Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When Sometimes a Break is Exactly What You Need by Kristen Terrette

Summer break is over in Georgia. I know it seems crazy to some parts of the country, but for us, the summer lasts only eight short weeks. We try to cram everything in the short timeframe and never seem to take an actual break. For me, summer means endless demands from my family, my writing career, and my ministry obligations. For these reasons, the school year is always much more calm and relaxing, being that my school-aged kids disappear for about seven hours each day during the week. 

And so, a few weeks ago, as summer was coming to a close, I was struggling… I am in the middle of writing a third novel for my contemporary romance series. The bulk of this book has been plotted for over a year. I know these characters well, have thought long and hard about the intricacies of their quirky ways…and yet, everything I put on paper was rubbish.

Have you been there? When writing, which is normally your most favorite thing to do, feels like a punishment?

My mind was mush and kept focusing on everything else but the scene I was writing, which was supposed to flow naturally. So…I did the only thing I knew to do- fast and pray.

I went to God and asked Him to clear my head and get me on track, to help me to write something better than total rubbish. You know what His response was instead?

Take a break.

To give my kids the time they needed from me for their last two weeks of summer. To read a book for enjoyment instead of research or critiquing purposes. To focus on the devotional posts and speaking engagements I’d committed to, which by default (or more like God’s intention) got me into the Word. To spend time with Him and be refreshed…

I closed my manuscript on the computer, and it felt glorious. I told my husband my new plan, and he said, “Even athletes take a break. It’s good for you.” Which was more confirmation a break was exactly what I needed.

Now as the kids go back to school, I’ll be gearing up to open my manuscript again, only this time I’ll do it feeling ready and refreshed.

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:2

Yes, indeed.


Have you ever been through a time in your career like this? Join the conversation and tell us about it!


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Kristen has a Master's degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children's Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she now stays at home making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go.

9 comments:

  1. Taking a break often gives me a new perspective. I believe God wants us to be refreshed through rest. :-)

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  2. Like you, Kristen, I've been trying to work on the third book in my series. I realized that I was putting too much pressure on myself to work on it when what I needed was to enjoy time out with my husband, the grandkids, and friends. The book will always be there to write, but we can't get time back with loved ones.

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  3. It's such an important part of this gig. I take a break between novels, and then, if other parts of my life call me, I'm all about taking a few days to do other things. But I'm always noodling my plot in my head, so I'm ready to jump back in.

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  4. I had a similar conversation with God, Kristen. God told me to keep my Sabbath holy. Everything writing is put away, and I rest, spend time with God, and love on others during Sundays. He's blessed me since I've obeyed.

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    1. yes, Zoe, He reminds me of that often!! (i'm, uh, tenacious, don't listen too good sometimes!)

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  5. Zoe- great reminder! I need to be better about this- I may have not gotten so stressed in the first place!

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  6. Thanks Ladies! Feeling your support is great! :)

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  7. silly me, i thought i'd take a break after my release last september. but NOOOOO, the new peeps (characters) started right in! and as the series is "seasons" the four releases are, well, seasonal. so no break for me! next summer, however.... no books for me!! (also, i'll have my other knee surgery next summer! so no CHOICE for me! LOL)

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  8. It is always funny to me too how the characters take over our brains! Gotta love it though! I hope your surgery goes well!

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