Breaks. Since the start of this month I’ve kind of slacked off writing. I barely did any writing. I mean zilch. I sent the edits and thought I deserved a break, but I regret it.
It all started with the one year death anniversary of my dad. I told myself I would write later. Then came the laziness. I did submit previously written material but I didn’t write anything new. Which was bad, because at the start of this year I had been writing continuously. That commitment paid off, which is why I have three sweet romance novellas releasing this year, namely, CINDERS OF CASTLEREA, The MILANESE STARS and UNDER A SCOTTISH SKY, along with my Christian Non fiction, TEN REMINDERS FOR THE SINGLE CHRISTIAN WOMAN already out and a medical book in the works if I can only get out of this break mindset.
I think you should put in the required words everyday. Just like any discipline it gets harder to get back in the writing saddle, the longer you’re away from it.
I went from loving it to avoiding it. And I can’t do without writing. But the break ruined my focus and rhythm. Earlier I would write 2,000 words a day. After the break, I can barely chalk 200. It’s hard, my thoughts seemed jammed and the words come out clunky, if you know what I mean.
It’s going to take me a while before I can get back up to speed. A long while. Imagine the month I’ve lost over this. I could have had another first draft ready by now if I had only done my bit.
I don’t think think this is just for writers but you could apply this to everything : Going to the gym, learning to play the piano, handling a small business ; here’s a little advice:
Whatever your goal, if you’re taking a break, don’t stop completely. Keep doing bits of it during your break. That way it’s not too hard to get back in. You also won’t lose touch of what you’re doing or writing.
Even if your doing crap, do it. It’s easy to put it off, because you’re in break mode. But show up at your desk or laptop and do crap. Your mind knows you’ve done something to stay in the habit.
-Don’t Set Big Targets
During my break, I still set big targets. Finish X or edit Y and I did nothing. Instead when I saw them on the list I just shut down my PC. I knew they were not achievable during this time, why did I even bother making them?
-Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
When I realized I hadn’t done anything substantial for the last fifteen days, I went into meltdown more like ‘eatdown,’ because I consumed a lot of food. I then made a gruesome schedule to get back on track and then realized, ‘who am I kidding?’ Don’t punish yourself for being on a break. In my case, I didn’t have to be so rigid. I have four books this year. Four. I’ve been mercilessly recording, writing, reading, researching, editing and marketing at breakneck speed in order to drown my pain, but I needed a break. I needed rest before I self destructed. So don’t be hard on yourself. If you’ve reached one major milestone and haven’t achieved the others, you’ll get there. Slowly but surely you will.
However, if you can, learn from my mistake. If you’re on an extended break follow the above tips and let me know if they helped you.