Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Insecure Writer's Support Group - JUNE Edition

Happy Summer! Today is the June edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group posting. We gather virtually the first Wednesday of every month and air our insecurities or offer hope and encouragement to those in need. Stop by and visit our website and make sure to say HEY to our Fearless Captain Alex over at his space.

Our AMAZING co-hosts for the month of June are: J.H. Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Megan Morgan, Heather Gardner, and  ME! I haven't co-hosted in a while and I volunteered again because, let's face it, it's fun! If you've never been a co-host (or, if like me, you haven't in a while), let Alex know you'd like to. Trust me! It really is fun :)

                           

NEWS!!

Check out the Insecure Writer's Support Group site for information on the upcoming IWSG Guide to Publishing for Profit anthology! I don't know about you, but I'm interested :)



***

Optional question for the month of JUNE: Did you ever say "I Quit!" If so, what made you come back to writing?

I've never said "I QUIT!" permanently. I have, however, taken a hiatus from writing. It was the best thing I could have done. Last year, I didn't intentionally write for the entire summer (June - August). I spent that time cleaning out the piles of file folders I had filled with ideas and partially started novels and stories. I digitized them all, scanned them in, and have them all on my external hard drive and my laptop. For whatever reason, that break really helped me develop a couple of stories, one of which turned into my winning entry to the Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Hero Lost that was published this past May. The other story is still in the works. It continues to slither in and out of my grasp, wanting me to let it be something I'm not entirely I want it to. Hmm...I should probably just let it go and see where it leads me, eh?

Funny that this is our question for today because I'm doing it again. I'm taking a Sabbatical for the summer with writing and social media. The blog will lie dormant as will my Facebook page. I'll still be posting on Instagram (and I may cross post onto FB but I won't be actively on there) so if you want to keep up or catch up over the summer, by all means, follow on over!

I wish you all the very BEST summer! Whether you're taking a writing break (like me) or if your pens and keyboards are on fire, take care of yourself and do what you need to do. And if you do take a break, ENJOY IT! Clean out your closets and see what may be lurking inside. Take up a new hobby or do nothing on your off days but read. We writers are always "ON" and it's nice to let our writer brain recharge. TRUST ME: if you let your writer brain rest, the ideas won't disappear. They'll become fine tuned and you'll be more focused than ever when you come back. I'm looking forward to September. Maybe that blasted story will finally let me wrangle it onto the page.

Happy Summer everyone!
See you in September :)


96 comments:

  1. Summer is definitely a time when the blogosphere slows down. I've watched it happen for the last three years, and always look forward to seeing everyone again in the fall. Alas, that will be my crazy season this year. Have the best summer!

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    1. I feel it's the best time for me to breathe! Enjoy your summer, in spite of the craziness!

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  2. Summer makes me want to play outside all day long :) I hope your break is everything you want and need it to be. Thank you for co-hosting :)

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    1. Thanks, lady! It will be good to destress and collect my thoughts!

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  3. Enjoy your summer!
    I'm looking forward to reading that story that is slithering into and out of your grasp...first gotta wait for it to settle, take shape and then eventually spill onto the page. Sounds exciting.
    Thank you for co-hosting this month, Jen!

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    1. Thank you, friend! I'm busy wrangling it now. Or rather, I'm letting it wrangle me! Cheers!

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  4. Enjoy your break and all that summer brings. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  5. Wishing you a great summer Jen. Breaks are good. I plan to take a break in July. I will be working only on my book and may take a few classes. You've inspired me by putting all your ideas into the computer. I'm doing just that right now. I'm trying to become completely digital and save paper and money.
    Thank you also for co-hosting the month of June.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia
    Everything Must Change

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    1. Thank you, Pat! I hope you have a wonderful summer. It was hard for me to put everything on my computer but it's helped me feel less distracted and less cluttered. I still write my first drafts by hand, but I'm much more picky about what I keep.

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  6. Enjoy your summer break! :) I'll be taking a two week break later this month. I'll be away from the house, so I won't be tempted to get on the computer. Thanks for co-hosting today.

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  7. Enjoy your break. I think breaks are important just like taking a day off. We don't do day jobs 7 days a week, do we? No, we get burnt out and need a break. I think writing is the same. A day off lets us relax and gives the creative muscles a break. Plus, your mind might still be plotting in the background while you're vegging on the couch and watching TV.

