Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

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Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby Todd Packer » 20 Aug 2011, 15:03

And I don't mean a day or two. I'm talking a few weeks, not really writer's block, just sort of a recharge the batteries period?

I understand the risk of the longer a break one takes, the tougher it may be to get back into the swing of things, but there's a craving in me to relax, read a few books, and then jump back into that damn novel of mine.

Has anyone else taken a writing break and if so, how'd it work out for you?
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby dios4vida » 20 Aug 2011, 15:55

Absolutely. Taking breaks is necessary sometimes. Creativity isn't something that can come in a constant flow - it needs time to recharge. Forcing it is something more detrimental than taking a break. I've taken sabbaticals of weeks, even a few months. After I finished my last WIP I didn't write for almost six months. It turns out that taking that time to rest, read, relax, and get back in touch with reality was one of the best things I could have done for myself.

If you're feeling the need to take a break, then do so! It's totally okay. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby Beethovenfan » 21 Aug 2011, 01:10

Actaully, that's me right now. I'm in the middle of a historical (based on real events) and I am in Ch. 9, and at the beginning of summer my reserves were just depleted. I decided to just step back and take a summer break. I write on it occasionally but for now I am mostly just reading a lot, playing with my kids, and enjoying myself.
"Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine."
~ Ludwig van Beethoven
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby MattLarkin » 21 Aug 2011, 05:09

Sometimes. Usually if I reach a major milestone, like finishing a draft, I take a little bit of time off. And sometimes I decide life is too crazy and I need to catch up on other things.
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby Evelyn » 21 Aug 2011, 09:45

I definately take writing breaks.

I am creative in several different areas. I am a jeweler and a musician as well as a writer, and I tend to spend dedicated, concentrated time on each in turn. For some reason, I can't seem to pour my intensity into the metalwork and the writing at the same time (I'll spend a month or so on each, alternating) but the music (I play classical guitar) I can work on throughout. I just went back to working on my novel a few days ago, and it's like seeing an old friend, all new and exciting again.

I consider all of the above to be different aspects of my creative nature, so I don't ever worry about taking time off.
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby washingtonwriter1968 » 24 Aug 2011, 22:49

to be honest i totally understand your terror about
[quoteI understand the risk of the longer a break one takes, the tougher it may be to get back into the swing of things, but there's a craving in me to relax, read a few books, and then jump back into that damn novel of mine.
][/quote]

That is exactly how about a hundred of my almost manuscripts ended up in my uncompleted Manuscripts File. That file is so much more bigger than my complete works file. Right now, I am tired two months of writing at least 2,000 words a day has me nearly completing my first draft. But As usual just as I reach the first plot point of the final climax I am petering Out!
I will not put this down! I will Not Put this down!
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby oldhousejunkie » 25 Aug 2011, 12:48

Yep.

It's why it took me ten years to complete my novel. I kept taking massive hiatuses. But that was probably because writing was truly a hobby and I didn't take myself seriously. Now that I do, my breaks are much shorter. Although recently I've been on a few weeks break because I moved and started a new job. And now I'm trying to buy a house which will result in another move. So I've put the "away" message on my blog and am enjoying reading again!
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby AnimaDictio » 25 Aug 2011, 13:00

I notice that if I go too long without reading, then I'll lose the ability to write, but whenever I read, I can't stop myself from writing too. The inspiration percolates. Blog post, love poem, novel, Facebook Note, etc. I have to write something.
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby SciencyLo » 06 Sep 2011, 12:40

I haven't yet, but my co-author and I have just wrapped up our first novel and are about 1/2 way into the second. I still feel like I'm such a n00b to all of it. It's so hard to say, "I'm going to step away from this for X days/weeks/however long" because I honestly do worry that I'll realize that, as much as I love writing, I simply don't have time to do it as well as I'd like. Or, I worry that the muse will disappear. It's so stressful, but the funny thing is that it's all pressure I put on myself. It's not coming from anywhere else.

I love the idea of a writing retreat - where all I do is write for a week - but HAHAHA my life would never accomodate that. Still, if I could somehow wrangle that, then and only then do I think I could take a few weeks off to let things simmer.
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby SciencyLo » 06 Sep 2011, 12:41

AnimaDictio wrote:I notice that if I go too long without reading, then I'll lose the ability to write, but whenever I read, I can't stop myself from writing too. The inspiration percolates. Blog post, love poem, novel, Facebook Note, etc. I have to write something.


