Writing is tough work. It takes learning and practice, and more learning and practice. Added to that, writing a book is a solitary activity, with few attaboys and many disappointments. It can be a recipe for writer’s block…or even just a stall.
Yet we will run into plot issues. We will get frustrated with the rules. We will run low on creativity. These things happens to all writers at some point or another. Our instinct is to work harder, to push through it. But is it worth pushing ourselves to the creative breaking point?
Sometimes stepping away from the from writing is just the medicine we need. A step back from our story and our characters can give us distance to allow us to separate the story from the words, to set aside our feelings for our “baby,” and give us time to do other activities that will help renew our creativity. It may take a few days or a few weeks, but when we come back to our writing, we often return with renewed passion and a refreshed vision. Errors jump out more and hurt less, direction for our characters and new plot ideas blossom as we review our work again–this time with fresh eyes.
With so much going on before, during, and after the holiday season, this is a great time to step back from your writing. Devote yourself to your family, turn your focus to other activities, finish a project that you haven’t been able to get done. You may be “taken time away” from your writing, but the progress you make once you return will most likely propel you further than if you had continued to force yourself to write.
Are you ready for a break? Take some time to evaluate how effective your writing time has been. If you’ve been struggling and grasping for ideas or direction, feeling low from rejections, or overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to write a good book, schedule a little time away. It might be just what you need to renew your vision, refresh your mind, and rev up your creativity.