Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that I like to be productive and busy. When I’m working on something, it’s with a goal in mind. Professionally, that entails researching and writing contents for clients. It’s interesting, too, because I learn so much and no two projects are alike. Then there’s my first novel, which is a definite labor of love. Yeah, it’s good to be busy. I find satisfaction in knowing I get stuff done and that I have purpose.
But it’s also good to know when to step back and take a break. I always feel better and more equipped for the task ahead after I’ve taken awhile to get refreshed. Evidently, I’m not the only one. An article in Psychology Today, touts the merits of taking a little time out during the day.
But I also believe in the restorative powers of taking a longer break, when it comes to my novel writing. Fellow writers can back me up, I believe. Although many a meme circulating the internet tells writers, both aspiring and accomplished veteran, to soldier on every day. If we get stuck, suck it up and work through it. Just work, work, work.
But that doesn’t really make sense. At least not for me. I’ve been working on the first draft of my novel for over a year, now. I was doing so great up until a couple of months ago. That’s when the dreaded writer’s block hit (duh, Duh, DUHHHHH). I had finally arrived at the part where things start getting interesting (Well, hopefully the whole thing is interesting. But you know what I mean.) But my novel is a young adult mystery. While I’m a huge mystery buff and have read more who-done-it novels over the years than I can count, writing one is a whole different ballgame. So when I hit a wall, no amount of sitting, wishing, and trying worked. I just had to take a long break.
I’m so glad I did. As with any other kind of work, stepping away for a while has been good for me. It’s given me time to find inspiration and encouragement I needed. As a result, I can back to it earlier this week back in the right frame of mind. Once again, I get excited writing the story and can’t wait to see what happens next. Plus, I was able to pass the 35,000-word mark in my draft. That’s about halfway through. Besides, I brought back to the table some tools I didn’t have earlier that I believe will benefit my writing process. And that can only be good, right?
If you’re struggling with your writing project (or any other project, for that matter), taking a good, long break may be just what you need. I certainly helped me.