A very good point. Reading makes me hunger to write. :)
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby Moni12 » 06 Sep 2011, 13:03

My job over the summer made me lazy and even though I tried to continue writing, I just couldn't. I am just now starting up again. I discovered a wip that I had gotten nine pages on and have all these ideas flowing. For the life of me I can't think of why I stopped working on it. Another one has been giving me trouble, but I also started seriously blogging again (that sort of ended during the summer, too) and now I am regaining the desire to write.
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby dios4vida » 06 Sep 2011, 13:29

SciencyLo wrote:I haven't yet, but my co-author and I have just wrapped up our first novel and are about 1/2 way into the second. I still feel like I'm such a n00b to all of it. It's so hard to say, "I'm going to step away from this for X days/weeks/however long" because I honestly do worry that I'll realize that, as much as I love writing, I simply don't have time to do it as well as I'd like. Or, I worry that the muse will disappear. It's so stressful, but the funny thing is that it's all pressure I put on myself. It's not coming from anywhere else.


We've all done that, n00bs and veterans alike. I've written three books and I still sometimes worry the muse will never return. But the thing is that if the passion was there once, it'll never really go away. The fire might burn low for a while, but then it'll flame up and you go on the MUST.WRITE. binges. It happens. Also, we never have enough time to write as well as we would like. That's what revisions are for. :)

SciencyLo wrote:I love the idea of a writing retreat - where all I do is write for a week - but HAHAHA my life would never accomodate that. Still, if I could somehow wrangle that, then and only then do I think I could take a few weeks off to let things simmer.


Oh, you mean, say, a week in Vegas to workshop with fellow Bransforumers and write and talk shop and hang out? Like maybe, next March? :D
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby bcomet » 07 Sep 2011, 15:16

Hi Todd.

Taking a break can be a risk in that you, as a writer, might move on. On the other hand, it can also freshen your perspective and give you new life for going back into it and not just continuing when you are feeling burned out. Nathan, recently blogged about taking a Saturday in the park. Yeah! We should all remember that.

I've taken breaks to get refreshed and/or because I've needed to. Sometimes, it has taken a bit of effort to get back where I left off in the story. But I find it's doable, unless of course, I've moved on and then it's still doable, but harder to go back to when you want to keep moving forward to something pulling you on a new course. I suppose it really depends how in love you are and devoted you are to the project.

Right now, I am sort of on a forced break, due to being on cancer pain meds that are grounding me for now. What I have been able to do, however, is to read great novels that actually are showing me how to do what I need to do when I get writing again. That's so cool because although I knew what I had to do at the point I was in my current novel, I was really craving specific examples of that. So getting those in the interim are going to make me really more ready to go when I get back to my WiP.
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Re: Ever Just Take A Writing Break?

Postby Philabuster » 07 Sep 2011, 16:55

Sometimes I take breaks without actually taking a break. What I mean by that is if most of my creative energy is focused on a big story I'm working on, occasionally I will take a break from that "serious" work and just write a couple blurbs about nonsense. It could be anything from a funny scene I observed at work or and interesting conversation I overheard on the bus. For me, sometimes writing about things that I don't care about gives me some time to step away from the writing that I do care about, while at the same time keeps my writing routine flowing so I never feel that I'm getting rusty.

There are times where the last thing I want to do is write. Those times I usually spend reading. I have several "how to write better" books that I read when I feel guilty about not writing, and then there are several "fun" books that I read when I don't feel guilty about not writing.

Basically what I'm saying is that, for me, I'm either writing about my "serious" stuff, writing about "non serious" stuff, reading about "serious stuff", or reading about "non serious" stuff. With a healthy rotation of those four very different activities I find myself taking many breaks from projects I work on without really ever taking a break from the craft of writing. Sure a day may go by with me sitting in front of my tv covered in crumbs watching reruns of cartoons and generally being as lazy as possible, but I think every serious writer here as a certain fire inside of them that starts burning when the inspiration to write happens. If you've ever felt that fire inside of you than you should take a break, because frankly you wouldn't be able to lose that passion to write even if you wanted to, so a break can only help.
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