Making lesbians happy – one book at a time

Click the Pause Button

Back when I first started writing for a living, I was a binge writer. I would settle down at my desk and not come up for air for three days or more. Then came the inevitable crash.


 Once I began working for hire in Hollywood, I found out real quick that this method didn’t work. Producers paid you big bucks to deliver quickly and on time. Writing for Hollywood was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It gave me discipline and persistence. And, above all, it taught me the value of meeting deadlines. Hey, you didn’t get those paychecks unless you delivered.

Now that I’m older (and hopefully, wiser) I have discovered that a lot of writing occurs when I’m not writing.


Saxon and I write at least three hours every morning. Sure, we could do more, but we both feel it’s important that we don’t. Our creativity is essential to our business. And creativity occurs in the pauses. It happens when I’m standing in line at the grocery store, folding laundry, cooking supper, showering. . . it’s fine to be typing away on a story, but one shouldn’t neglect the brain’s need to re-charge. The brain comes up with the best ideas when it seems like it’s just being lazy.

The problem with a lot of newbie writers is that they don’t know this. They think they can just write, write, write all day, all week long. Yeah, sure, you can do that for awhile. But burnout is going to happen. And it’s going to happen hard.

The way to be successful over the long haul is to let your brain work in the pauses. It’s the difference between sprinting and running a marathon. I’ve made a living as a writer for thirty years now, believe you me, I know all about marathons and how to pace myself.

About those pauses: You can’t be doing the technology thing in the pauses. Today, a lot of people don’t daydream. They don’t fantasize. Every time there’s a pause in their life, they jam Facebook or Twitter in there. Their brain is being constantly bombarded by technology. The best thing you can do for your brain is to let it rest. That’s where creativity comes from—the pauses.


So, the next time you feel like your brain is fried, try going for a walk (without headphones and without your phone.) Or get a hobby that keeps your body busy, but lets your mind rest. Know that your brain is busy working even if you’re not.


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Comments on: "Click the Pause Button" (8)

  1. Your totally right! The best plot twists, the best way to transition from one scene to the next, the best lines of dialog – they all come in the shower, or sitting in traffic, or clipping coupons or doing some other mindless but necessary task. Every once in a great while they come during a period of exhilaration or after a long, leisurely lunch or a night of fun and almost always, out of the blue. They NEVER come surfing Facebook…

  2. Thanks for this reminder. I’d been struggling through the last part of a WIP for the last couple of weeks, and rather than write through it which is what I’d normally try to do, I took some time off and worked on something else for a few days. I also left the TV off and put my phone out of eyesight and it worked wonders. I’m still a relative newbie at this writing gig, but I have learned how many hours I can write in a day to not burn out and be fresh for the next project.
    I also bake, which doesn’t help the waist line, but does help my mind go off on its own. Renovating (painting mostly) also does the trick, but that will have to wait until I get my own place again.

    • Okay, Selena, here’s a writing trick and you’re going to think I’ve gone off my rocker at first, but give it a try. Relax your jaw when you write. Go slack-jawed. Your mouth may even open a bit, that’s okay. Completely relax the jaw and jaw muscles. Tense jaws and gritted teeth are common in writers and it blocks the energy from flowing. Even pro athletes are taught to loosen their jaws. Every time I get where I just can’t think of the next word or sentence, I go slack-jawed and Bam! There it is. Try it.

    • Thanks for the tip. I always wondered why I got headaches when I was struggling with my writing. I always thought it was me thinking too hard 🙂 Will definitely try that in my next session. Cheers.

  3. Thank you I needed this so badly i write Fanfic and Original stuff for fun but I needed this I will take your advice and Miss you Layce it’s been forever since I’ve said hello.

  4. Good advice for any sort of creative venture. Even building databases – which is surprisingly much more creative than most people would think. Relaxing and/or allowing your mind to travel will help come up with all sorts of ingenious ideas to try.

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