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Last week was rough. If you’ve been following my blog for any period of time, you’ll know that recently…my emotions have been a little raw. Last Thursday, I had to put one of my precious ratties to sleep. She had had a stroke and was in seriously bad shape. Honestly, the period leading up to the vet visit was much, much worse than how I felt after she was finally at peace. I was just so happy that she wasn’t in pain anymore.

Because of my distress last week, I was really not in the best frame of mind to write. At first, I felt really guilty about this. “I should be writing…I should be writing…I should be writing…” These thoughts kept rolling through my brain, but the lovely Kat encouraged me to take a break. So…I did. I took the pressure off myself. For a little over a week, I haven’t written anything.

Instead, I focused on maintaining my Maiedae work priorities, my blog(s), and normal life. It was such a stressful week last week that I excused myself from writing.

You know what? I’m much better for it this week. I’m really excited and looking forward to getting back into my writing groove. I’ll get another mini extended break when I go on vacation later this week with my hubby to celebrate our anniversary. And it’s alright. As much as I’d love to be able to be as prolific as many of the other authors out there, sometimes life gets in the way and when you have more than one job, sometimes you have to step back and let certain things lie fallow until you can cross to the other side of a particularly bad season.

This week is going to be awesome. I’m feeling SO much better and have been loving on my remaining pet. have a to-do list the length of California. Joy is bubbling in my heart again and I can’t wait to jump back into my WIP.

Extended Breaks from Writing CAN Be Good for Several Reasons:

1. They can provide you with a much-needed mental break.

2. They can provide you with a much-needed emotional break.

3. They allow you to focus intense energy on in-the-moment tasks that have been building up and that need your attention.

4. They can help you take the pressure off when you’ve got a particularly painful real-life incident to deal with.

5. They can help you store up new inspiration and ideas for the time when you get back into your writing.

Now! Let’s define an “extended break”. For me, it meant no more than a full week and a half or so. For others, some have said taking a month off has done them a world of good. Whatever your extended break looks like, I would caution you to keep it at a month or less. Getting out of your writing can make your writing “muscles” rested, but they can also make them “weak”. You don’t want to lose all that great practice and skill you gained in keeping up your writing. So, take your needed break and then GET RIGHT BACK TO IT!!

If you need to, start with a writing exercise like this one to help get you back into the writing groove with a challenge.

Extended breaks are meant to be helpful, not a way to foster laziness. If you need a break, take one, but then get right back in the game and crank out another manuscript!

Happy Monday! Happy Writing!

Why I Took an Extended Writing Break (and Maybe You Should Too!)
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  • Glad you got the break you needed and that you are ready to hop back into it 🙂 I sometimes feel guilty if I don’t post even for a day or two, or do as much on Twitter, etc. but sometimes, I just need to relax and step away. Good for you for taking care of your health first! *HUGS!*

    • Yeah, sometimes ya just need a break!! *Hugs back* 😉

  • Yay! So glad the break was good for you :).

    • Thanks so much, dearie! Thanks, too, for your encouragement! 🙂

  • Thanks for this. I’ve been telling myself to do it for a while, but it’s difficult. Because you’re right: “I should be writing…I should be writing…” Just hearing it from another source gives me more of an argument against myself. See, someone else thinks you should do it, too! Hah!

    • I’m so pleased it could be of use to you! P.S.–Loved your pomodoro post!! // Yes, taking a break from writing can be very hard. Writer’s guilt is probably ONLY dwarfed by “Mommy’s Guilt” on the guilt spectrum, LOL. It’ll be good for you, though. AND it will be good for your writing. Go ahead and take some time off, but when you get back to it, go ALL in!

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