my husband and I loaded up our travel trailer and headed north to Saint Augustine, Florida. My intention is to spend a few wonderful days learning how to live again.

If my muse tags along on this trip, she’ll be most welcome. Writing is a joy so I’d never try to stifle any creative ideas. I do, however, intend to short circuit any thoughts remotely related to any other aspect of being a writer. I’m not sure we’ll have access to wi-fi. It will be better if we don’t because I’ll find it easier to disconnect myself completely from the world around me if I have no choice in the matter.

So if you haven’t seen me hanging around your blogs or forums this week, know it’s nothing personal. I’ll be back—hopefully without any annoying voices in my head.

Are you able to spend an afternoon or longer in a perfectly useless manner?

Thanks for stopping by,

Tags: The Ride, Yutang, Barbie, guilt, wi-fi, Saint Augustine,


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

No, I really can't. In fact, I sound just like Barbie! Maybe I need a vacation, too....thanks for the reminder to take it easy.

Mystery Writing is Murder

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Amen! I need to do that as well. You're right - lists, lists, and more lists! My husband claims I haven't relaxed in years.

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

The Old Silly said...

Absolutely loved and agree with this post. You find the greates quotes, too. I just tweeted this one. :)

Marvin D Wilson

Karen Walker said...

So glad you decided to take off for a few days and disconnect. I'm in pretty much the same place you were before you left. When I do turn the computer off, I'm finding I worry about what I'm missing. I can, however, relax, once I'm doing something I enjoy, like reading, talking with friends, meeting friends for lunch. We're leaving for vacation on 9/26 and I can't wait, although I'm taking my new little netbook with me, hoping the Irish and Scottish countrsides will inspire me.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've been relearning the relaxation process and feeling very, very good about it. I also have been slowly weaning myself away from some of the non-writing projects I'd taken on. I think I'll go write a book instead.

Hope you have a wonderful break from the routine.

Alexis Grant said...

Sometimes you need a break, especially from online. Take it when you need it!

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Yes, we have missed you, Jane, you bet. I'll be bold enough to speak for us all when I say, please, do enjoy your time away, and we'll welcome your wit and humor when you return. Take Care. Galen.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Jane, I hope you are having a fabulous time. I'm a terrible list maker-sigh- with so many new marketing opportunities available every day- well... you simply must let some of them go. It's not good to do everything. Think of it as eating all the good produce in the grocery store- it might be good for you but not all at once. Cheers!

Bob Sanchez said...

I am pretty good at chalking up useless hours. The time may be cluttered with activities, but often have the feeling I should be doing something else.

Good idea, traveling without wifi.

Bob Sanchez

Jane's Ride - Novelist Jane Kennedy Sutton's journey through the ups and downs of the writing, publishing and marketing world