I’m just back from my vacation, spent in Italy (I’ll give you a moment to be jealous), but I’ve still got vacation on the brain. I’m very much back at work, busier than ever–Jim wasn’t kidding about that publishing summer–it’s not that my brain is still on vacation. Rather, I was realizing just how much I needed that vacation, and how recharged and refreshed I feel coming back. I’ve been pestering (nicely!) editors left and right, and I’ve been having a bunch of creative calls with authors, and I feel like I’m really firing on all cylinders.
In setting up a time to talk about his manuscript, an author mentioned that the time it took for me to read and formulate my thoughts was time he needed off. And while authors are often eager to hear what their editors think about their latest draft, I know that many of them relish the time off while they wait.In our constantly-connected world, and in a business where work and personal time tend to run together, I think all of us could benefit from some real vacation time. For agents and editors, that means time spent not answering calls and emails or editing manuscripts or copy, and for authors that means not just stepping away from a manuscript (something everyone needs to do sometimes!), but also from Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads and Amazon and blogging and worrying and comparing and kvetching. Taking a break from both the craft and the business helps us gain perspective, which we often sorely lack. That perspective can lead to new insights on a plot, character or scene, and it can also lead to new personal insight. And if nothing else, a break often leaves one excited to return to the work, more energized than before.
Do you employ breaks, big or small? Or do you feel yourself suffering from the 24/7, always on culture? How do you find time to get away?