Beside working as a full-timer in an IT company, I am a hobbyist writer. I write excerpts, poems, and short stories. But, like many full-timers who are also hobbyists, I find myself exhausted. Not only I feel like taking a break from work, but also from writing. Its impossible to write when the other soul-sucking obligations are eating your life. It sucks, but it is adulthood.
Fighting exhaustion to get even more exhausted makes no sense at all. So I let it pass and take a break from writing.
There are days when I know what I have to write but I hardly want to get up and put efforts to finally write it. I would sit with my laptop ready and the writing app looking at me all hopeful and confused. But do I finally write? Nope. I lose myself to aimless net surfing or fall sleep while staring at the screen. This continues for days, sometimes even a couple of weeks before I finally give up.
It has taken me years to understand that it is okay to resign instead of beating yourself too hard. In fact, for many reasons, it is important that a writer takes break every now and then.
The number one reason being writing is effing hard!
I have heard many people claim that writing is something that anyone can do. If we are talking about writing an essay on global warming, then may be. But, writing a short story with four characters or a poem, then I don’t think so. It is not a game for God’s sake, people. Geez!I
Now, if you are a writer, you know what I mean. Writing is exhausting.
There are days when I am motivated to write a novel and then there are days when I cannot even manage to complete a single sentence. Disappointing af! The tiresome job of putting feelings and experiences into words and materializing the abstract into something more concrete leave me miserable. Somehow, the absence of motivation to write and the absence of writing in general leave even more miserable. These are the days when writing is simply hard to deal with and I have figured that it is okay to catch my breath and recline from the madness of my own mind.
If you are one like me, let me tell you this that taking a break from writing or any other hobby is fine. There is no need to brand yourself as a failure or a quitter because eventually you will begin pursuing the hobby again. No matter with what conviction you think you will never be able to write or dance or swim again, you will.
Personal life glimpse: I remember quitting writing in 2011. I was pretty sure I would never be able to write again. I packed all my diaries and locked them in a cabinet until 2013. After two years, I was, as if, on fire. I would write three to four poems a day. Sometimes even more!
The break might have been long but it ended anyway. Here I am writing for my own blog with 60 already published posts. So, you get the idea what I am talking about, right? Don’t give yourself a hard time or a whipping lash for not being able to scribble or even pick up the pen. Take some time off to – well – chill out.
Take breaks from writing to bring back your creativity
The number one benefit of taking a break is that your mind freshens up. Taking break gives it time to hibernate. Then, when it wakes up, its all fresh and glorious with brand new artsy ideas. You will notice the words come to you effortlessly and the creative juices are flowing unrestrained.
Personal life glimpse:When I was writing the first series of my short story ‘The Unwinding Waves of Crimson Mist’, I noticed I was bored of it. I didn’t want to continue the story or write anything at all. So, I took a break. I wrote poems or read books, but did not continue writing the story. After weeks, I finally felt like writing it again. And, guess what? I wrote with more motivation and energy. The first chapter after the break took more than 7 hours to complete and I was not even tired. It was fulfilling.
This is common among writers. Sooner or later their own ideas begin to sound stale and uninteresting – a clear sign that they have driven themselves into the ground. Or even worse, they run out of ideas or things to say. No good story or write up ever comes out of that juncture. This is when the you got to stop forcing yourself to be productive and take that damn break. Listen to the music, read writers that have a complete different style of writing, dance, go out camping, go candle-night dinner with lover, or sprawl in the house until you doze off. !
Comeback with a fresher perspective
Distancing yourself from writing will give you more time for revision and you are more likely to make a comeback with a fresher point of view. An interesting twist in your writing style or a complete new angle to the story you were writing – it could be anything. A fresher perspective will also lift the fog called writer’s block and you will finally have something to say. Nightmare is over!
Writing will be fun again
To write when I don’t want to write gives me the exact same feeling when I am sitting in office and working on one hell of a boring project, but I have to get it done anyway because salary. In short, I stop enjoying it. Packs my bags and gets out of the damn room! It’s vacation time.
A conscious time-out from writing lets me rejuvenate my mind. It heals my mind of all the anxiety and chaos created by the void of not being able to write. If the job deserves a vacation, why not give the hobby a break too? A writer ought to get out and live their life.
By the way, what is my profession? Umm, I am a content writer.