How good are you at taking writing breaks?
I’m not that great at it. I used to try and write everyday. I’m the type that gets really frustrated and irritated by the end of the day when I don’t get a chance to write. A few months ago I decided I would not write on Sundays (which was a big deal for me) because Sundays, for me, are meant to be a day of rest and if I (even if others don’t) consider it a job I shouldn’t be doing it on rest day. Plus, people who work in a regular job have two days off a week, so I can spare one. It’s actually working really well for me. In reality I probably still don’t write 6 days a week, but I average five and that makes me happy.
But it is now Christmas season and I’ve been thinking about this topic the past three days as I realise it will be almost impossible to write on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. As I mention above, on days I don’t write I get frustrated and grumpy. In previous years, on holiday days like Christmas, I found myself not being able to fully enjoy them because in the back of my mind I’d be thinking, ‘I wish I was writing right now, or more like I need to be writing right now but I’m stuck here’ (horrible, I know.).
This year I’m determined to be different. I’m determined to give myself a break and NOT be guilty about it and not get frustrated and grumpy about it. Christmas is about family and friends and not my compulsion/addiction to writing. Sometimes it’s so easy to get lost and too comfortable in the world we are creating that it’s hard to stay in the real world. Writing is a huge part of my life, but it is not my entire life, and everyone needs a break some time, and it should be OK to have a break.
So to all those compulsive, habitual writers out there, all those writers who get grumpy when they don’t write, to those who don’t let themselves live in the moment but instead spend their time thinking about all the writing they could be doing, I’m giving you permission to take a break (not that you really need my permission, consider it a friendly nudge.). It’s OK to have two days off and not get guilty or frustrated. It’s OK to enjoy these upcoming holidays and the holidays to come throughout the new year. Your manuscript will still be waiting for you come December 26th.
Enjoy your holidays while you are still around to enjoy them.
And as hard as it may be, in the words of a Disney Queen, sometimes you just have to Let It Go.
Merry Christmas, Everyone.
And don’t forget to comment and tell me how you feel about writing breaks.