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    1. Thank you! Oh my mind is always plotting. It's never a full non writing sabbatical but I try to tone down the writing induced stress!

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  8. Totally with you on the fun of co-hosting!

    As kids, we always had the summer "off" of school, homework, etc. Maybe writers need to do the same? :)

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    1. I think breaks are good. Of course, I'll still be working the part time day job, but the social media break is one I'm looking forward too!

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  9. Taking a few months off sounds like a great way to recharge. Good luck with your vacation, and may you come back feeling refreshed and creative!

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  10. It sounds like your hiatus had you deep in story world with all that you did with your work last summer, but I can see where a hiatus from writing could be wonderful. I generally take breaks around family vacations and other things that pop up, usually for a few weeks at a time.

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    1. Oh it did. I just didn't realize it at the time. And guess what? This one is starting out the same way only I KNOW that I'm more than shin deep in story at the start! Ah well...at least I'm prepared :D

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  11. Taking breaks is often good for our souls. And our sanity!

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  12. Looking forward to reading the fruits of your labors! I'm ordering the Hero's anthology.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the anthology! Thank you for ordering and reading. I'd love to hear what you think of it :D

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  13. A summer break sounds delicious. I'm waiting until fall, then taking off, but with my notebook (the old-fashioned kind that requires pen or pencil) and seeing another part of the world. Enjoy your summer.

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    1. It's the best I can do, unplugging for a while. I'll still be working the part time day job but I'll be devoting my off days to NOT stressing over media. Ooh, a lovely trip in the fall sounds delightful! Take care!

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  14. Enjoy the break! I'd like to take a break from blogging myself and focus more on writing. Perhaps in the later summer or fall.

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    1. It's a wonderful thing to do to recharge the creative batteries. Give it a go, even if it's just for a week or so. Cheers!

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  15. Hi Jen
    Taking a break is a good idea. At the moment however, no break for me. I find the craziness of December to much for me to write in. After reading your comment on my blog I wondered if you had considered, Dragon Speak? It's on my wish list.

    Enjoy your break.
    Nancy

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    1. It is helpful. I suppose I equate summer to slowing down and breaks but yes, December gets to be too much at times! A nice break at the end of the year sounds delicious but I actually write better in the darkening days!

      I haven't considered Dragon Speak but I should check into it or something similar. Thank you for mentioning it!

      cheers,
      Jen

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  16. Best of luck with the Sabbatical. Part of me is green with envy.

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    1. Thank you! I'll still be working the PT day job, but the mental break on my off days will be delicious!

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  17. And I know you're glad you took the time to find that story again and submit it!
    Hope we'll still see you on IWSG day.

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    1. I'll definitely make my rounds with reading and, knowing me, I'll probably stick a post in as well! I can't stay away for too long :D Happy Summer!
      Jen

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  18. Hey Jen, I never thought about how writers are always "ON." So true. I hear so much about losing followers if I shut down my blog and social media. What did you find? I'm thinking of taking some of August off, so---. Thanks for co-hosting!!
    JQ Rose

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    1. My brain never stops! Shutting down social media helps me to focus more on the things that I want to focus on rather than trying to run the "rat race" against all the loud noises that tell me what I should be doing with my writing vs. what I shouldn't be doing.

      Honestly, I haven't seen that big of a drop off. I don't have a ton of followers but when I've come back, everyone seems to slowly return to reading, especially on IWSG day. I do understand the concern though. But I think we all need to reconsider social media and the writer. There's so much hype about platform building I wonder how these people actually find the time to write! In the end, though, we all have to do what's best for us!

      Cheers!
      Jen

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  19. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I have to take time off now and then. I used to feel very guilty about not writing. Now it's just part of my process to take a day or two off each week. Writing drains a lot of mental energy, and we need to give ourselves time to recover.

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    1. You are so right! If I don't stop from time to time, I go crazy and find my ideas and thoughts running in circles. Breaks help me to find the thread that ties everything together. I'm definitely hoping to stumble across one of those threads this summer! Cheers!

