Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Big Pause

A writer always writes.

That's a crock of shit. 

I'm a big fan of taking breaks. It's something I learned to do when I got into running - knowing when it's time to let the muscles and tendons relax and heal up. That rest prevents injury or burn out. It helps you bounce back for the next big run in a better way. 

I'm coming off the longest time I've ever spent without writing in nearly decade - three weeks - and you know what?

It feels good. 

Not to write again or to find the rhythm I miss, that's obvious. It simply felt good not to write. I read. I got my affairs in order (of which there were many). I concentrated on everything but writing and it was a relief. That relief, as I sit here typing about it, translates to a better mental state. I'm not feeling stressed as I type these words. I'm not thinking about other projects or items in the pipeline that I need to be patient about because its simply not time to deal with them.

We need to be allowed to stop. To understand when we're reaching a breaking point and take the time to ensure our health, be it physical or mental, is taken care of. Especially relevant with recent Olympic and tennis headlines, no? If even the elite among us can be hurt by overworking; shouldn't we begin acknowledging that NOT writing is just as beneficial as the act of writing?

If you know me, though, you know I'm also not the biggest fan of catch-all advice. If grinding away works for you, by all means, grind. I'd just consider giving yourself a day even. A little time to simply not write. To be the anti-writer. Go read. Take a walk. Rest those muscles.

Then come back and grind away again. No time to be lazy.


Holly West said...

I'm glad you've enjoyed your break. I agree, sometimes, having time off is important. The key (for me) is not to agonize about taking that time off, which is something I'm getting better at.

Bobby Mathews said...

Really appreciate your wisdom, Angel. I've struggled under the weight of "write every day" for a long, long time. And for me, that leads to failure. What works for one of us doesn't work for all of us.