author, creative writing, writing

3 Reasons to Take a Break from Writing

Morning storytellers and life changers!

I hope you are all a great week. I’m away at the moment, visiting a friend, so I’m keeping it short and sweet today on the blog. I want to talk about the importance of taking a break.

As writer’s we are told to make writing a habit, to write a little every day and to try not to skip a day. I agree with this, personally, as writing at least a little every day has steered me well. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

For me, I find it best to take a break after finishing a draft/edit (no more than a week), if I’m having a particularly stressful week (no more than a couple of days), or if I just really don’t feel like it (no more than a day). This will vary from person to person and there is no right or wrong answer here. Even if you have to/want to take a really long break from writing, you’ll still manage to get back to it when you’re ready.

What I want to discuss today, is the reasons why you should take a break from time to time.

1. You deserve it
That’s the simplicity of it. You deserve a break. Chances are you don’t just write. Chances are you have other things in your life that require your time, love and attention. Maybe you’re a student, in employment, a parent, a carer…there are many aspects to your life, and so if you need a rest take it. You deserve it, you deserve time to spend on the other things you enjoy, to sit back and relax. Writing may be enjoyable, but it is hard work at times too. You are amazing for writing and keeping at it, so don’t feel guilty if you need to take a break.
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2. You’ll avoid a burn out 
Ever gotten so stressed out you burn out? From a writing perspective you may find yourself riddled with writer’s block or deep in a writer’s slump. And when other stresses of life combine with this you can end up so stressed you feel as though you could break down. Don’t put yourself under this level of pressure. If taking a break from writing frees up some time, then go for it. Burning out will not only see your writing suffer, but other aspects of your life too.
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3. You’ll come back to it with a new perspective
Sometimes you spend so much time with your work that you start losing perspective on the story. It all starts to feel too obvious and sometimes the edits blur until you aren’t sure where to turn next. Taking a break is a great way to come back to your novel with fresh eyes and view it in a new way. You’re more likely to spot mistakes you didn’t notice before, and figure out those pesky plot holes.  Sure, writing every day can see you make steady progress, but taking a break and then coming back can help you move forward when you’d otherwise be stuck.
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Do you take breaks from your writing? Does it work for you?
I’d love to know so do comment below,

Until then,
Keep writing,
M
x

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22 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Take a Break from Writing”

  1. We all need breaks from work and other things, probably from our families or partner, writing is no different, whether it’s a day catching up with chores or a week away. It does no harm and leaves me longing to get back to the keyboard, especially if we’ve just had visitors staying!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Are you inside my mind, M? This is exactly what I needed to hear. Unfortunately, it’s exactly what I can’t do right now. I am working toward a break, though. It’s what I need after what has so far been a pretty crappy year. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I think giving yourself a break and getting a fresh perspective is one of the best things you can do for your writing. Personally, I write Monday through Friday and use the weekend as a break to recharge and gain some perspective, especially since Monday’s are when I apply feedback to my manuscript. Have fun on your trip!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I only take a break after finishing a story or essay. Taking a break mid-novel can help jumpstart a slump. But I’m careful not to distance myself. Also, as the years go by, you feel you have less time. So, I’m writing now most days!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is important to walk away for a little bit. I take weekends off. It’s my time to do other things. The last thing I want is for this to become routine. By stepping away the feeling of excitement will always be there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Recently I’ve been thinking about this topic as well. So much of the language surrounding writing talks about “not giving up” and “pressing on”, and I think even the myth of the successful writer is of someone who writes while they wait, while chaos swirls around them, etc. But the more we invest in something, the more we come to expect a return on that investment. Not necessarily a big return, but some kind of positive response, validating our efforts.
    Writing presents a unique challenge in how incredibly delayed any response is. A project must be written, revised, polished, and sent off. Then we wait months for a possible answer, all the while continuing to plug away at other projects.
    I think one of the challenges of writing is the fact that, even as writing is important, it’s also important to have other things, things that can provide more immediate validation, to tide us over until the eventual return on writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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