Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Taking Time to Step Away

Today, I took the morning off. Why? Simple, really, all work and no play makes one's brain shrink and one's nerves singe from the heat generated by the constant intense focus required to do my job. To make a novel, short story, or memoir the best it can be, I need to go deep and wide to ensure that nothing is missed, and sometimes an unscheduled stepping away from the workstation is necessary to keep the standard high, and to retain the enjoyment I get from my work. Seriously, if I didn't enjoy what I do, I'd close shop and start looking for a job in a... No, that wouldn't happen, mainly because I've traveled a long road to this point and know where my strengths lie - in righting the written word.

I phoned a friend and we drove to a nearby village for a late breakfast in the Nook, a small but wonderful restaurant in Collooney that takes pride in looking after lovers of good food. Believe me, we were well cared for. Then, accompanied by Cú, my trusty canine assistant, we made our way to the sublime Rosses Point, a curved beach that guarantees no cobwebs are left after a forty-minute walk, with lots of ball-throwing to keep Cú happy. Overlooked by the all-seeing Ben Bulben mountain, we were blasted out of it by fresh Atlantic winds, along with hail, rain, and sun showers, confirming what all Irish people know: that it's common to experience all the seasons in one outing.

So, my friends, by all means work hard, but look after your stress levels and mental health. Step away from the furnace of the job when needs be, and take yourself back to nature, whether that's watching ducks in the park, climbing a hill, or getting blasted out of it on a windy beach in the northwest of Ireland. It works. I'm ready to return to the grindstone to do what I'm good at, bringing manuscripts through the developmental process to a point where they're ready to be prepped for submission or release. I'm at if you need me.

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