This past week, I’ve struggled with inspiration.
I don’t just mean I haven’t written much, more that I haven’t written at all. For someone who’s supposed to be doing Camp NaNo this month, it’s a bit of an issue. And I can’t even say that I haven’t had time, because I have – I’ve just chosen to spend that time catching up on TV shows I’ve missed, or reading, rather than writing.
I’m not going to get worked up about it, though. While common advice is to make yourself do it (and I’ve endorsed that sort of advice myself), I don’t think that the occasional break from writing is necessarily detrimental. In fact, I think it can leave you feeling refreshed and give you a new perspective on things. My notebook is full of ideas – single sentences, most of them, but things which will add a richness to my story when I expand on them. I’ve not been writing, but I’ve not been idle either.
A break, though, is good only if it’s limited. I’ve been known to put down my pen and not pick it up again for months. Sure, I had an excuse last time this happened in that I’d just given birth, but I shouldn’t have waited till my youngest was nine months old before I started writing again. The break was far too long and it took me a while to get back into the swing of the story. For me, I think a week is about right. It would be far too easy to let this hiatus drag on and not get any writing done, but then that would be detrimental to the desired outcome – namely, a finished manuscript.
As such, starting tomorrow I’m going to start writing again. It would be today, but it’s a public holiday in my part of the world and the day is full of family-related things. I may get a chance after the kids go to bed, but then again I may not. We’ll see how it goes. Tomorrow, though, I have no excuse, and I have plenty of ideas thanks to my break. I’m making a promise to myself … hopefully I’ll keep it.
What are your thoughts on taking a break? Are you a “write at all costs” sort of person, or do you think that the occasional period of time off can be beneficial? I know where I stand, but I also know that different things work for different people. So, let me know what works for you and who knows, I might find something that’s better for me too. :)