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Notes to start a writer’s week: signs that you might need to recharge

Cheryl's Musings: Notes to start a writer’s week: signs that you might need to recharge

Cheryl's Musings

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road


Notes to start a writer’s week: signs that you might need to recharge

iStock_000008287624Large I love my family. I love them very much. But I’m an extreme introvert—big surprise, since many writers are—and not everyone else in my family is. So after a week of Spring Break, I find myself with an intense need to spend some time alone. With No One Talking to Me and No Music Playing and No Loud Wrestling Matches in the Next Room.

It’s not that anyone’s doing anything wrong. For the most part, the yelling is happy, the arguments resolve quickly, and the constant interruptions are just overflowing from a bubbling, joyous need to share. In a larger house, or one with a separate guest cottage perhaps?, I’d go away for an hour or so, recharge, and return, ready for the next round of (mostly) happy chaos.

Lacking that guest cottage, though, I’ve just been trying to deal and snatch the occasional outing to my favorite coffee shop—but a snowstorm made that trickier. So I’ve winding tighter and tighter, getting more and more stressed, and have just (duh) finally figured it out: I need a recharging break. So, in case you’re anything like me, here are a few signs to watch out for:

  1. You have the frequent urge to plug your ears.
  2. Your only moment of attempted isolation involves deep breathing in the tub—but it lasts only a few minutes because the kids can’t hear your shouted requests for quiet over the pounding keyboard.
  3. You turn down a family member’s offer to help you shovel snow because it might be your only chance to be alone. Even though you have a sixty foot driveway and sixteen inches of wet, heavy Spring snow to clear.
  4. You fight the constant urge to turn down the stereo volume—even though the stereo isn’t on.
  5. You’re starting to eye the wine bottle and it’s only 10:00 AM.
  6. You’ve created an iTunes playlist that contains 90 minutes of silence.
  7. You’re staying up until 2:00 AM because you desperately need those few hours of solitude to retain sanity.
  8. When someone asks if you want to do something fun, you think they mean they’re leaving for a few hours.
  9. You start wandering in circles, accomplishing nothing because your brain will no longer stick to any task for more than 30 seconds.
  10. You start the day with a pillow over your head, wondering if it’s this noisy in Australia.*

If you observe any of the above symptoms, do not delay! Administer first aid immediately, in the form of silence, a good book, a nap, an afternoon out, or whatever particular cure refills your inner introvert.

Happy recharging!

:) Cheryl

*I checked. It is, unless you want to hang out in the desert, which I hear isn’t that much fun. Plus the airfare to Australia is outrageous. And the family will probably want to come, anyways. :)

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At March 31, 2009 at 8:09 AM , Blogger Yat-Yee said...

I hear ya! I turned down offers to shovel snow as well! But then I relented. It turned out well, we each had our own section, and I didn't break my back.

At March 31, 2009 at 5:20 PM , Blogger MotherReader said...

I love #6. I often drive with no music at all just to enjoy the silence. My family doesn't get it.


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