I wrote this a few days ago, then saw an article on the same topic. In any case, these are my thoughts on taking a holiday from writing.
We’ve all heard the advice write every day. A number of authors say this is the key to success.
I understand this makes sense in certain situations—when on a deadline, when needing to get an idea on the page, or when words are flowing and you don’t dare stop or even want to stop. But as a hard-and-fast rule? I’m not so sure.
Two or three times a year, I stop writing. I stop for a week, a few weeks, occasionally longer. This time out starts because my ideas grow stale, or because I lose faith in my writing. Sometimes it’s linked to an event in my personal life, or follows a painful writing rejection. Other times I just feel overwhelmed.
Whatever the cause, I try not to fight it (A few years ago, I’d fight desperately, trying to bludgeon stories into life. This resulted in truly terrible work). Sometimes life feels like a race, and it’s hard to step away, but I believe writing vacations are important. Sometimes, the best option is to rest and renew.
Things that have helped (for me) during time off from writing:
Watching a movie.
Seeing a friend.
Discovering a new place—a forest, a cafe, an art gallery.
I’m still learning to take a break, and to know that it will renew creativity.
As of today, I haven’t written for a week (not counting blog posts 🙂). Already my brain is sending inspiration—Look at this! How about that? I’m looking forward to writing again.
What about you—do you take writing breaks? If not, how do you care for your writing mojo?