Note to Self: Take lunch breaks

Working at home has obvious advantages, an almost endless supply of inexpensive caffeine top my personal list.

The downsides are less obvious. It's awesome to be able to let the dogs in right before the thundercloud breaks open the sky, but slightly less awesome to have a snoring dog in the background when one happens to be recording a podcast episode.

Something that I've recently come to realize is my greatest work-from-home downfall: Not taking a lunch break.

Have I ever before noticed the similarity between computer keys and the graphic patterns I put behind my paintings? No. Do I love it? Yes.

Have I ever before noticed the similarity between computer keys and the graphic patterns I put behind my paintings? No. Do I love it? Yes.

Sometimes this is as simple as working through lunch. Being so excited / frustrated / ready-to-see-the-end-result that I feel hungry but think, "Later." And then all the sudden it's 2:30 and I am STARVING and angry and stuck creatively and I have no idea why.
Answer: Because my creative rocketship has no fuel.

Sometimes it's less obvious. Just recently, I was on a roll writing. The words were spilling out of my fingertips and I was hurrying to keep up. I had the good sense to listen to my stomach (and the clock) tell me it was time for lunch) but the pull to keep working while I was eating was immense. "I have such good stuff! (Rare moment of self-confidence.) Why stop now?!?!" 

Answer: Because your brain needs a break. Just because you don't have a prescribed lunch time doesn't mean you don't owe it to yourself to not take a break. 

Don't get me wrong: I am a staunch proponent of taking advantage of every second available to do awesome creative work. But I think a part of that is acknowledging that there is benefit to resting, fueling, and taking in inspiration from outside of our immediate sphere.

For me, today: This looks like a quilting book that I bought three years ago and made one quilt. Does this mean that tomorrow I will be swapping my paintbrushes for my sewing machine? Nope. But it does mean I can be inspired be the color combinations and the author's use of negative space and pattern and graphic shapes. 

So do yourself a favor and take a lunch break. 
And if I'm walking around with a scowl, please remind me to do the same as well.