#WW Taking a Writing Break (And Why It’s Important)

8 Jun

I am taking a break from writing. (Why does that feel so dramatic to say? …Well, I don’t know. Maybe because writing is practically my life.)

So what do I mean by taking a break?

I mean just that. A break. A normal, little vacation for the writer’s mind. I’m not quitting. I’m not giving up. I’m not burning all my paperwork or throwing my typewriter across the room.

  1. I don’t have a typewriter.
  2. Who would do such an atrocious thing?
  3. I really want a typewriter. (Yes. For aesthetic sakes. I can’t help myself.)

Taking a break is simply taking a break—much like many do on the weekends—but if you read my article, The 90-10 Rule for Marketing and Writing and How to Love It, you might notice that I have forgotten what weekends are, as have many writers. Most of us work day jobs, which means many of us consider writing our second full-time job, and if you’ve ever worked two full-time jobs, then you probably know a workaholic. I am, by definition, a workaholic, but I love what I do, so it’s HARD not to work, which means it’s HARD to take a break. (Seriously. What do I do with all this time???)

Bogart the cat keeping me in line during my writing break

Bogart the cat keeping me in line during my writing break

For me, I don’t want to take a break. I want to keep writing. I want to turn that page, type the keys off my next keyboard, or daydream the next trilogy, but taking breaks is a necessary (and important) step for authors to take.

Why are taking breaks important?

Depending on where you are in the writing process, taking a break might mean putting some distance between finishing your manuscript’s first draft and editing the content. It might mean thinking deeply over what you need to keep or change. It might spark your next idea. It might clear up your mind, so you can consider the business side of your story. Taking a break might simply help you from NOT burning out. Because writer’s burnout is a thing. Trust me.

So, take breaks. Take them guiltlessly and enjoy them.

Read that book you’ve been dying to read, finish that terrible TV show you don’t want to admit you binge-watch, cry at a sad documentary, obsess over murder shows in the middle of the night, sing Disney sing-along songs at the top of your lungs, and botch a batch of cookies before you bake the perfect batch. (Okay. So you don’t have to do what I did…but I found it pretty cleansing.)

But I maybe sort of already broke my break by writing about taking a break. (Oops.) Still, I think we all need to write about taking a break from writing a little bit more,


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12 Responses to “#WW Taking a Writing Break (And Why It’s Important)”

  1. Paul Bowler June 8, 2016 at 5:23 am #

    Its always good to take a break from time to time. Actually I’d say its essential, and can work out beneficial the project you are working on as you return to it refreshed. Enjoy your time off. Oh, and I do have a typewriter, wanted one for purely atheistic reasons as well. Treat yourself to one 🙂

    • Shannon A Thompson June 8, 2016 at 4:28 pm #

      I agree! I think taking a break can definitely help in the big scheme of things. 😀 The typewriter is on my To-Do list! One day.

  2. Charles Yallowitz June 8, 2016 at 5:23 am #

    Have fun.

  3. aubreyleaman June 8, 2016 at 7:45 am #

    I’m a bit of a workaholic, too, but I know taking breaks are so important! I’ve found if I keep working through fatigue or temporary disillusionment or whatever I’m actually not making much if any progress. I think it becomes more hurtful than helpful to keep working at that point!

  4. Carla Doria June 8, 2016 at 8:04 am #

    It’s necessary to have breaks once in a while. As you say, it’s not like we’re giving up, but sometimes we struggle so much to keep this writing/second job routine, that we burnout without even noticing. Apparently, we keep writing without problems, but the quality of our writing is not at its best. I usually find that there are 2 types of good writing breaks: 1) Just put it aside for some time, go on Vacation, or focus on something completely different 2) change the writing routine to other type of writing. If you’re writing a novel, then switch to write random blogs, movie/books reviews, travel advice, and even start a different fiction story (it could be a short story just to keep it short). Anyway, breaks are essential, so good for you!

    • Shannon A Thompson June 8, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

      Oh! I love how you added two types of writing breaks. Those are great, and so true! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  5. d78hill June 10, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    How timely!! I’m taking a break too! Thanks for the support!


  1. June’s Ketchup | Shannon A Thompson - June 29, 2016

    […] Taking a Writing Break (And Why It’s Important): After finishing a manuscript (or three), it’s nice (and important) to take a break. Let yourself recover. Clear your mind. Breathe a little bit. […]

  2. Book Marketing Woes | Shannon A Thompson - July 31, 2017

    […] Everyone’s health is unique to their situation. The key is trying to find outlets that are just as unique as you. Don’t automatically count yourself out. Research accommodations. For instance, if you have social anxiety or find leaving the house difficult, online conferences are now available (and growing in popularity). Don’t be afraid to reach out to the event coordinator if you’re interested in attending but you’re not sure how you can. Talk to fellow writers. And don’t feel guilty if you need to take time away from writing or social media to take care of yourself. Writing will always be there, and your health matters. You are awesome. You belong. Related Articles: Writers, It’s Okay to Log Out & Taking a Writing Break and Why It’s Important […]

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