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  20. Seriously, I should do this too. My files need organizing, my desk is a mess of paper notes and my mind is racing in many directions. Thanks for the tip, Jen. Thanks for co-hosting the June question. All best to you, my dear. Enjoy your summer!

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    1. You're most welcome and thank you! It was such a wonderful, freeing exercise in letting go. I'm a pack rat and I "need" the tactile papers to feel connected to my stories. True, I do hand write everything first, but to hang on to them is just nurturing my insecurities rather than digitizing them and letting them go!

      Happy writing!

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  21. Nice reminder that a writer's heart still beats, even when the pen is still. Have a wonderful summer - I look forward to your return.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, no matter whether my hands are moving on the page or not, I'm still creating in my head. That will never stop :D

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  22. I usually take a break in the summer too because our summers are short. Enjoy. And thank you for co-hosting today.

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  23. Jen, I keep trying to follow your blog, but I keep getting an Oops! I'll try back later.

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    1. That's so strange! Blogger can be weird at times. I appreciate you trying! I honestly don't know that much about the site. Hmmm, maybe I'll Google it and see what comes up.

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  24. Thanks for stopping by my blog and signing on as a new follower. I was planning to do the same here, but oops! I'd already joined.

    Enjoy your break. Sometimes we have to step back to recharge our batteries. I'd do the same, but I don't think my old antique D cells are rechargeable. :)

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    1. LOL! I've done that before. Thank you for the past follow!! Oh I'm sure you could recharge, if you needed to! I'm one of those souls who has to unplug regularly or I'll go into overload and shut down involuntarily and that's not fun. The joys of being a Highly Sensitive Introvert... :D

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  25. I like the idea of the deliberate break--because then you aren't beating yourself up for not writing. Plus, it sounds like you do some really useful things during that break, things that get shoved to the back burner when you're trying to write every day. Food for thought...
    —Rebecca
    My IWSG Post

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    1. Thank you for the vote of confidence! You're right; I do try and do other things that don't normally get the attention they deserve. I'm looking forward to a break without feeling stressed that I'm not writing! Happy summer!

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  26. Good for you for taking a summer hiatus. Honestly, I think we'd all be more productive if we planned time off regularly. I've stepped back from social media, but feeling energized on the WIP right now. And your slithering story? Probably best to just follow it - it may take you to an amazing place. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, stepping away from social media is the biggest thing for me right now. I'm not terribly "plugged in" but I still get mentally and emotionally drained from feeling like I have to "keep up" with all the posts, etc. And that slithering story has really cracked open for me! I've been following it all day and it's taking me down some interesting paths to be sure! Cheers!

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  27. We don't give ourselves permission to stop and take a break often enough. Good for you and good luck with your sabbatical!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to some mental downtime :)

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  28. I think it's important to take breaks. We shouldn't feel guilty if/when we don't write. Enjoy your summer!

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    1. You're so right! Deliberate breaks are what keep me moving forward with my creative work. Thank you! You do the same :)

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  29. I tend to slow down in the summer months too. I think a lot of us do. It's good for us, I think. Enjoy your summer and thank you for co-hosting!

    Elsie

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    1. Yes, it does seem that we naturally slack off when the days get warmer. I think nature intended for us to breathe a little freer in the warmer months. Thank you very much!

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  30. Love that word, Sabbatical. It sounds so lofty and spiritual and restful. Have a good one.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Doesn't it? It sounds better than, "I'm taking a break" and it means a lot more also. It means it's a deliberate, focused time away from things. I need to clear my head and get ready for the stories to come :)

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  31. Happy summer to you, Jen! Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG today. And congratulations on achieving top placement in the "Hero Lost" anthology. I found your story compelling and fresh, an original take on Death.

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    1. Thank you so very much! I really appreciate your thoughts on my story. Have a wonderful summer!

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  32. It seems I'm taking a break as well, from writing - not sure about the blog, though. We'll see. Good luck, Jen - have a wonderful summer

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    1. Best of luck to you, Karen, and enjoy the break that you do take! See you in September :)

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  33. Sabbatical sounds so much better than "I quit for the summer!" I'm taking a break too. I was forced into it through no plans of my own. Fell and broke my femur, then sold my house. The nice thing about writing is it's like dishes, nobody else is going to do it. Happy Almost Summer, Jen.

