How Do You Know You Need A Break From Writing?

How do you usually know you need a break from writing? Writing is a planned activity for me. Therefore breaks are factored in, whether I feel I need them or not.

I use time blocks, typically an hour a piece. Yesterday I wrote about scheduled breaks. If for some reason I’m having trouble focusing, I might rearrange the time blocks and work on something else, but usually I just try to push through until the next break time.

Need A Break From Writing

Sometimes I need to not write. After I’ve finished a draft, or completed a big project, I will take a day or two off to clear my head. I’ve been doing this long enough now that I know I can’t jump from one project directly into another.

There have been times when I needed to take a break from a particularly difficult piece. I stepped away from blogging about the current pandemic, because it was taking an emotional toll. An earlier edition of my zine, HUBRIS, folded because I was writing about serious subject matter. It was affecting my mental health.

As with all things, it seems to come back to finding the balance between productivity and self-care. The most efficient way isn’t always healthy, and vice-versa. Adding breaks in by default, rather than waiting until I realize I need one, prevents a lot of problems.

The Merry Writer is a writer’s game on Twitter run by Ari Meghlen (@arimeghlen) and Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). Each day there’s a new question, and each month there’s a new theme. In these posts I expand upon the answers that I’ve posted on my Twitter.

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