5 Ways to Have a Great Writing Break


I have a confession to make. I haven’t written anything for two whole weeks. It feels strange not to sit down and write every day. But, after the hard work of Camp NaNoWriMo, I always need a short break. However, that certainly doesn’t mean I’ve been idle. Taking a break doesn’t mean I can’t do anything for my writing. Today I want to share five things that help me have a great writing break that lets me come back fresh, motivated, and ready to write.

1. Set a date for starting again. Taking a break is all well and good. I find taking a break every now and then to be very necessary. But, without a set date to come back to writing on, my rests can stretch on forever. I may not start writing again for months. Setting a date for my writing vacation to end on is like making a promise to myself that I am going to start writing again.

2. Don’t think about writing. For the first week or so of my break, I feel guilty about not writing. After writing every single day over Camp NaNo, it feels wrong not to be doing something writing related. But the first week of my break is also when I’m the most burnt out and need the most rest. I just have to try and ignore that itch that says I should be writing and just relax and sleep and let my brain have a much needed rest.

3. Read. When I’m in the middle of writing I don’t do much reading, so a writing break is the perfect time for me to dive into all those books I’ve been ignoring for a while. Not only is this good because I get to catch up on a stack of books I’ve been longing to read, but it also helps to recharge my creative batteries by letting me read other people’s work that might just spark an idea. Reading books in the same genre as mine can also motivate me to work on my own book.

4. Read writing blogs and writing books. Once I’m relaxed and not worrying too much about not writing, I like to read about writing. This the perfect time for me to read about the craft because normally this gets pushed aside while I’m writing. Reading a book on writing or browsing a writing blog helps me learn more about how to write well, and can also give me ideas as to what I need to work on when I’m editing, and often gives me motivation to start writing again.

5. Do other creative things. As well as being a writer, I am also a musician, which means that when I’m not writing, I’m involved in other creative things. And they can be very inspiring. Often, when I’ve been performing at a concert with my choir, or listening to a particularly moving piece of music, I get a burst of new ideas. Following other creative pursuits helps recharge my imagination.

There are plenty of other things one can do while taking a break, but these five are what have helped me have a great writing break. I’m about to dive into another round of edits on one of my fantasy novels now, and, after my break, I’m all rested, recharged, and ready to make this book the best it can be.

What do you do when you’re on a writing break? Any other tips for having a great rest from writing? What are you working on at the moment?

Have you checked out my Facebook page yet? Recently I’ve been sharing awesome quotes about writing, and musing about the effect of decluttering on my writing performance. Why not stop by and join the fun?

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  1. Oh you're so much more disciplined then me. ;) I take looooong breaks and I hardly ever set a date to get back into it. Which I sometimes feel mildly guilty about, but I draft really fast and then rest for a long time. I do like to read a lot in between, and I'm like you! I don't really read and write at the same time. I do like to brainstorm new books when I'm not writing, though. Just jot down ideas and make pinterest boards. ;) These are great tips!!

  2. Most of the time I don't set dates either. It's only recently that I've started, and it's worked really well for me. Otherwise my breaks go on forever and ever and I become that writer who talks about writing but doesn't do it. You draft incredibly fast though, and you're a book blogger too. You're allowed to take long breaks! It works for you it seems, considering you're agented and all.


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