Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Knowing When To Take A Writing Break

We all experience that pressure of needing, not wanting, to squeeze in a word count every day. You know that feeling in your chest when you've been sitting around all day, watching Veronica Mars, eating some chocolate, and then all of a sudden you remember: "OMG! I need to write two thousand words today!" And if for some reason you're just not in the mood, or you were only able to write 1k, you suddenly start to feel guilty. We all know that feeling right?

Well I'm here to tell you that it's okay. It's okay to take a day off. It's okay to sit around all day watching Netflix not getting a thing done. You know why? Because sometimes it's better to take a break from writing and go back when you're refreshed. It'll save you from jotting down a thousand or more words that you'll just go back and delete anyway.

And you know what? Sometimes it's okay to take days, if not months, off from writing in order to get the most out of your writing. I've done that before. I felt guilty at first and even started to feel extremely bad about myself. Almost sick over it. But when I finally came back to that WIP, I started to see what I couldn't before. And having a group of friends who will support you and encourage you along the way is the best thing to have on your side. Because even when you're unsure about yourself and your writing, they'll be there to cheer you on. It's amazing how much that helps.

But just remember this: You don't have to push yourself so hard when it comes to your writing. I mean, yes, sometimes you'll have a deadline and you'll HAVE to get a certain word count in, but even then it's okay to take a break every once in a while. Believe me. You hear about it all the time. Even best-selling authors take a break during a deadline. Don't overwhelm yourself more than you need to. Know when it's time to take a break and walk away for a few hours, or even a few days. Your writing will thank you. You'll see.

3 secret replies:

  1. I'm glad to see someone posting about this! I'll regularly take two or three days off writing, either because I'm busy or I just can't face opening the file on my laptop, but I always find that the next few days when I come back, I find it easier to write and I think my writing is better for the break.

    Also, I find it hard to write to a word-count schedule. I find it a lot easier to think "today I have to write up to this point in the story." Can't tell you how much easier writing has been since figuring that out!

    Great post, Heather.

  2. So true, Heather.

  3. I need to hear this from time to time. I beat myself up so much for not writing sometimes. You're totally right. Sometimes we just NEED to take a break. For our stories. For our sanity. For other things in life...