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Writer's Need Vacation


Diana here:

Have you heard the term Sharpening the Saw? I’m not sure where I read or heard about this technique, but it’s one that all writers should do.

The term sharpening the saw refers to this old story:
There was a woodcutter sawing down a tree. A man watching asked, “What are you doing?”

The woodcutter stared at the man. “Are you blind? I’m cutting down this tree.”

The man ignored the comment. “You look exhausted. Take a break and sharpen your saw.”

The woodcutter told the man he’d been sawing for hours and didn’t have time to take a break.

“If you sharpen the saw, you can cut the tree down faster.”

The woodcutter laughed. “I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. Don’t you see I’m busy?”

Let me point that sentence out again.
“I don’t have time to sharpen the saw. Don’t you see I’m busy?”

If the woodcutter had taken a break and sharpened his saw the cutting would have been easier.

As writer’s we get wrapped up in our writing, research and social media and we forget we need to take the time to rest and renew. We need to sharpen our saws (brain) so we can work faster and more efficient.

Writer take a vacation.

You don’t have to go to Paris, Rome or London. What’s located near you? Is there a museum you haven’t visited? How about hiking a trail? Renting a boat?

Take time for yourself to break away from those days of solid writing. Your writing will be better.

I like car rides. I’m fortunate my husband likes to drive so I can sit and let my thoughts wander and absorb the landscape as we go past. There is something about the rapidly changing radio stations with the car motion that works for me. I’ve come home with renewed energy and pieces of scenes to add to my current work.


Last year, while driving through Montana and Wyoming I came up with the story plot for Home Grown Bride. (releasing 2017 in The Matchmaker Collection Barbour Publishing) I didn’t write more than one or two lines as we drove but it was enough to get this story on the move in my brain. The funny thing is even though I was surrounded by that stunning landscape the book is set in Trenton, Illinois, not far from where I live.

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How do you sharpen your saw?

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