Thursday, August 6, 2009

Light Movies and Reality TV

Here’s something strange about me: I sort of thrive on the stress involved with being a writer. I love deadlines. Sure, I’ll complain about how stressed I am at the time, but I love being busy, having a writing schedule, feeling the need to get something done by a particular date. When I don’t have that I actually start to feel a little lost.

Case in point: I finished a draft of a new book three weeks ago. I had immersed myself in the book for three months, stayed up late and woke up early to work on it, and I thought about it constantly. When I struggled a bit with the ending and then the revision, I complained to my husband about how stressed I was and how I couldn’t wait to be finished with the book to take a little time off.

That was three weeks ago, and in three weeks away from that total book immersion, I’m itching to get back in, to start something new. Um, I’ve actually sort of already started it.

It’s not that I don’t ever need a break, because I do. When I was in the middle of working on my draft last month, I was so overwhelmed and stressed after working on the book every single day for six weeks straight, that I took an entire weekend off, completely away from the computer and the book. I watched four very light movies and sat glued to the television as if they were The. Best. Movies. Ever. Yes, it took Beverly Hill Chihuahua and Confessions of a Shopaholic to detox my brain. But by Monday, I was completely refreshed and ready to go back to work.

If not light movies, then I also enjoy light reality TV to de-stress. Can I admit that I am a fan of Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List for just this reason? In college, I used to take study breaks to watch All My Children, because really, how could I be stressed about a paper or an exam when Erica Kane was getting remarried for the 27th time?

In general, though, I love what I do and all the stress that comes along with it. I like my stress breaks to be short ones, and thank goodness, because imagine what my life would be like if I sat around watching light movies, reality TV, and soap operas all the time!


Steph Su said...

I think this totally explains why I love me some light movies now! So many of my college friends are into their deep, "artsy," indie/foreign films. I can be happy watching 10 Things I Hate About You over and over.. it's a great break from writing!

Jillian Cantor said...

Yes, Steph, exactly!! It's like brain candy :-)

Lisa Patton said...

If only I had your ability to crank out the books. You are born to do this Jillian, and I say you should treat yourself to reality TV any day of the week! You deserve it!

Lesley Livingston said...

Yup - brain candy is a wonderful thing. And low-cal!

Maureen Lipinski said...

True--I mean, just look at how stressed out Bret Michaels was at having to choose between like fifty alky strippers!