Listen up. Now I don’t like telling you what to do. I’d much rather give you a bunch of suggestions and let you pick a few to try out for yourself. Today is different. Today I’m giving you an order, and that order is to step away from your keyboards and RELAX.
Because you wrote something amazing recently.
Maybe it was a paper for school, maybe you wrote a few sentences of your novel. Doesn’t matter what it was: you wrote something! I’m proud of you. You might not have wanted to write anything at all, but you pushed through it. That isn’t something everyone can do all the time. It’s okay to spend today rereading and reflecting. You can choose not to keep going, at least for now.
Because you have a lot going on, and need to focus on yourself.
There’s no writing “rule” that says you have to write every single day. If you can’t, you can’t. There are days when you’re going to be able to push yourself to get some writing done, and there are going to be days when you just won’t be able to do it. There is nothing wrong with that. Life is stressful. It isn’t always fair. Just because you can’t write today doesn’t mean you won’t write tomorrow.
Because you’re running low on ideas.
Sometimes we get trapped in our processes. We think that, just by sitting in the same spot doing the same thing, new ideas will come easily. That isn’t always the case. It’s okay to take some time away today, even just an hour or 20 minutes, to travel outside your “writing zone” and do something that will help you generate more ideas. Exercise, or watching a movie. Anything but writing, sometimes, is the key.
Because you’re worth it.
You work hard. Most of the time, that goes unnoticed. Even though you aren’t writing doesn’t mean you aren’t still working yourself too hard! It’s okay to give yourself some time off to do something fun. Something you’ll enjoy. Your worth is more than just a measure of how much work you do. It’s about how you balance, and your attitude toward yourself.
We do our best writing when we are feeling refreshed and confident. You don’t have to feel guilty for watching a few episodes of that TV show, okay? You need this more than you realize. You’ll be glad you listened. Trust me.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.
Image courtesy of Flickr.