Reminder: Take a Break

Today I wanted to share a very needed but often forgotten reminder: Rest.

You may think that I talk about this too much or that I’m constantly harping on the effects of mental energy. But I don’t care, it’s so important. It’s something that has been on my mind lately and so when I needed a post for today, I thought, why not share a little reminder?

Do not over tax your mind or your body. Writing takes a lot of mental energy and brain power. You have to listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.

I will never understand how my brain works. I will never fully understand why some days I don’t have the brain power to do the most basic tasks, but then other days I write ten thousand words in my WIP (okay, I’ve actually only done that once). I’m constantly trying to understand my own mental energy better and what fills and drains my creative well but, sometimes, we simply have to take it day by day and listen to our bodies.

For instance, last month there was a week or two that I had little to nothing going on in my life and all the time in the world to work on edits. But, for some reason that is still unknown to me, I nearly went through burn out during that time period. I had to cease all edits and work hard at refilling my well. I hadn’t been that close to burn out since early last year… it was kind of scary.

But then this past week when life has been the most hectic, the craziest you could ever imagine (seriously, y’all, it’s been insane), all I’ve wanted to do is work on edits! And the rare moments that I’ve had time to sit down with the laptop, I’ve gotten crazy amounts accomplished! Like, I’ve doubled what I previously had done.

Thinking through this, it makes zero sense to me. If you’re able to understand my wacky mental energy, please enlighten me because I don’t get it. But I think sometimes life is just like that. You think when life’s going grand, it’s the prime time to get a lot done. And when you’re surviving on only a few hours of sleep that you shouldn’t even think about being productive. That’s what I thought. But lately I’ve been proved wrong.

So I’ve decided to start taking it one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, and listen to what my body needs. When I almost hit burn out mode, I needed to park myself on the couch and read a four hundred page book in only a few days. (True story. And I highly recommend Yesterday’s Tide by Roseanna M. White!!) But when life was insane and throwing every possible curveball, what I needed more than anything else was to sit down with a boatload of edits and make sense of the mess when I couldn’t make sense of my own life.

Please, don’t drive your mental health into the ground because you’re pushing yourself to reach unrealistic expectations. Don’t force yourself to write because you think “it’s the perfect time”… maybe it’s not. Listen to your body and your mind. Do you feel up to writing today? Do you need to spend the day–or even week (like I did)–filling your creative well? Go with the flow and don’t beat yourself up for it!

The best writing comes from taking the time to properly take care of yourself. Because if you’re drained, then your writing will suffer the effects. And if you don’t fill your creative well, there will be no creativity left to transfer to your story.

Rest, dear writer. Your writing will thank you for it.

Your turn!

When was the last time you took some quality time away from your WIP? What fills your creative well? Do you understand your mental energy or is it just as wacky as mine?

Blessings, Allyson

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6 thoughts on “Reminder: Take a Break

  1. YES I 100% SECOND EVERYTHING IN THIS POST!!!!! Honestly, admitting to myself that I needed to take breaks and that I could not go on the pace that I wanted to was very hard for me, as a person who enjoys keeping busy. But since I’ve been a lot easier on myself, not only have I found writing easier but I also enjoy the time I write THAT much more. Because instead of being something to check off my list, it’s something that I grow eager to do when I take time away from it and fill my creative well! I’m so sorry to hear about your almost burn-out. It happens to the best of us, but I’m glad you did manage to get a lot done during that crazy week. (Which like, I am the SAME way, sister! When life’s smooth and chill, I do nothing. And when it’s crazy, I manage to do everything at once. *shrugs*)

    Also I have been DYING to read Yesterday’s Tides! The cover is so gorgeous!!! What did you think of it?

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    1. Yes, I agree with everything you said!! I love keeping busy as well so it’s hard for me to just sit around and read. Like, what? Isn’t this being lazy? XD Sometimes, yes it is, but other times it’s what you need. YES!!! Used to I felt I had to write everyday but now that I don’t pressure myself to do that, I enjoy the time that I do write so much better!! Yeah, writing should never be something you have to check off your list and it had gotten that way for me too. I’m so glad that’s changed. And I’m glad that it changed for you too!!
      I’m glad I was able to avoid burnout too. It’s no fun! As hard as it can be to slow down sometimes, I’ve learned I’d much rather take a few days to a week off than be forced to take several weeks off. (HAHA!! I’m so glad to find out that I’m not the only one!! XD It’s the oddest thing!)

      I LOVED Yesterday’s Tides!!! It was so, so amazing! I would definitely recommend it! I’ve read some of Roseanna M. White’s books before and enjoyed them but this book… it was one of the best books I’ve read lately period. (And yes the cover is truly gorgeous!!!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for this post. It came at the perfect time! Recently, when I try to write, I end up staring at a blank page. I haven’t even been able to customize my blog!

    I know that I need to rest, but it is so hard not to beat myself up about it. Just the other day I was cranking out post after post. Now, I can’t get anything on the page. Lol.

    Do you have any suggestions for refilling my mental energy even when life is busy?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad it was helpful for you!! Aww, yeah, I get that feeling. It’s not fun!

      My suggestion would be to allow yourself to rest. Without beating yourself up about it. Even if that rest doesn’t look like sitting on the couch with a book because you’re too busy, allow yourself to just enjoy life! Sometimes for myself I realize that when I’m going through a tough spot with my writing it’s because I’ve become so focused on it that I’m not enjoying life anymore. Embrace the busyness! Maybe forget about writing for a couple days and just hang out with family or friends. Just like if you read too much you can get tired of it, you can get tired of writing too.

      I don’t know if any of that was helpful or not. I hope you find something to help you through! Please let me know if it gets better or if you need more suggestions! Every writer goes through this at times but you can push through!! I believe in you. 💙💙

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      1. Thank you so much, Allyson! That helps a lot! I sometimes forget to enjoy life. I have definitely forgotten to here lately. I’m going to take your advice and stop hyper focusing on writing for the weekend so I can recharge. 🙂

        My weekend may be a little busy, but it is the kind of busyness I can enjoy if I set aside my guilt.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome! I’m so glad!! Yeah, it’s happened to me before. But I had to learn that even though I love writing so much, I can’t let it overtake my life. Because really, you have to live a story in order to write a story, right? 😉

        I hope you have an amazing weekend then! I’ll pray that it’s restful for you and that you can overcome the guilt of not writing! 💙

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