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Take a Break or Push Forward?

Do you take a break when your writing gets stuck, or do you push forward? It depends. If I’m stuck on an idea, I push forward and work it out. When I stall because I’m tired or have brain fog, I rest.

An idea that’s not working is something I can work through. It’s no so much a break as maybe checking my notes, looking at my outline to remember when I was going, or scribbling possible ways forward in my journal. I’m still in the writing process, if not advancing the word count.

If the issue is that my brain’s not working, I can’t force that. There’s no way to power through when I’m sleeping. When I’m turned around because I can’t keep a thought straight in my head, all I’m going to churn out is gibberish. That means it’s time to go do something else. If it’s the end of the day, it signals that I ought to pack it up.

Take a Break or Push Forward

I’d love to just power through, but I’ve come to understand that’s not always the best tactic. If I force myself to write another hundred words, it could take a long time and not be good. That’s not actually productive. Taking a rest and coming back seems like it wastes time, but if it allows me to then write 500 words in a short time, and those words are good, it’s in investment.


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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