keep-calm-and-take-a-break-43As of today, I’m taking a break from writing. Not from blogging, or academic writing (when classes start I’ll be doing more than enough of that), but from working on my stories.*

As writers, especially when we “get serious” about writing and realize it’s not just a hobby, I think we feel like we have to produce good great content 24/7. At least I do. The crazy thing about this decision is that I’ve been thinking about it for over a month, but it’s like this fear of getting behind, whatever that means, keep creeping up on me and convincing me to keep going even though my body was yelling, STOP!

This is a really hard decision for me. First, because I love writing. I adore it. I’m biased, but I’m pretty darn good at it. However, the spark is gone. I have pushed myself to my limits and beyond, and I need to stop. Not forever. That’s not possible. Sure, I pretty much stopped writing fiction throughout high school, but those were different times. I don’t see this break lasting past the holidays because I don’t just love writing, it’s what I do, it’s a part of me, it’s what makes me wake up in the mornings with a silly grin on my face. The second reason why this is hard is because I feel like I’m letting my characters down (and myself). I have six AMAZING story ideas. Just amazing. They fill me with all sorts of emotions, but the thing is I haven’t been able to work on one. I’ll work on one for a couple days and then I’ll switch to the other and then another. At first I thought I just needed to pick one and shove the other plot bunnies under my dusty enough bed (it’s like a death trap under there). But, when that didn’t work, when I got stuck on every one of those stories I knew the truth: my heart wasn’t  in any of them. I was, I am a restless writing and that does no one, especially myself, any good.

I’m actually tearing up as I read this because, again, this is a hard decision. But I’d rather have my heart AND my head in my writing, not just my head. I mean I love my brain, it’s great at logical stuff and keeping me alive, ya know, but my heart keeps me alive too, and as someone who pretty much freewrites books, without much plot outlining during the first draft, I need my heart without it I’m like the Tin Man (yeah, I’m that cheesy).

To be honest, well, technically I’ve been pretty honest while writing this entire post, but anywho…I know this is the right decision. My brain needs a break. My heart needs a break. And I’m really looking forward to spending more time reading some amazing books. Like seriously, I cannot take all these books back to college with me. I almost broke my back picking up my suitcase full of books on the way here and my body is already complete shit (thanks, sports…love you, too!). Anyway, the point of sharing this with you, other than the fact that it’s 12:56 AM and I can’t go to sleep, is that I want you to know if you’re in the same situation. If you feel tired or irritated doing something that once gave you immense pleasure and satisfaction, it’s okay to take a break. In fact I challenge you to take one not for the team but for yourself. I get it writing can be hard. However, writing should still drive you, you shouldn’t have to drive it, force the words to come out.

You won’t regret it (at least I’m pretty sure you won’t). I already feel like a weight has been taken off my shoulders.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of why we starting doing this in the first place. I’m hoping this break is just that. (*Just to clarify, I’ll be taking a break from creating new content, I haven’t had a problem with working on my revisions.)

Have any of you taken a writing break? If so, how did it go? Any tips?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Written by Patrice

4 Comments

Rebecca Barrow

Great decision, if a break is what you need. I totally agree: we are always pushing ourselves to write ALL THE TIME and really, no-one works all the time. And it’s worse in creative careers because no-one can be coming up with fresh, good ideas when we never get a chance to recharge our creative minds. So get reading those books and hopefully in a few months you’ll be feeling fresh and ready to write again 🙂

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Laura W.

I’ve been on a break for most of the summer. I didn’t initially plan to take a break, and I’ve been starting to ease myself back into things — but I did take a long, unplanned break that was both a source of anxiety and a relief. Every time I’d go to work on either of my bigger projects, my mind would get stuck on the same scenes (even finished scenes) like an annoying feedback loop. Or something. I think my heart was still in it, but my head was just…not. Relationship drama and weirdness over the summer didn’t help, either.

I hope the break turns out to be the writing vacation you need! Also, best wishes for college soon.

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Patrice

I totally get that–My break has been very relaxing and yet stressful because of the want to write and yet knowing I’m not ready yet).

Thank you & I hope you get back to writing as well.

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