Two Ways to Take a Playful Break From Writing

Thursday, July 13, 2017
Okay, if you

  • are constantly driven to be productive 
  • never take a break from writing
  • wear a Depends so you don't even need to take a pee break from writing
      perhaps you should skip this post. 

For the rest of you slackers serious writers, keep reading. You might find a writing way to amuse yourself, leaving you invigorated when you return to your WIP.

1.  Twisted Revision

What about doing some revising in a fun way? Try taking a Little Golden Book in a whole different direction, like what Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett did with Birthday Bunny. What began as a sweet story becomes something... well, you'll have to check it out and decide what you'd call it. (Even though Battle Bunny is quite twisted, I know my middle-schoolers will enjoy doing this activity.)

If you just want to laugh and roll your eyes as you read the pdf, enjoy. And then get back to your current writing piece.

However, if you need to do something different--for a brief bit of time--buy a Little Golden Book, and doodle, cross out and revise to your heart's content... and then get back to your WIP.

2.  Menu Memoir

I know this is a lousy photo--it doesn't do the document justice--but what this writer did was find an image of ancient-looking paper, and did a "food memoir" on it. (The paper looks wrinkled and stained but in reality, it's flat and in perfect shape.)

A Nerinx teacher I worked with this summer created this, and I'm definitely going to do this with my middle-school students this year. It's set up like a menu, with pizza choices, domestic delights and international delicacies. It's a brilliant way of going down memory lane in a very unique way. Here is are a few excerpts from Sarah's piece:

Pizza: Street Vendor Pepperoni and Mushroom, random window, dubrovnik, croatia
           Drive-through window on foot, Kevin paid in kuna, walked through time, ate where Game of
           Thrones is filmed

Domestic Delights: Raw Oysters on the Half Shell, seedy beachside bar, jacksonville, florida
                                Slimy, briny, slurpy, gulped them down with hot sauce and lemon, laughed with
                                Robbie, he made me try new things

International Delicacies: Ham and Brie Crepe,  street vendor, paris, france
                                        Three minute crepe, oozing brie sticking to wax paper, sitting by the Siene,
                                        feeling tres chic, fulfilling a dream

Probably you wouldn't want to toss aside the novel/article/essay/short story/poem you're working on to submit and dive full-time into a memoir like this. But you might enjoy working on a couple of menu items as a short-term diversion.

How about you? What is a way you playfully take a break from writing? Could you see yourself either revising a Little Golden Book or writing a memoir centered around food?

Sioux Roslawski is a wife, mother, grandmother, dog rescuer, freelance writer and middle school teacher. After finishing a novel-length manuscript and then dousing it with gasoline and watching it burn because it still stunk (after the third draft) she's now putting the finishing touches on a YA historical novel that she's super thrilled with. If you'd like to read more of Sioux's stuff, go to her blog.


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

This, this right here is what I need to do! I just turned in my third book of the summer (Yes, mid-July, third book) and I am FRIED. E-mail is a challenge! I need to find something off beat to do for a few days.


Val said...

Twisted Revision sounds like a great idea, for people who can pull it off.

I could see myself doing a lot of things centered around food, but writing a memoir isn't at the top of the list!

I suppose I don't playfully take a break from writing, because my writing is playful in itself. I'm not working on anything special, just daily blogging.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Well, I don't so much need a break FROM writing, more like a swift kick to get back to it! But I'm getting there, slowly but surely. (No pun intended.)

Linda O'Connell said...

These are great ideas to get writers fired up. Thinking outside the box forced us to be creative. Great post. Now I'm going to find a Little Golden Book.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Sue--Have fun. You're so prolific, you deserve a break.

Val--Really? I would think you could do a hilarious one, if you include Hick...

Cathy--It's summer. Give yourself some slack.

Linda--I bet Sas could doodle and revise, too.

Mary Horner said...

I love these ideas, you are always so creative! I always say some days are better than others when it comes to writing! Today is a good day, yesterday, not so much. And who knows what tomorrow will bring! But I keep plugging away.

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