Why You Should Take a Writing Break This Weekend

Take some time for YOU.

The holidays are, and have always been, my favorite time of year. I’m aware that many people struggle around this time, that some dread the holidays for reasons of their own. I get that. That is why I want to take a moment to remind you of one of the most important things about this weekend: rest.

We work all year long. We often don’t get breaks. When we finish one thing, we immediately jump right into the next, afraid that if we slow down, we’ll never get our momentum back.

The holidays especially are stressful, maybe the most stressful time of year for you. Shopping, baking, making travel plans, constantly monitoring the cat to make sure she doesn’t destroy the Christmas tree (or whatever seasonal/holiday decorations you might have up). I get it. It’s Christmas Eve, and I have to pack an entire month’s worth of festivities into one day because Adulting Stole My December. IT’S FINE. I’m not going to complain about spending an entire afternoon wrapping presents with Christmas movies playing in the background. Also, all the fudge and cookies I want. Yes please.

Other than finishing up a few things … because I am addicted and literally can’t stop … I’m mostly going to take the weekend off from writing. I don’t usually do this; I am an every-day writer. But for me, Christmas is not about work. It is about celebrating, and family, and enjoying just being still and drinking in every single precious moment. I become the opposite of the Grinch on Christmas. It’s a nice change of pace.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, take some time this weekend to relax. Spend time with friends; family; your fur babies. Don’t think about work. Don’t think about Monday, about the weather, about all the writing you’re apparently supposed to be doing right now. There is no greater time than now to put aside your projects and start to reflect on the year’s many successes and accomplishments.

It’s been a difficult year for many of us. Celebrate yourself. Give someone a gift. Take someone out for breakfast; for coffee. Let them tell you a story. Go for a walk. Do something that does not involve writing. There is still plenty of time to stress yourself out this year – and there will be plenty of time to do the same in the New Year.

Of course, if you feel the sudden urge to write – which often happens when we stop sprinting long enough for our brains to catch up – if it’s going to make you feel relieved, or elated, then by all means, take a few moments and write what’s on your mind. Maybe you need that. Maybe you haven’t written in a month, and this is the only chance you’re going to get until the calendar year comes to a close.

Whatever you do, though, don’t do it because you have to. Do it because you’re allowed to feel good, even for an hour, even for a day. You’ve worked hard this year, in some way or another. You deserve this. You deserve a day off.

Merry Christmas; Happy Holidays. May you focus on the good things in your life this weekend and in the week ahead. In your preparations for the New Year, I hope you take the time to set a few goals to write better in 2017 – however you define ‘better.’ I believe in you. I’m still going to be around to help you, in any way I can.

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

How to Get Writing Done Over Thanksgiving | NaNo Talk 2015


For all our readers and fellow NaNo participants (or just writers in general) in the US, Thanksgiving is fast-approaching. Which is great food-, family- and shopping-wise, but not so convenient when you have a daily word count to meet and only have a week left to hit 50,000 words.

Here’s how to keep up, catch up or get ahead on your word count no matter how you plan on spending your Thanksgiving holiday this week and weekend.

Get it done first

There’s not much worse than going through your whole day thinking about how you still have writing to do. While this might be manageable if it’s the only way it fits into your routine, it’s the last thing you want hanging over your head when you have food to cook and people to impress (or not).

As much as you would probably love to sleep in, you might be better off waking up a little bit earlier and knocking out your words before you have to be anywhere or do any chores. Sometimes it’s better all around if you push through it, get out of the way and don’t have to think about it anymore.

Double up now

The tough part about holidays is there isn’t a set routine like there is on any other regular day of the year. You might try to promise yourself you’ll wake up early or you’ll get it done before you go to sleep, but there’s no guarantee something won’t come up or you’ll be too tired to follow through.

If you know you won’t be able to write over the holiday (maybe you’re traveling or, as expected, you just want to relax), or you don’t trust yourself to keep up, double up on your word count early this week. Start now. It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it’s only three days. Break it up and see how far ahead you can get. Put your own mind at ease. You can sleep after Wednesday!

Use your down time

There’s usually a lot more down time throughout the day than you think there will be. If you eat dinner earlier in the day, most of the afternoon probably consists of naps and sitting around watching (or trying not to listen to) football anyway.

Use that down time to get some writing in. Get comfy on the couch with your laptop and just type away. Grab some headphones if you can only tolerate a certain kind of background noise while you write. Let all those carbs count for something and see what your brain can come up with in the aftermath.


You can still enjoy your holiday without having to spend the majority of it worrying about your word count. Don’t let it throw you off! You’re almost there! KEEP GOING!!

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.