A Drift of Quills: When We’re Gone (Away From the Writing Desk)

Once in a while, the writers that make up A Drift of Quills actually take a break from writing. No, really! Maybe you want to know what do we do when we’re away from the writing desk. Is it gardening or improvement projects? Baking or bull riding? How about dragon-taming? Do these extracurricular activities inspire new stories or scenes? Help us focus? Read on to find out what we do with all of our copious spare time…

A Drift of Quills: Writerly thoughts by writerly folks

Let’s Take a Break from Writing…

My writing desk follows me everywhere. Virtually, anyway. Overheard conversations make good fodder for dialogue. A turn of phrase from a television show or movie often suggests an entire scene or plot point. I realized during a discussion about some people in my life that one of them in particular would make a fantastic model for a character. (No, I will not say whether protagonist or antagonist!)

I try to jot these ideas down on my phone, but sometimes I really have to tell my desk to go to its room and let me take a break from writing. Have you ever noticed that not thinking about a thing is like a magic solution for finding an answer to it?

“Whim” has often been the instigator in my break-time activities. When I’m stuck and getting nowhere with my writing, chores are my go-to writer’s block breaker. Weird, right? There’s nothing like the soothing scrub-scrub-scrub of a brush on the shower floor, or the noisy hum of the vacuum cleaner to get the ol’ brain cells dancing.

Filling the Creativity Bucket

Okay, but seriously, though, my creativity bucket needs refreshing now and then. Quite often, I do that by finding another, different creative outlet. I love fooling around in Photoshop, doing digital matte painting and maps. I’ve done some digital scrapbooking as well.

But, Robin! Can you tear yourself away from the computer at all?

Why, yes, I think I can! Sometimes I putter around in the garden. Our newly installed back yard is deliberately low-maintenance. I love looking at it, but I don’t want to have to work all the time to make it pretty. Hubby and I often sit in our (still new) swing and admire last year’s labor. It’s lovely how much the maple tree has grown in just a year, and how well it shades the swing now.

I also like to do—in fits and spurts—family history, baking, quilting, reading, crafts of various and unpredictable sorts, and decorative painting on walls. Much of that has slowed down or stopped this year. I’m spending more of my days with my writer’s hat on and evenings are for Hubby. Usually, he wants to watch television or a movie, but sometimes he feels well enough to take the Jazzy Chair we were loaned out for a spin around the neighborhood. I walk. I hear exercise is supposed to be good for me…

A Drift of Quills: Sometimes we take breaks from writing. No, really! Does it inspire new stories or scenes? Help us focus? And what do we DO? (https://robinlythgoe.com)

One of the quilts I’ve made…

PATRICIA REDING

Patricia RedingAuthor of the Oathtaker Series
Patricia’s website

I used to be quite a gardener. I had a huge plot. I can’t even estimate its size. I grew berries, beans, corn, squash, melons, peas, and on and on. A Drift of Quills: Sometimes we take a break from writing. No, really! Does it inspire new stories or scenes? Help us focus? And what do we DO? (https://robinlythgoe.com)Admittedly, even at the best of times, I tended to lose a fair amount of my crop because I couldn’t eat it in time and wasn’t big on storing methods (although drying herbs or beans was always a hit with me). (That said, I usually had an abundance. Don’t believe me? Check the pic here of just one wheelbarrow full of tomatoes from one year.) Also, in truth, I lost some crop to overzealous weeds that would come along about the same time that I was no longer having fun.

But I don’t garden like that anymore…

READ MORE: Right here!

P.S. BROADDUS

“P.S. Broaddus” width=Author of The Unseen Chronicles
Parker’s website
I don’t often get the question, “What keeps you busy?” That’s usually because I have three little boys running around and through my legs. I also work as a full time real estate agent, running my own business and managing property for myself and others. I have a master’s degree in film, but I’ve taken a step back from film production and editing to give more time to my love of writing.

And while I enjoy real estate and homes and remodeling and flipping, that isn’t necessarily where I get inspiration or rest. I don’t garden – the wonderful wood nymph I married is in charge of that department. Likewise, film and film editing is work – enjoyable work, but work nonetheless.

There are a couple of things I do that fill me up, that aren’t work, and sometimes even provide inspiration and encouragement… (Read more!)

(Photo by Luisa Rusche on Unsplash)

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What do you like to do when you’re not working? How do you find inspiration or focus for what you do? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Robin–the quilt is beautiful. I, too, have done a lot of craft-type things over the years. Alas, I’ve not done nearly as much since I started writing …

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. I do the same as far as evenings with my wife – it’s usually a show or read a book together. 🙂 Good for the soul, and i think it helps when I get back to the writing desk.

    • I can’t argue about time to relax! I’d add “and do nothing,” but my darned brain is always taking notes. I love those AHA moments that give me such great ideas that I can’t *wait* to get back to writing!