During revision, I reached a point where my own words were a blur on the page. I had just received feedback on my full manuscript from beta-readers, astute friends who are keen readers or writers or both. Trying to concentrate on the words — the story — was futile. Even though I had wanted a break-through, not a break, I made myself put the manuscript aside for a few hours to let things simmer in my brain while I worked on something with my hands.

I decided to make book weights as a small token of gratitude to my beta readers. It was a short and easy way to take a mental detour for a few hours and still think about my story without staring at a screen or a blinking cursor.

Here’s what I did to make one bookweight:

Pick fun fabric. (For kids’ books people, Dr. Seuss seemed fun.)
Cut two rectangles of fabric (approx. 4″ x 7″).
Lay the fabric with right sides facing each other.
Cut two pieces of fusible fleece approx. 1/4″ smaller on each side than the fabric.
Iron the fusible fleece onto the wrong sides of the fabric.
Do this for each piece.
Keep the right sides of fabric together.
Sew the two pieces together on three sides with a 1/4″ seam.
Turn outside in so that the right side of fabric faces out.
You should have a rectangle or tube.
Fill with sand (available at craft or garden store).
Hand-sew the last side.

It was just enough time away for a new idea to seep into me for how to resolve something in my story. A weight was lifted!