Dianne Neal Matthews here, wishing you a Happy Labor Day! Are you celebrating the holiday weekend by taking a break from your writing and marketing labor? That's something hard for us writers to do, isn't it? After all, we can't just clock out and walk away from our job. Even if we go on a trip, we might leave our briefcase at home but we always carry our work-in-progress around in our head. So what's a writer to do?

I didn't plan to take time off for the holiday since I'm facing such a tight deadline for my new one-year devotional book. With the need to pump out twenty devotionals every week until mid-November, how could I spare the time? But I was forced to do it.. 🙂

When my husband bought a new used car, we decided to give the old used car to our son-in-law who just got home from Afghanistan. Okay, maybe I could spare a weekend. Then my husband decided we should head out on Thursday since the drive's so long. And we found out we could save $200 by flying home on Tuesday instead of Monday. So the weekend stretched out to several days.

At first, I fretted and stewed about how I would make up the time I'm losing on this trip. Then I decided to get the most out of this time that I can. I soaked up some of my favorite scenery driving through the Smokey AND Blue Ridge Mountains, all in the same trip. I've made up stories for my granddaughter and played gin rummy with my daughter and son-in-law. Enjoyed a quiet dinner at a nice restaurant and long evening walks. Worshiped at a different church and went to a county fair. 

Next week I expect to get back to work with fresh energy. I'll have to put in some 10-hour Saturdays to make up time, but the new memories of time spent with loved ones will be worth it. And I'll remind myself to build in plenty of mini-breaks. It's amazing how something as simple as stepping outside to look at the clouds or water my geraniums refreshes me. Anything that makes my brain focus on something different than the keyboard.

I hope that you've got something special planned for today–a family cookout, a movie, maybe a parade. But even if you're pounding away on the computer, be sure to schedule in some moments for refreshing your spirit–and your brain. Any suggestions to share with other hardworking writers out there needing a quick break?


3 thoughts on “Refreshments Will Be Served

Karen Robbins

September 7, 2009 - 14 : 47 : 17

Me too, Dianne! While I really need to get more writing done, family came first this weekend. When you don’t get to visit as often because of distance, you have to set aside time when it’s offered. But the refreshing makes the writing faster and better. Thanks for sharing. I’m not alone.

Bonnie Leon

September 8, 2009 - 01 : 02 : 14

Diane, so glad you got time away! It’s important and the truth is writers always seem to be working. My husband and I are going to be taking a vacation later this month and I can’t wait–just the two of us with no agenda. 🙂 I am taking my laptop just in case I get a fantastic idea and to make sure I don’t get too far behind on my emails–they do mound up.
Grace and peace to you,


September 8, 2009 - 08 : 53 : 25

I’m glad you had family time this weekend, Karen. And you’re right–when family members move away, we really have to seize any chance to spend time together and try to focus on people, not the proposal in the back of our mind.
Bonnie, I hope you have a wonderful getaway with your husband. Don’t let those emails get in the way!
When we have a tough assignment or deadline, it’s nice to have something special planned to look forward to, isn’t it? But for the next 2 months, I’ll have to build in refreshment breaks that are 30 minutes or less.

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