Friday, September 7, 2012

Don't Forget to Take a Break From Your Writing

Photo by dcwriterdawn
Writing is not like a normal job. There are no regular hours or work days. We have to discipline ourselves. We have to make sure our work gets done without a schedule (unless we make one of our own and hold ourselves accountable).

And when we get busy writing and trying to make progress, I think we also have to remember to take a break.

Daily Breaks

Just like with a regular job, I believe we have to take a break from our writing on a daily basis. It could be stopping our writing at a certain time or not starting until a certain time. That gives us a chance to balance our writing day with family time, "me" time, or time doing something recreational to refresh our minds.

Weekly Breaks

Again, like a regular job, I believe we need a day off. Maybe not a whole weekend (and probably not if we have a deadline) but at least one day where we rest and rejuvenate is a good idea. Again, it will help with balance.

Random Breaks

I think these are a great idea during certain times in our lives.

When we're getting burnt out, let yourself take a few days or even a week off. And don't let yourself feel guilty about it.

When you just finished a story, take a break. Let the story sit for a bit and let yourself celebrate by some down time before you start a new story or edit another.

When family, friends, commitments, etc. get overwhelming, let yourself take a break. Just long enough to catch up on the other things without feeling bad you're stopping, and then you can get back to your regular schedule.

I've taken breaks from writing for all these reasons before, and it used to make me feel guilty. Now I try to look at it as necessary and rewarding. Do you take breaks from writing? Does it make you feel guilty?


Cindy is a Colorado native, living near the mountains with her husband and three beautiful daughters. She writes contemporary Christian romance, seeking to enrich lives with her stories of faith, love, and a touch of humor.

To learn more about Cindy, visit her at her personal blog,


Heidi Chiavaroli said...

I take regular breaks and I never feel guilty about it! Maybe I should

When I've worked hard to finish a manuscript or get in a certain amount of words, I know I often need that reprieve.

Thanks for the post, Cindy!

Unknown said...

I do take breaks from writing now and then. What bugs me is when I'm forced to take a break...haha! I want breaks to be my choice. :) :)

But yeah, I so agree we need to just step back now and give our creativity a chance to rejuvenate.

Jarm Del Boccio said...

I do need breaks, but, unfortunately, I am a "Type A"! When I take too long of a break, I lose my motivation to write, so short periods are best for me. Thanks for your post!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

No way, Heidi! Don't feel guilty. That's good you know when to take a break, and that you do :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Melissa, I agree. It's so much more relaxing and rewarding when the break is your choice.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Jarm, you're right. Taking too much time away makes it hard to get back into the groove. Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne T said...

Great post, Cindy. I find that when I have had a productive day in writing ("productive" depends on where I am in the process), I find it easier to take a break. It's hard for me to do that. I like your perspective on taking breaks. Thanks!
BTW, love that picture up top. :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

Oh yes, breaks are necessary for me or I burn out majorly!

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Jeanne, that's so true! It DOES seem easier to take a break when we've been more productive that day or that week. But sometimes breaks have to come anyway :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Lindsay, hi! The burn out makes it so hard to keep up with writing and enjoy it. Glad to hear breaks are good with you :)

Amanda Fanger said...

Taking a break doesn't make me feel guilty - knowing that it's necessary - as long as the break is intentional. Just don't let yourself get lazy and just stop writing because you can't think of what happens next in the story.

Rinelle Grey said...

I'm taking a break at the moment, having just finished the second draft of my novel.

It's weird, I'm feeling very lost as to what to do with my time!

But I agree, breaks are important.