Is It Time To Take A Break From Writing?

By on October 2, 2018
Is It Time To Take A Break From Writing? - Writer's

Writing is hard work, and whether you are writing full time or trying to fit it in around your day job, there are times where you are going to need a break.

We are told over and over again how important it is to keep writing and to write every day if possible. Also how we need to be more organized and productive with our writing time. While this is true, sometimes taking a break and stepping back from our writing can be the best thing for it.

So how do you know when it’s time to take a break from writing, and what are the benefits? Let’s take a look:

To come back with a fresh pair of eyes

It’s so easy to become so attached to our work and so embedded in it that we stop being able to improve it. We start to skim read, we don’t spot mistakes, we create inconsistencies, and we become lazy when rewriting because, quite frankly, we’re bored of it. No matter how brilliant your work, you can’t expect to read the same chapter 50 times over and still have any real enthusiasm for it. So give yourself and your work a break, ban yourself from looking at it for a few weeks, and when you return you’ll be able to get stuck back in with renewed vigor.

To stop yourself over editing.

While it is vital to edit your work thoroughly, there is a point where you need to let it go before you make a big old mess of it. Writers are natural perfectionists, but often the problem with being one is that nothing is ever perfect, and trying to find that sweet spot of ‘it’s the best it’s going to be’ before you tip into ‘I’ve changed it so much I might have to start again,’ can be difficult if we don’t step back and give ourselves a break. Give your novel a couple of thorough edits and then leave if for a while to help boost your ability to ascertain when enough is enough.

To realize how good/ bad it is

It’s incredibly hard to be objective when appraising our own work, and most of us tend to fluctuate between ‘this is the greatest piece of literature ever written’ to ‘I’m so embarrassed I wrote this I would never show it to another human soul as long as I live.’ The likelihood is that your writing is probably somewhere in between, but until you give yourself that space to emotionally detangle yourself from it, you might find this all too challenging.

And because everyone needs a holiday from time to time!

Looking after yourself is extremely important whatever your job. But if you run yourself ragged and never give yourself a break, you aren’t going to produce your best pieces of writing, and you’ll probably end up sabotaging yourself and finding it increasingly difficult to be creative. There is no point in writing if you aren’t enjoying it, so remember it’s OK to take a break, switch off and do other things from time to time too.

Taking a break from writing on occasion is so important, it can help you clear your mind, refocus and come back with a renewed energy that will make you far more productive, and proficient - and you’ll enjoy yourself more too!

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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