How Often Do You Give Yourself a Writing Break?

Posted January 29, 2015 by Amanda Shofner in Writing / 0 Comments


Writing breaks

Breaks come in all sorts of forms: the length of a walk, a few hours, a day, a week, months—forever?

When was the last time you gave yourself a writing break?

It seems odd to discuss writing breaks at the beginning of the year when everyone is pushing hard toward their 2015 goals. But it’s the perfect time.

Pushing hard gets you closer to your goals, but it also gets you closer to burnout if you’re not taking care of yourself and your writing process. It doesn’t matter how many words you intend to write or books you plan to publish this year — reaching your goals will be impossible if you’re a mess.

Take care of yourself, take care of your writing

With all the optimism of a new year and limitless possibilities, goals appear doable. Reaching, maybe, but still something you can achieve. Then the rest of the year sets in, and your goals get buried under everything else you have to accomplish.

Overwhelm sets in, and overwhelm is an insidious beast. It seems manageable at first, then piles up until it’s easier to avoid your writing than tackle it, which increases your overwhelm even more.

And that’s why you need to build in writing breaks. Do what makes sense for you — whether it’s a day off when writing feels like pulling teeth or a week off when your schedule explodes with situations you have to deal with or weekends off.

Writing breaks = creativity boosts

Sometimes stepping away is the first step to being productive because you need to mentally reset. Rather than waiting to let overwhelm creep up on you, schedule it into your routine.

“But I have so much to do!” isn’t a valid excuse. It feels like you can’t take a break, especially with deadlines looming, but this isn’t about knocking out the words — it’s about taking care of YOU so you can continue writing the day after.

How often do you give yourself writing breaks?

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