Writers love to write, so if it were suggested that you take a break, you’d probably wonder why – or how? But as the year winds down this might be the perfect time to slow down a bit and refresh yourself for the New Year. So how does one shut down the thing they are passionate about?
Most writers at some point suffer from writer’s block, leaving them impotent and frustrated. They are bewildered, wondering when that mojo or burst of creativity will return. However, taking a little time to slow down and shift priorities, especially as the holidays approach, can be a voluntary act. You can take ownership of not writing, knowing that you are allowing yourself to cleanse your mind and open it to new ideas and approaches.
To get your mind out of writing, replace it with something. Take a vacation and explore the real world, rather than living in your own imagination. Catch up with friends and family and see what others are doing, thinking, and feeling. Volunteer some time with a charity or non-profit. By helping others you feel good about yourself. Consider changing some of your habits or routine and let a new type of schedule or pattern unfold. Do some of the things you have been pushing off or holding back on. Go out, move and touch the world.
Of course writers can’t stop thinking like writers. We see drama unfolding all of the time. We read a news story and think of an idea for a book. We watch a movie and it inspires thoughts for a blog post. We talk to other writers and it stimulates the writing brain. So what do we do with these intellectual erections?
Make note of them but don’t act.
Instead of writing for your typical 30 minutes, two hours, or whatever, just jot down some ideas and store them away. Use your time for observing, doing, interacting, and consuming content – the writing will come soon, but not yet.
Many writers would never think to take a break, but they usually reach a point of exhaustion or a lack of motivation. One minute the writing flows like a waterfall and the next it’s a drought. If you take time to recharge and step away from the thing you love, you will come back strong and productive.
You might say that this is a stupid strategy. After all, who stops what they enjoy doing the most? You may say that a break will come naturally, when the ideas run dry. But when that happens, you get frustrated and fight harder to force things. When the break comes of your own volition you’ve given yourself permission to relax and not feel any pressure to produce. It’s a different frame of mind at play.
The end of the year, for me, is always a nice time. People seem a little nicer to one another. Everyone is exchanging presents. We take some days off from work and maybe go somewhere. We spend more time with family and friends. It’s also a time for reflection on the past year and to set some goals for the new one. You may also see it as a perfect moment to step away from your notebook or computer and live life so that you can be motivated to recreate it on paper.
Enjoy your break – and avoid a breakdown.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2016 ©.
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