By Christina Katz
When you take a break from writing and do other things like walking or swimming or playing croquette, what you are really doing is resetting your brain for the next writing session. So if you are already a prolific writer, don’t balk when the opportunity to get out of the house and play comes along. A break might be just what your writing needs to improve on the next draft. Take a break and see if it helps, no matter what stage of the writing process you are in.
If you pitch your work and yourself often, how might a refreshing vacation help you pitch better when you return? Walking away from your work means that when you come back you can review your pitching strategy with fresh eyes. Maybe it’s time to update your bio, or craft better leads, or include more details about what you are proposing. Try to read your last query soon after you return and I bet you will notice several ways you can improve all of your queries moving forward.
Heaven forbid you should take a break from promoting yourself! Just kidding. Of course, you should. If you are going on vacation, don’t follow the advice of some and bring work with you. I’ve read plenty of advice that says to work while you are on vacation and then write off the trip as a business deduction on your taxes. But that sounds deceptive to me. Do you really want to mess with the IRS? I say work when you are working and rest when you are resting. Don’t blur the line too much or you might soon be working all the time. I try to get my self-promotion done on a regular basis so when it’s time for R&R, I don’t even think about dragging my work into my vacation time (okay, except for e-mail)…tax deduction or no tax deduction.
On the other hand, mamas, sometimes the only way you get an opportunity to truly relax is by leaving home to attend a professional conference or workshop. So, I’d say, if you are a mom and you haven’t had a working vacation away from your family responsibilities, why not treat yourself? Yes, it’s hectic both when you are getting ready to go and when you return. But while you are gone, your time will be 100% your own. And when the last time that happened? And as an extra bonus, in this case the trip is legitimately tax deductible.
Happy summer, mamas!Christina Katz is the author of Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Build an Author Platform and Writer Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids (both for Writer’s Digest Books). A platform development coach and consultant, she started her platform “for fun” seven years ago and ended up on Good Morning America. She teaches writing career development, hosts the Northwest Author Series, and is the publisher of several e-zines including Writers on the Rise. Christina blogs at The Writer Mama Riffs and Get Known Before the Book Deal, and speaks at MFA programs, literary events, and conferences around the country.