Sometimes you need to take a break from writing or sometimes life happens and you end up taking a break whether you planned or event wanted one. Or maybe you think breaks are for losers and are dedicated to spend all your time writing. And some simply refuse a break so they don’t lose their momentum. But taking a break can be good for you and for your writing.
Pros of taking a break
1,) Sometimes taking a break allows you to come back and read your writing with “fresh eyes.” You now can spot grammatical or plot errors that you didn’t catch before.
2.) This one kind of goes along with #1. Sometimes you are just stuck. You can’t get a scene to work or can’t figure out how to fix a plot hole. Stepping away from your writing may just let you subconscious work on the problem and then you are able to fix it when you return to writing.
3.) Sometimes your mind just needs a break. You can’t expect to go all out writing non-stop every day. You simply need to rest your mind. You don’t want to get writer burn out.
Cons of taking a break
1,) You take too long of a break. Now instead of feeling rejuvenated, you start to wonder if you should even go back. Your life is now filled with other things so maybe you feel too busy to focus on writing.
2.) Taking a break means you get out of any good habits you had with your writing. If you were easily dedicating two hours or cranking out so many words per day, it may take time to get back into the swing of things.
How to take a short break
The best thing is to set a time limit – a few hours, a few days or perhaps even a week or two. If you need to go longer, you may need to take a few months off. But you have to find a way to return to your writing. Write on your calendar “Get back to writing” and then do it!
For those short breaks of a few hours or days, you need to get your mind off your writing. Go meditate, read a book, watch a movie, workout or just hang out with some friends. If you are taking a little bit longer of a break you can take a vacation, visit the beach or visit family in another state. If you want to stay connected to your writing, go visit a place related to your book or interview someone or do some research reading.
The beauty of taking a short break is that your mind is still working on the problems while you are focusing on other things. This is why sometimes it helps to write down your issues or questions before you take your break.
And a writing break doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take a break from all writing. You can stop working on your current project to blog or even start brainstorming on a new project.
Now you may be wondering, how long of a break should you take. There is no one right answer. You may need only a few days while someone else may need a few weeks or even a month. And there are still others who can recharge with only an afternoon away from their computer.
So when you are stuck or feeling burned out, don’t be afraid to take a break. We all need one at one time or another. We need time away to process everything and come back refreshed. You will be better for it and so will your writing.