Friday, May 3, 2013

The Calm Before The Storm. Again.

Hello all, Rachel surfacing here briefly, slightly dizzy and bemused as I’m in between books, writing them that is! Surrounded by post-deadline piles of paper, dust and pen lids I've been having a little think about all the things that I should be doing with my time right now, but not actually getting very far.

I've recently sent off my latest Entangled manuscript, A Sicilian Engagement, and I’m waiting to hear what my editor thinks of it (bites lip in clichéd romance heroine-type way). Even though this book is already contracted, the wait is still as nerve-wracking as submitting a manuscript to a publisher cold, except worse in a way because I can’t just shrug my shoulders and walk away. If it’s not up to scratch I will have to fix it, not just shove it in a cyber-drawer and drink comfort wine until the nasty rejection becomes a memory. That’s being a ‘contracted author’ for you, big girls’ stuff, no messing about!

I do thank my lucky stars each day that I have those contracts and an editor keen to receive more proposals from me. I have plenty of work which is fantastic in the current economic climate and not something that I would ever take for granted, but I’m also a firm believer in the restorative power of rest. Rest for the body and rest for the mind.

This past year has taught me that being self-employed and working from home makes it very difficult to switch off. You can’t just clock out and finish for the day like I used to be able to in an accounts office and part of me doesn't want to because I love my new job so much. But the well does need refilling from time to time and creativity dries up when you’re staring at a computer screen or notebook most of your waking hours and do nothing else …

So, as we start a long bank holiday weekend here in the UK, I’m giving myself permission to log off and live for a few days before getting back to work next Tuesday. On the agenda is Iron Man 3 (yes, okay,it’s a screen, but it’s a big one and Mr Downey is very restorative) and dinner for two in a harbor restaurant while Nanny takes charge of the kids.  The sun has finally come out of hiding so I may even venture out into the garden – possibly with a book.  And I still have this beautiful indulgence to slather with beeswax and polish:

Did I mention all the laundry and cleaning that’s built up while I've been writing like a maniac on a deadline?  No, I didn't, did I? Good!

Do you set aside a time to unwind? What do you do to relax and indulge?

There’s a bottle of champagne languishing in the boiler cupboard now I come to think about it … so if any of you have some summery cocktail recipes I’d love to have them. And perhaps some nibbles to go with them. Why not? It’s the weekend!

Have an amazing one. :0)


  1. Great post, Rachel! I completely understand the nerves - they never go away. I always give myself a few days off after I send something in to my editor. Usually it is just what you described: a night our for dinner, a great movie or two, and of course, housework!! Enjoy your staycation :-)

    1. Thanks,Olivia, I will. Even the housework! :0)

  2. You are so right. Working from home there is no time clock. It's really good to make sure to take time away. I don't work at all on weekends because of that.
    I want to see Iron Man 3 too!

    1. The cinema tickets are booked,Jennifer,nothing is going to stand between me and Mr Downey! I'm going to try not to work at weekends so often too if I can an not feel guilty about it! :0)

  3. Enjoy your well-deserved time off, Rachel! I love a date night after I've met a deadline, although sometimes I'm too tired to do anything but sit on the couch with my husband and watch television or indulge in some serious reading. :-)