Monday, November 24, 2014

The Importance of Taking a Break from Writing

As some of you know, I've been away for the last two weeks. I completely unplugged from the internet and went on a trip to get away from everything. What did I do? I went on a cruise. And wow, what a cruise.

Hubby and I went to the South Pacific Islands and pretty much did nothing the whole time. Having no access to friends and easy information via the net felt strange, but soon we reveled in the joy of sunshine and relaxation.

I had planned to catch up on a mountain of reading and maybe a little writing. Instead I slept. A lot. Sheer bliss. No pressure to think up new stories, fix old ones, achieve, produce, or make and maintain connections. No push. No rush.

Initially that familiar sense of guilt nagged on my thoughts. I should be writing, or in the least, reading! There's ample opportunity. Then I decided to sweep that guilt away. The result? Now that I'm back, I find myself  full of creativity and bursting at the seams with fresh ideas and a renewed passion.

My advice to anyone struggling with a lack-luster creative drive, take that break. Not a partial, semi-break, but a full and proper break where you take away all the pressures and just be wonderful to yourself.

When was the last time you took a proper break? What do you do to be wonderful to yourself?


105 comments:

  1. And we are glad to have you back! (Hope we didn't overwhelm you with emails upon your return.) Recharged and ready to go - that is awesome. Been a while since I completely unplugged. Although I will be mostly unplugged later this week for Thanksgiving. Online every single day isn't healthy...

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    1. I had around 300 emails to wade through. Took some time.

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  2. Sounds wonderful! Especially as we've been deluged with a ton of snow for the past week or more and are now dealing with freezing rain on top of it! I'm all for a cruise in the South Pacific!! Those breaks do feel good :)

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    1. you've definitely been having some crazy weather over there. Hopefully it settles soon.

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  3. Sounds like a wonderful trip. So happy you got to get away and relax. When we go on vacation, I usually don't write much. As long as we're disciplined the other times, we're allowed the time.

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  4. That sounds delightful! I always intend to write on vacations, but end up not doing so. They prove to be full vacations then. Writing needs to be work from home for me, not something to catch up on while on vacation.

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  5. Hi Lynda - just what the human ordered ... sometimes we just need to step away: and intentions go for nought! Glad you had that lovely time enjoying life at its best ... sun, sea, being looked after and seeing new places ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I didn't have to clean any dishes for almost two weeks! The indulgence!

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  6. Sounds like a great trip and great advice. When I go on a trip, I take books to read because I love reading, but I don't write. It's a vacation and should be one.

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    1. That's why I thought I'd get more reading done as well! lol. Silly me.

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  7. Hi Lynda. Such an important post. I think it's so important to take a break from things every once in a while. I think it stimulates creativity! Have a Happy Monday :)

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  8. A break sounds good. I won't even turn on my computer Thanksgiving Day.

    I've been on one cruise and absolutely loved it. Can't wait to go again.

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  9. That sounds wonderful! Glad to hear you're renewed and reinvigorated. Hmm, I can't remember the last time I took a total break....

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  10. I've never been on a break nor a holiday, nor to the sea :)
    What? No internet for two weeks, what if you were offered a Hollywood role in an email???

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    1. LOL!! If they really wanted me, then they would wait for me, because, let's face it, I'm worth the wait ;)
      (giggle)

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  11. I took a proper break in September, about 10 days, not Internet either. It was awesome!

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  12. Exactly, Lyn. Just did it myself (actually a working one, but plenty of vacation in there, too). I finally feel as if my strength has returned. Renewed, refreshed, and ready to write! Thanks for coming by. I know that last post was a doozy, but I felt the need to fill everybody in...life was more difficult than I let on, and it might have seemed otherwise, as if I'd forgotten everyone, but no...just had to do some self-healing. Peace, and I'm glad you did the same. :)

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    1. I think it's rare that we ever show what's really going on.
      And I never thought for a second that you'd forgotten anyone. You're not that kinda guy.
      Hugs

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  13. I had the exact same experience at my last vacation - even though I didn't completely unplug. Still, during the break I had all sorts of writing ideas!

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    1. Vacations are the best idea generators. The only problem is, I want to go again! Now! ;)

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  14. Sounds like heaven, indeed, Lynda. Haven't stepped away in a while, Vacation time is a great period to unwind completely. Have fun when you get back in the saddle.

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    1. Enjoying what we do is key for creativity.

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  15. Unplug? What is that? lol One of these days I may have to give that a go. But have no issues with creativity at my sea.

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    1. I'm not surprised! You work your creativity into everything you do!

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  16. I'm sure your view was amazing! Great way to unwind. I believe break from writing (or anything you do for long periods of time that you're passionate about) is necessary. Whether we like to admit it or not, we are creatures of habit. We grow accustomed to 'the way things are'. In doing so, we can grow stagnant, complacent, which can suck energy from us. For writers, that's creative energy.

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    1. Yep, habit makes us comfortable and doesn't push us into new experiences. It's fresh input that generates creativity.

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  17. I can't remember taking a break for more than a day. I'm not sure I would overcome the nagging sense of work left undone.

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    1. I think each person is different and knows what works best for them.

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  18. My most recent computer issues forced me into break mode. So now I'm back with new ideas and am finding it easy to cut and shift in my novel.

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  19. FANTASTIC POST!

    You know how I feel about your recent vaca. Super jelly! ;)

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  20. Taking time for a vacation is one of the more important things you can do for yourself, especially when you are self-employed. When we are the master of our own lives, we sometimes forget to take time for ourselves. Getting off the internet is the key. I'm glad you had a good time. :)

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    1. That's a good point about it being even more important for those who are self-employed. We do tend to forget.

