Sometimes You Just Need a Break

I had the loveliest, un-writerly night last night.

I didn’t read a book on Craft. I didn’t read any blogs about writing. I didn’t read a book or watch a movie in order to dissect it. I didn’t even read my email. I wasn’t waiting for my Muse, nor was I adhering butt glue in order to get just a little more done on my work in progress. In fact, I didn’t even think about my WIP at all.

So, does that make me an unprofessional slacker?

Absolutely not. The simple truth is I needed a break from the stress of being a writer. I certainly could have used last weekend’s four-day family bonanza as an excuse to burn the midnight oil, but I didn’t. I enjoyed my time with my family, but it wasn’t a totally stress-free, don’t think about writing weekend.

Sometimes we just need to take a break, not think about our careers or anything remotely related to writing.

If you’re like me, you eat-sleep-breath writing anyway, so taking a break from your passion may mean being firm with yourself to not do anything that could turn into a lesson.

Instead, find something to enjoy that won’t feed your natural addiction.

      • Don’t read a book just for fun, because you won’t be able to stop yourself from dissecting it.
      • Don’t watch a good movie, because, again, you’ll want to take it apart to see how it works.
      • Don’t peruse the internet, because you’ll invariably end up on yet another writer’s blog you just can’t pass up.

That leaves what?

Play a game. Listen to music. Watch your favorite reality show for four hours straight. Whatever you can think of to do that has nothing to do with writing.

Is it easy? No way. Is it necessary? Yes, because you’re brain needs rest.

Besides, you can always jump right back into it tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “Sometimes You Just Need a Break

  1. Very good point!

    I’m going to have to think hard about that, though, because for me, all the break items you suggested are still part of my work routine: I can’t listen to music, because I’m half-musician, and I try to dissect it or break out the instruments to play along. Can’t play a game, because that’s my wake-up activity when I start dozing while I write. Can’t play with the kids because I’m working on a young-parenting nonfiction book. Have I become a writing Borg? I’m feeling a little assimilated.

    Maybe I should go take a walk. . . if I could just get my characters out of my head. AHHH!!!

    • LOL. I guess you’ll have to get very creative. Then again, you could always access the hive mind. Surely there are other borg who have run into the same thing. Good luck. 🙂

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