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    1. Oh yikes! I'm sorry your sabbatical came at such a painful price! Rest up and try and enjoy your summer and your new house. Yes! The writing will always be there. And the dishes. If I could just train the cats to pitch in...

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  34. Enjoy your break and thanks for co-hosting today! Sometimes we need breaks but I don't think we ever "quit."

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    1. You're right! We don't quit, we just turn off for a bit and let those creative juices simmer!

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  35. Enjoy your summer! What a great way to rejuvenate! Many thanks for being a co-host this month!

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  36. Great advice, Jen. we all need a break once in a while.

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    1. I'm learning that I have to otherwise I go a little crazy!

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  37. Great post. Enjoy your break! Recharging our batteries and rebooting from time to time staves off permanent burnout. Thank you for co-hosting!
    Best,
    Adrienne

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I desperately need a good recharge. Take care!

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  38. Have a fun summer break. I cleaned out a bunch of files a few months ago. My office looks so much better now. LOL

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    1. Oh I believe it! I couldn't believe all the paper I'd accumulated over the years! It's so freeing to let go of all the external and gives more room for the internal.

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  39. Thanks for co-hosting this month; you're right it is a lot of fun. I may try it again, one day.
    Glad to hear that so much came out of your last writing break and hope this summer's rest also brings high yeilds. I too plan to do some reading to rejuvenate my creativity. Happy Summer.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes! Enjoy your reading time. I love to get lost in a book and let my creativity feed on someone else's gift.

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  40. Hiatus . . . oh, I love the sound and theory of that word but every time I plan to take some time off, another idea starts sneaking in and then . . . sigh, gotta write. Maybe when I retire . . . Thanks for co-hosting, Jen!

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    1. Lol! I understand. That's what ultimately happened to me last year and I'm sure it will happen again. But for whatever reason, the stories that come when I'm on break are he ones that actually click! Have a wonderful summer!

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  41. I love the idea of a writing tidy & clear out. Who knows what Id find?!

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    1. That's how it was for me. I found so many old ideas that resonates with me. It was a nice refresher in what I'm actually capable of.

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  42. I've taken a few breaks from writing, but that's only when life intervened and I didn't have much of a choice. I was always happy to jump back into it again when the turmoil was over.
    Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG post!

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    1. Oh yes, I've had those times too but those always stress me out. Planning a break let's go of the stress of "Must always be writing!" And allows for my creative juices to really coagulate and come to fruition.

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  43. Isn't it interesting that cleaning our closets and organizing our digital files releases our creative juices. At the moment, I'm so far behind the piles of clutter I have to see them as humps of precious resources. haha. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG. Your post was a joy to read.

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh I understand! I've been slowly learning, since last summer, to let things go that tie me down. It's an ongoing perocess but it's so freeing. That baggage weighs on is and we can't fully create being so anchored.

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  44. Breaks are very necessary. I had to learn that it was okay not to write for a period of time. Congrats on your winning submission, too!

    Thanks for co-hosting!

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  45. Great idea to take a break, Jen! If I wasn't on one right now, I'd gladly focus on reading and sorting through ideas and my desktop over the summer. Mmmmm. Maybe I should do that anyway? Also, your last summer might have been a break from writing, but you were still emerged in your writing career, organization and focus, so I think that was the best of both worlds!

    As you say, we are always "on" somehow, directly or indirectly. Enjoy your summer and thanks for co-hosting. I have a sneaking suspicion you would be the right candidate to write an essay about the "necessity and advantages of taking a break from writing" for the new IWSG anthology... What do you think?

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  46. Taking a break can be very helpful, because you can come back to the writing refreshed. Best wishe and enjoy the summer. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  47. I've always found breaks invigorating!

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  48. Have a great break, Jen. I'll be slowing down a bit but still around.

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  49. Taking a break for summer sounds like a great idea. I'm always tempted to do that, but then I keep posting on my blog. One of these days maybe.


    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  50. I'm thinking of doing the same thing after the WEP Challenge is complete!

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  51. I think taking breaks is so healthy, and so necessary. Whenever I travel, someone inevitably asks me if I'm planning to write during the vacation. My response? Nope!

    Writing will always be there, but who knows the next time I'll get to see Egypt? Enjoy your summer.

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