How to Tell When You Need a Break from Writing
There is a lot of writing advice out there that stresses the importance of sticking to a writing routine. For the most part, this is good advice. However, everyone needs a break at times, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. So when should you take a break from your writing, and how do you make sure the break is beneficial?
You Need to Refill Your Creative Well
If you feel like you are running low on ideas or stuck at a certain point in your writing project, this may be the type of break you need. To get yourself back in the creative mood and generate ideas, use your break to read, daydream, and do other creative activities. I also suggest changing up your scenery and having new experiences. This type of break should only last for a week or two, just long enough for you to have a new perspective and fresh ideas.
You are Emotionally Drained
If you are going through a tough time, you may need to take a break from your writing projects, and that is totally ok. I had to take this type of break when my husband had cancer. I talk about how I got out of this writing rut in this post. I recommend using this time to journal and process your emotions. It can help to express your feelings before returning to your normal projects. Even if it’s something no one will see, writing about your experiences helps to unblock you creatively. This break can last as long as you need it to. Everyone’s circumstances are different, so be patient with yourself if you need a while before you return to your writing.
You are Feeling Overwhelmed
If you feel like you’re drowning in your to-do list, it might be time for a break. This should be a short break of about a couple of weeks. Use this time to reevaluate if you need to lessen the load. I recommend making a list of your projects and commitments and then prioritizing them. Then, think about if you need to cut back in any areas, and what you would be most willing to cut back on. Whether or not you decide to eliminate some of your projects or commitments, it’s important to use this break for some self-care. That may be all you need to get back to tackling your projects.
When Not to Take a Break
When you are feeling self-doubt is not the time for a writing break. This can quickly spiral and a break will make the doubt and guilt worse. Try this instead: take a look at your past accomplishments; times you were published, compliments you received on your writing, etc. If the doubt is coming from a recent rejection, you can research how many times other famous authors were rejected. If you need help building confidence in your writing, check out this post.
What Do You Think?
Are you in need of a writing break? Which one of these breaks do you think fits your situation right now? Is there another reason for a writing break that we didn’t cover here? Let us know in the comments!
Thanks so much for reading!
-Clever & WTF