Updated: Jun 28
If you've been a writer for very long you'll have noticed that it is difficult. There are monsters hiding behind your computer chair, sneaking up behind you when you've fallen asleep on the couch after a [very brief] writing session.
If you're not careful and if these monsters are left unchecked they will get in the way of you becoming the great writer that you are supposed to be.
So Let's Start Vanquishing!
Taking a Break
As writers we are always being told to write consistently, to 'stay in the story', etc., etc. But most blogs don't talk about what happens when you are writing every day- but every day it is rubbish!
There are so many reasons [all healthy] for taking a hiatus on a writing project. Maybe you're just not feeling it. Maybe there's something extra stressful that is going on in your life and you can't bring yourself to write about problems- even the problems of make-believe characters. Maybe you've written yourself into a corner and you aren't sure how to get out. Maybe the content is out of your depth and research is required.
Whatever the reason, it is ok to take a break from your book.
4 Things you should be doing on your break:
1) Write something else. Keep that writing muscle active. Write short stories. Try writing poetry. Start another novel. Keep writing something if you can manage it.
2) Do things that will inspire you. Think about what types of activities inspire you and go do them. I know when I go for a walk in a naturally beautiful place, my mind often slips into the world of make-believe.
3) Relax: Take some time to be alone and rejuvenate. Relax. Have a nice warm bath. Drink tea and read a book recreationally. Re-charge yourself so that your brain is not so full of your book.
4)Learn Something: during your downtime, why not immerse yourself in a writing workshop, or go to a writer's conference to gain different perspectives and learn new things.
How Long Should My Break Last?
When I take a break from a novel, I often take two weeks. But, you may find that you need more or less time. Everyone is different. And keep in mind, that there is a good and a not so good way of taking a break from a novel, so you have to be careful to look out for these pitfalls:
Be careful not to be on break for so long that you lose motivation to finish your book.
You've been away from the project so long that you no longer think it is a good story.
Your confidence in your writing ability is slowly fading.
So in a nutshell, ignore those unhelp thoughts that tell you that you can't take a break from a novel. You absolutely can and should in some scenarios. Just be careful to exercise your writer's muscles, continue to find opportunities to be inspired, and learn more about writing while you have the time.
We hope that this post and the previous posts in this series have offered you some valuable tools for vanquishing those monsters! If you have any questions or need any support in your writing journey, please do reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @ThousandLived