Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Give Me a Break!

Terry Shames answering our question of the week: 
Writers sit and write – for a long time. What do you do to stop yourself becoming welded to your writing seat? 
I wish I were better at this. Just yesterday at six in the evening, I went to a nearby convenience store to get milk. When I was walking out, I wondered why everything looked so fuzzy and I felt so depleted and a little stunned. And then I remembered. I had just spent the last three hours glued to my chair, revising a blog post (not this one!) and writing 2,000 words on my WIP. I don’t think I moved anything but my hands during that entire three hours. No wonder I was so loopy.

I’ve had plenty of advice that I should be taking a break from the computer every half hour. Otherwise, my eyes get dry and blurry. But do I take that advice? No. I really do mean to, but when I start writing, the world falls away. I sometimes think I should set an alarm, but I know I would be annoyed when it went off.
In general, I get a lot of exercise and do things away from my desk, but that’s usually before I start working.  I exercise every morning, either with a good 30-minute hike or a step class. And at lunch I go out on my deck and read while I eat. I like to cook, so sometimes I do some cooking in advance to get away from my desk. But I have to remind myself to do these things. Otherwise, I sit too long.
The times when I’m least  glued to my chair is when I’m struggling with what I’m working on, I get antsy and move around a lot. I get up and “must” water the plants, or I suddenly remember that I have to do a load of laundry. Or I go into the kitchen and gaze into the refrigerator. Or have a snack. Or a lot of snacks.

I’d like to train myself to go places during the day a couple of times a week. Maybe a quick trip to a local art gallery, or a stroll past some shop windows on College Avenue. Or maybe meet a friend for coffee. But somehow that doesn’t seem to happen much.
I'm making a promise to myself, though, to do something like that once a week. Not work. Not talking about work. Just doing something to take myself away from the computer and into the real world.
Meanwhile, a bit of BSP:
My eighth book in the Samuel Craddock series, A Risky Undertaking for Loretta Singletary,  came out April 23. It has received terrific reviews, like the one from Reviewing the Evidence, which said, "It is a major creative accomplishment for Terry Shames and masterfully done."  I hope you'll take a look at it:

After using an online dating site for senior citizens, town favorite Loretta Singletary--maker of cinnamon rolls and arbiter of town gossip--goes missing. Chief Samuel Craddock's old friend Loretta Singletary--a mainstay of the Jarrett Creek community--has undergone a transformation, with a new hairstyle and modern clothes. He thinks nothing of it until she disappears. Only then does he find out she has been meeting men through an online dating site for small-town participants. When a woman in the neighboring town of Bobtail turns up dead after meeting someone through the same dating site, Craddock becomes alarmed. Will Craddock be able to find Loretta before she suffers the same fate? Finding out what happened to Loretta forces him to investigate an online world he is unfamiliar with, and one which brings more than a few surprises.


Paul D. Marks said...

Congratulations on the new book, Terry. And I have that problem of once I sit myself down at my desk it's hard to get up, even though I've also heard one should do that at least once an hour. But when you're in the middle you don't want to break the flow. Sometimes I will, but sometimes I'll just stay glued to the chair.

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