I have blogged before about the necessity of a schedule to maintain with your daily word count as a writer. And I have talked about determination to write daily as a general rule. But now, I’m going to go against all of that and say that sometimes, what you need is a break, a breather.
Finding balance. Why a breather? Sometimes it just becomes overwhelming. And sometimes, as a writer, I can become so wrapped up in the stories I write and in learning the craft of writing that I forget that I am also a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and so many other things. Yes, this is my chosen career path, but it is not the sum total of who I am. There is value to stepping back and remembering the other parts of me and how important they are. Finding balance can be tricky, but it is also very important.
“Refilling” the tank. Taking a breather can also be good for perspective. I am pumping the creative well until it’s almost dry every day. It’s not a bad idea to give it a rest and let it become refreshed. Setting my manuscript(s) to the side for a few days or weeks to gain some distance from them will only help give myself fresh eyes on them in order to better edit and revise.
Vacation. Plain and simple – everyone needs a vacation from their job. I have come to believe that writers, among other professions, really struggle with this. We tend to be writing or thinking about writing. I find that the more I take a break from writing, the better I am at separating myself from the work of it and enjoying my vacation time. It has also helped me translate that to my daily life and better separate my “work time” (writing time) from the time designated for my house and family. I can be more mentally present with them.
So, while I do believe firmly in a daily routine of writing and having goals (such as word counts) each day, I also feel it’s important to step back every so often and just breathe.