It’s been a rough week or so. The kids have been sick. I won’t bore anyone with the gory details, but they were . . . gory. It’s pretty sad when going to the mailbox feels like an outing.

I need a real one now.

I’ve managed to eke out a bit of writing time, but it’s been tough. It’s a bit like having sex—you can deal with a few interruptions, but too many and it’s really, really hard to recapture the mood. Like a couple who need to get away for a weekend, I need to get away with my muse (inner artist child, Girls in the Basement, subconscious mind, whatever you call the place ideas come from) and get her to stop sulking.

The little darlings are both in school today. If all goes well, I don’t get a call from the school nurse, and they continue to do well tomorrow, I’m heading out to the Corning Museum of Glass. I’m going to do a leisurely tour of the galleries (for fun, not research except in the laziest way), have lunch at the café and go make a sun-catcher at the Walk In Studio. Last summer my kids made projects there and as I was helping them I decided I’d like to try my hand at one myself. It’s time.

Whether you’re a writer or not, getting out and doing something fun and creative helps keep the juices flowing for other parts of your life. It’s what Julia Cameron calls an “Artist’s Date”. You go out to the movies, to a concert, bake, paint, take a walk in the woods or anything you think is fun and NOT directly related to your job. Anything that makes you feel like a kid with a brand new 64-count box of Crayolas.

Do any of you (writers or not) do Artist’s Dates (whether you call them that or not)? What do you do to keep your mojo? To get it back when it’s deserted you?

LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee

About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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4 Responses to Getaways

  1. When the weather is nice, I like to go to the zoo and just walk around. They have some beautiful garden areas, and nice benches to sit on and commune with the elephants/monkeys/whatever. I just stay away from the snake house. This helps me calm down, feel more centered. So does yoga.

    If my muse is REALLY gone–white wine. 🙂

  2. Cara King says:

    That sun-catcher sounds cool! I love to make stuff. (But I rarely do.)

    I don’t have any good way to recharge my batteries. When my mojo deserts me, I usually just whine. A lot. And oddly enough, that rarely helps. 🙂


  3. Elena:

    Good for you taking a breather! I usually allow myself NOT to feel guilty for once; I read a book, just sit there and read, rather than sit there, read, and think how I should be doing something else. Or else I go get a coffee. I don’t have many dates with myself, actually–or I just allow myself NOT to open my current document and stare at it in frustration.

    Have fun tomorrow!

  4. Todd says:


    Sorry you’re having a rough week! Hope tomorrow is better!

    I’m not a writer, but what I do does have its creative side–coming up with ideas, turning them around in your head, and trying to fit them together. Nowadays while I’m teaching, and supervising students, and dealing with administrative trivia, and answering millions (well, it feels like it) of emails, I often find there is no time left over for that kind of creative thinking. Weirdly enough, one of the big benefits of going to conferences–apart from talking to colleagues that I don’t see very often and listening to talks–is just having time to sit alone in my hotel room and mess around with a fresh pad of paper and a pen. Some of my best ideas have come to me that way.

    Have fun tomorrow!


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