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One of the things I frequently run into are bloggers who say they are lacking inspiration, or they are just feeling ‘meh’ about writing and they frequently will say “I wonder if I should just give it up?” I never really understood that until I went through a bad patch after Christmas this year. Just wondering why in the world do I even bother?
With that of course, comes the comparison game.. I don’t put neat studies together like Homeschool on the Range, or I don’t have success doing Link ups like Kym, or write with innate kindness like Lori. I frequently do what bloggers shouldn’t do, I write like I talk and think, I don’t write on a single topic, I scatter the thoughts of my world on a daily basis. Problem I think, is I have too many things I want to talk about! 🙂 But it does get overwhelming sometimes, to share what you are learning, or what you are thinking about. So like those other writers, I wonder should I give it all up? Or perhaps I need to be taking time to rest as a writer.
What I learned after Christmas was a rather important fact. I don’t need to put pressure on myself to write, or to meet a daily schedule. Feeling badly over missing an self-imposed deadline. For instance, I love posting about art books and if I missed a week I would feel horrid. I have since learned that it’s okay to say, so I missed a week, big deal! It’s not the end of the world, and perhaps I should change how I do that anyways. Make it more fun! 🙂 Again, I am not putting pressure on myself to do that. What’s the point? Would I like to make money on my blog? For sure, but if I don’t, that’s okay too. In this season of my life, I don’t need the pressure right now.
Take Time to Rest
Part of putting no pressure on myself, and don’t we all do that? We think to ourselves.. I need to put this piece out, or I have to write about that, or this must happen by the end of the week. Pressure, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. It keeps us motivated and doing things. If we are trying to figure out what the point in writing is, adding pressure to the mix doesn’t help. Taking a step back so you can mentally rest from those internal pressures is sometimes the very best thing we can do as writers.Pressure, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. It keeps us motivated and doing things. Click To Tweet
Occasionally, taking a break from writing… whether it from meeting a self-imposed schedule, or from writing all together can be the very best thing we can do for ourselves. It gives us the space to breathe, to be inspired by beauty we find elsewhere, and to focus on family, friends, faith, or just the freedom to be.
Build rest in, or let it fall haphazard like?
Whether you build in your rest periods or let them come as they will depends on you! Granted, sometimes life experiences dictate (like you are having surgery, or have a child needing care, or have started a new job) when you take a break. Sometimes your writing will dictate your break periods (I have a book to finish and nothing else matters until it is done) but once it’s done you can be lavish in your rest period. Celebrate that completeness and take your time.
There are times when we face writer’s block and nothing you do breaks it so you NEED to focus on something else for a while. The very focusing on the other, gives your brain the break that it needs so it can be inspired by something new, and so again you will write.
Mindlessness is Needed
There are times when we need to stop and engage in an activity that is completely mindless. For instance, when I’m trying to sort through a problem and I’ll start raking the lawn. The mindless act of gathering up leaves, throwing them in the back of the truck, releases my mind in ways that sitting at a computer or talking with a friend doesn’t. Going for a walk, shutting off the TV, doing exercises with Billy Banks Jr, cuddling a baby bunny… they let your mind work from a different frame of reference. We need mindlessness in our lives, if only to give ourselves a break from the constant noise and material around us. This mindlessness is our thinking time even if it doesn’t appear as such. 🙂
Know Yourself as A Writer
Know yourself. Does taking a spontaneous break give you an excuse to slack off? Do scheduled breaks serve you better? What type of rest gives what you truly need? How will you meld your deadlines with your need to rest? Only you can truly know what type of rest serves you best. But take it. Don’t feel like work is only done when you put pen to paper, writing work is often done in the mindless moments. Use them well.