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5 Surefire Ways to Avoid Writing

It's been a busy year. I wrote three books, one of which was co-authored by my writing partner Amber Roshay. But I'll be honest, I enjoy a little break time in between big writing projects. So I thought I'd share ideas for things you can do when you are blocked or needing a break and you want to avoid writing all together for a little while.

1. Take a Walk
It's just become evident that it's spring around here in the Portland 'burbs. The sun is out occasionally and the tulips are in bloom. I'm lucky because I have to walk to the bus stop to drop off and pick up my kiddo five days a week. So I'll just head out a little earlier and look around the neighborhood. Recently I spotted two chickens squaking around in someone's front yard. Hey, maybe that will spark a story idea, ya never know.

2. Bake
The other day I was mulling over the storylines in my books wondering if there was a commonality. And then I realized they all have some areas where food is the focus. The hero in Dating Maggie loves apple pie. And my heroine in Sarah Starting Over works at a donut shop. I started that story in the winter when all I could think about were these pumpkin cake donuts that you can buy inside our public library. I'm not even sure I've ever gone there just for the books, or if "reading" is just my thinly veiled excuse to eat something cakey and pumpkin spicy. In The Proposition, the hero makes a signature marinara sauce. Is there anything sexier than a man who can cook? Is there?

3. Play a Game 
Sadly, for my kiddo, and my sister-in-law, I'm not a big fan of games. But I will play Jenga, checkers and love a good game of Scrabble. This weekend I played Jenga with my son and though the tower didn't stand for long, that's one thing I like in a game, one that's not long. Don't even get me started on Monopoly.

4. Call a Friend
Having a family can sometimes get in the way of connecting with friends, but I think it's so important. Even though I'm a bit of an introvert, I need my girlfriends. And in the age of texting, it's really nice to just talk on the phone sometimes.

5. Volunteer
Recently I went on a field trip with my six year old's first grade class. They were seeing a play downtown based on the Bad Kitty Books. My group of five kids kept me on my toes and I felt a great sense of accomplishment when we all made it back to the school in one piece.

Now that I've done these things, it's time to get back to work, er..writing. What do you do when you need a break?

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