Taking a Break
I think everyone needs one: but do we dare? What if the muse deserts us? What if we
can’t go back? The list of questions can go on and on. It’s a scary thought, stepping away for a while, but what are the risks if we don’t do so? Burn-out, writer’s block, fatigue, that list goes on too.
I’ve found that although I tend to write every day, I take a break from afternoon work on the weekends as well as not writing as many hours in the morning as I normally do. I also take a two week break at the end of every book. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t do things that are writerly. I do character charts, a reverse outline, anything to get me prepped for the next wip. But I don’t settle into a deep vat of writing during this break.
It allows my Muse to breathe a sigh of relief. Impatient, granted; but still, rest helps to get me eager to go back and do what I love. It allows a story to grow in leaps and bounds until it’s nearly busting at the time zones to get out. If you’re struggling with writer’s block, maybe it’s simply a matter of taking even a day off. Watch some TV, read a good book, listen to music, anything that helps to inspire you.
If you get twitchy about the ideal of not actually writing anything, get your diary or journal out, do notes on your next book, immerse yourself in a different type of writing than normal, such as poems. Even blogging counts. The main thing is not to jump back into another project without letting the first one take a breather.
I think you’ll like the results you get. It’ll not only replenish your Muse but perhaps grow it stronger than it was, after all, we’re learning from every book as we go(if we don’t want to become stagnant). A brief respite doesn’t seem that hard to give something that we love to do. Our gifts, our talents are meant to be nurtured, to raise us to the next level. So, go ahead, take that vacation. You’ll be rewarded with good health, peace, and relaxation and return with a spring to your step.