Writing, while a creative endeavor, is exhausting. A writer puts all of his strength, blood, and passion in one piece of literature, drains it in, and will never leave it until it’s ready to hang dry. It’s their way of life, and they never shy away from it. Even with technology’s advancement and the word count tool that most writers now use, writing is still a solitary thing.
And that in itself is one of the reasons why writers are in their own world or worlds for that matter. Every writer has an individual approach, unique to their own set of skills and traits, and tailored to their routine. While all writers write, they all don’t write the same things at the same time. There is a parallelism to the literature, of course, but that’s another topic for another day.So if you’re a writer grinding your next big novel, or essay or screenplay, there is something to be said about knowing when to change things up or even slow things down. Click To Tweet
Writers are notorious for sitting for hours on end every day and typing away to their hearts and character’s content. But taking a literal break is the key to taking things to the next level. So why do it?
You give yourself rest
By standing up and engaging yourself in other activities, your brain synapses will trigger something to relax your body. Doing something other than writing, or doing nothing at all not only decreases your eye strain, it relaxes your overall mood and disposition. Writers are usually intense and laser-focused when writing; that’s why it’s beneficial to take a rest.
There’s always the notion that in order to rest, you need to go away or do new activities that will excite you. While there is some truth in that, it’s more helpful for the brain to recover when you do nothing at all, or do things that you love doing. Pick up a hobby, a mindless one like gardening or knitting, that takes up little creative juices but not fully disengage you from the task at hand.
Away from keyboard means more time for introspection
When you’re writing daily, you’re too focused on a singular thing. That takes too much effort and will drain the life out of you. While there is joy in giving it your all, sometimes it needs to have a precedent. And what better way to precede giving your all by giving nothing at all? Our bodies, especially our psyche, always craves for what it doesn’t have.
That’s why when you’re away from your keyboard, you reignite your passion for writing more. It’s an old trick to beating writer’s block, and it’s the exact reason why taking a break is everything when you’re working on something. Less time writing means more time thinking about what you need to work on your literature, what to add, what to subtract, etc.
Taking a break rejuvenates your cause
This is in line with the second benefit. Every writer will encounter the “stuck” – this is where they seem not to have the will, energy, and motivation to finish what they started because of a specific block in a scene, the right word they can’t seem to find, and/or intense self-doubt. When you take a break, you let yourself crave to write again.
In the time where you are in a break, you need to be wary of taking things too far. Disassociate, but not entirely. Still, be tethered to your writing, but don’t mind it for a while. Rejuvenation is not only for the skin, but it’s also for the desire. The desire of writing, desire to make something out of nothing, and desire to finish what you’ve started.
You give your brain a break it needs to propel itself to the next big thing
The next big thing in your writing means a pivotal scene if it’s a screenplay, a turning point for a character if it’s a novel, a critical phrase if it’s a poem. It can also be taken literally – as the next big thing after what you’re working on right now. Taking a break affords you to go to that place, and thus lies its importance.
When taking a break from writing, don’t hesitate to engage in other life-affirming activities. There is wisdom in slowing down, and pushing things too far and milking yourself to the last ounce of energy and idea can be detrimental not only to your health but to your craft as well. For writers, taking a break should be taken seriously, and it shouldn’t be a one-time thing only.