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norwegian-escape_i2894798.jpgYou know you’re in trouble when you are gearing up for your busiest selling time of the year and dreading it.

My fall and Christmas season are packed with events, mostly festivals, where I do a lot of my sales during the second half of the year. I was filling out applications and checks this morning and looking at my calendar with just about every Saturday and most Sundays filled up from September through Christmas. Rather than looking forward to the opportunity to get out and meet readers, refine my selling techniques, and make a living, I had a sense of dread.

That’s a warning sign to me that I’m starting to burn out. I need a break. It’s been a stressful summer because of things other than writing, but apparently, it’s taking a toll on my work life.

Luckily, we have a family cruise planned to the Caribbean. I love cruises and wish I could do more. I can see that I need this break, which is coming up next week. Of course, to get to that much-needed break, I have to pretty much double up on my workload this week.

That, combined with the burnout I’m already feeling, means I may not want to come back from the vacation.

Writers need vacations like everyone else. It gives us a chance to step away from work and deadlines and allow the creative subconscious to percolate with new ideas. If we’re lucky our choice of vacation will throw some new ingredients into the mix that our subconscious can work with. Years ago, when I returned from a vacation in the Netherlands, I wrote a creepy story set in a windmill that I still enjoy today.

So, the countdown to relaxation has begun, and if you don’t hear from me in two weeks, don’t come looking for me. It means that I’ve decided to live in the islands!

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Biking in Stowe. I'm the one bringing up the rear.

Rapelling near Jeffersonville.

Sometimes farmers have to allow a field to lie fallow in order to continue to using the land. They plant the same crop year after year in the field, and it sucks the nutrients from the ground giving them a lower yield year after year. At that point, they have to do nothing with the field for a yield to allow it to regain its nutrients.

That’s how I look at vacation for me. I need that time away from writing even though it’s something I enjoy. As I continue not to work on a book or article throughout the week, I find a desire to get back to writing building up. Once I’m back from vacation, I’m ready to go with fresh ideas and lots of energy for the project.

Smuggler’s Notch was fun and beautiful. I resisted the urge all week to write, which is hard since I’m an early riser and the rest of family isn’t. I usually have a few hours to kill before they rouse themselves and we go do anything. It’s a prime time to write, but I didn’t do it.

Now I’m home, recharged and ready to go! It’s time to seed the fields again.

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