Hitting Refresh by Cheryl Harper

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Hitting refresh...and I don’t mean on my email. Some days I’m afraid my inbox is just going to shout “Would you give it a rest already?”

Actually taking a break, catching your breath, can be hard to do, right?

I’m so very lucky to be able to work at home. I have flexibility, the sweetest coworker in the world (a dog named Jack), and the most difficult boss I’ve ever had to please (me). I also write at home. The dress code has to be the best perk of this setup. The challenge is that I am always at work, whether I’m sitting behind a computer or not. Every writer understands this, I think. There’s always something else that could be done. There’s the daily word count to meet, all the social media accounts to update, emails to answer, and so many details, large and small, that never quite seem finished.

(Commercial in 3, 2, … Coincidentally, this reminds me of the “She’s on the Job” promo running at Harlequin.com: 40% off of A Minute on the Lips! http://www.harlequin.com/store.html?cid=2684 She’s on the job…get it? Did you see what I did there? Shameless promo or a bit of kismet? Both. Totally.)

Do I have overachiever, workaholic, perfectionist tendencies? Possibly (or maybe my BOSS does). Recently, I’ve relearned something important. Having something to look forward to gives me such a boost in energy, creativity, and production that it’s like magic. Why do I forget this? Too much to do, too little time or money or both… the list of reasons is long.

First, I was looking forward to the RT Booklovers Convention. I’ve never been to the convention, and I’ve never been to New Orleans so this is exciting. “Exciting” is one of those words that can also mean “source of a great deal of anxiety because I’m going to have to actually leave my coworker, travel only with my demanding boss, and probably say countless dumb things around people who aren’t related to me so therefore do not have to love me anyway.” Possibly I’m overthinking the whole thing. You won’t find that definition in a dictionary or thesaurus. But I’m looking forward to New Orleans.

Then my best friend mentioned she was heading to Florida and I should come along to sit on the beach. And things got “interesting” on top of “exciting.” A week to burn in the sunshine, read books, and laugh with my best friend… IN! This is when that there flexibility is truly a sweet blessing.

Just the promise of fresh perspective over my peeling nose and the ocean waves has brought renewed energy, creativity, and hope.  Getting away for a week (or even the promise of it) reminds me why I love doing what I do. I hope you have a chance to take a breath and hit refresh too.
Now, what's it been, ten seconds? Let me go check my email again...


  1. I have a co-worker, too. His name is Tyre. He likes to sleep on my hand when I type ARG. I was trying to go to RT, too. I'm not sure it's going to happen. I've got once and had a blast, every moment. You'll have to blog about it.

  2. Cheryl, I've never been to RT, but the people who go love it. Like Pam says, fill us in when you get back. I do love conferences. They're a renewal time even though they're filled with workshops. It's great to catch up with friends you don't often get to see. Have a great time on the beach, too.

  3. Okay, I'm green with envy. A strong work ethic, a chance to sun on the beach, then attend a conference! The trifecta (sp?) for being a good, productive writer. I love working at home, too - it's so cool that you can bake and do laundry and still write while things are in the oven or the dryer. I've never ever had completely uninterrupted time to write, so I'm great with fitting it in. My renewal time these days is a walk to town, but I live in the world's most beautiful place, so that works. As Pam and Roz say, please do blog about the conference - I bet it'll be a ball. Have a wonderful time!

  4. Cheryl, it's very easy to work 24/7 when you work from home and are your own boss. I'm nurturing the Sunday no communication habit - my phone stays on my desk (sometimes I don't even turn it on - a fact my children hate), if the laptop gets turned on I don't open email. I LOVE it! Hope you enjoy RT and Florida!

  5. Cheryl, I love this post! And I live by that having something to look forward to thing. Even if it's just a family dinner, a hike with my husband, or a movie with my sister--but the best is definitely some kind of get-away to recharge the batteries (: Have a ton of fun! And TRY not to think about those of us who will be working while you're laying on the beach...lol

  6. A week in Florida sounds amazing!

  7. Cheryl, I bring the same panic mode along to each conference. Oh, to be calm and certain of not saying embarrassing things!

    Hope you enjoy FL and New Orleans--and you have the calmest, most self-assured conference ever!

  8. A change of scenery can be so rejuvenating! Enjoy your time :)

  9. I know just what you mean. When I have something to look forward to, my whole outlook changes. The trick is to keep finding news things to inspire. I'm working on it.

  10. LOL, Cheryl. I love you'r sense of humor in this post. I could use a beach trip!


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