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  21. Going unplugged sounds like it was a huge win for you. Along with having a great time, you've come back ready to take on the world with renewed vigor. That is so awesome.

    I haven't unplugged in a while. I better take advantage of some down time soon so I can recharge my batteries.

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    1. I've tried to 'unplug' at home, but it doesn't work if it's still accessible. A forced unplugging works best for me.

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  22. Your cruise sounds amazing. Glad you had such a great time and are now feeling so refreshed!

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  23. It sounds wonderful. I hope you enjoy that feeling as long as possible. Taking a break from writing every now and then does do wonders.

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  24. I never seem to be able to unplug completely. Sounds like I should really try to and reap the benefits.

    mood

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  25. That sounds lovely. I'll be having a little break over Thanksgiving, but no stress is lost when dealing with the in-laws! I hope you've caught up on your emails. :)

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    1. Emails are never fully caught up, but at least they are at a manageable level.

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  26. I think me being caught up on emails is like a sign of the apocalypse or something. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

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  27. What a great trip.

    And glad you got the break you needed. I love the way travel to new places wakes my creative side up. :)

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  28. That is wonderful. I also feel recharged after a vacation, although I have a hard time unplugging. I'm still on my email and bring something to read or some light writing material.

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    1. If I have access to the net, then I can't just unplug. I think that's why I like cruises. It's unplug, or get charged heaps for net connection.

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  29. Your vacay sounds fabulous! You're right - always be good to yourself. If you aren't, no one else will be.

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  30. Glad you enjoyed your vacation, it sounds heavenly. I take breaks from blogging, breaks from writing, breaks from working, but I can't ever seem to take a true break from it all. Perhaps that is what I need to dig myself out of this funk.

    Glad you're back

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    1. Give it a try. It certainly helped me. If that still doesn't work, then there's something else that will need changing.

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  31. Cruising is amazing! Glad you had time to re-charge! I drive a lot for my work so find driving is actually 'taking a break' as it gives me time to just listen to music or just be very quiet.

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    1. It's good you've found a way to take a break.

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  32. I'm horrible at taking breaks, but we're headed on vacation in a week, and I am totally unplugging. In fact, I'm going to take December off. *gasp* I figure around the pregnancy and holidays, it might be the only way to survive. =) Still, it's been 5 years since I took a blogging/social media holiday. There will probably be an immense amount of guilt, but I'm going to keep your advice in mind and just enjoy.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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    1. Have a super awesome break. I recommend totally unplugging and just enjoying. You've thoroughly earned it!

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  33. So important to recharge and enjoy doing nothing! I did just that on our trip to the Dominican Republic and it was a pure delight not to be plugged into technology! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. While technology can be handy, it really can take over if we let it.

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  34. Its so important to take that complete break. Glad that you could take such a refreshing break :) I too want to take one now. Happy Thanksgiving, Lyn!

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    1. Take the break, Rachna. It's so worth it!

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  35. I'm sort of taking an unscheduled break right now because the internet connection is terrible. If I'd known that I think I would have made it an intended break. As is I feel guilty for not keeping up with all the blogs and posts, and comments I should be doing. Not a good way to feel. Glad you had a rest, Lynda. Bet it was glorious.

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    1. It's out of your control, so there's nothing you can do but enjoy the time off.

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  36. Taking a break rather than forcing myself to write if I really don't feel like it generally meakes me more productive overall, I think.

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    1. I'm the same. That took a long while to learn... and sometimes I need to relearn it ;)

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  37. The South Pacific? Awesome! Sounds like you had a very good opportinuty to unplug. When on vacation I take a break from everything to revitalize myself. By the time the trip is over, I'm usual aching to write again:)

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  38. I bet it was wonderful. Glad to have you back though :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

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  39. Sounds like it was rejuvenating.
    The last time I unplugged completely, the break extended to about six weeks, and then I really struggled to get back into the swing of things. That break was TOO long.

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    1. Ha, yep, some breaks can definitely be too long.

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  40. oh my gosh... PLEASE take me with you next time. I LOVE sleeping :D

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  41. Now that the snow is upon us, a cruise does sound great. Still, my best breaks don't require me to leave home. I'm perfectly happy with relaxing at home for several days in a row.

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    1. What is this thing you call snow? ;)
      (I think I've seen snow twice in my life)

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  42. When I get out and away, I find those moments of bliss, quiet, opening, soulful. That's when my creative side opens up and I'm off taking notes, creating work, but it is easy to put down to enjoy the surroundings. For those quick getaways and brain recharges, nothing works for me more than a day of fly fishing.

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  43. First, I LOVE the photograph. The South Sea islands--lucky you! Boy would I love to be there right now...and not baking a million pies for Thanksgiving.
    You are so right, Lynda. Writers, and everyone, need to take a proper break from the daily grind of life to relax. Alas, I find when I get away, I finally have time to think about my writing.

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    1. The photo is on Mystery Island. Such a great place!
      Finding the time to think about writing isn't all bad. Us writers never truly switch off anyway, so it's kinda inevitable.

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  44. No push. No rush. Just the way life should be, Lynda. I'm happy for you. That must've been some trip :)))

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    1. It was the best trip I've had for two years... oh wait, it's the only trip I've had in two years. ;)

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    2. Hahaha! Well, you may want to make plans for.... number two!

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    3. I made loose plans last time but life still managed to get in the way. Hopefully that won't happen this time.

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  45. Welcome back! So glad you had a great and relaxing time. I need a trip to the South Pacific too! :) Awesome that you are so creatively energized now. Yay!

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    1. Thanks, Carol! You would've loved the trip!! I highly recommend it :)

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  46. I haven't had a full break like that for a year or so. I need another one bad. So glad you enjoyed yours :)

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    1. I hope you decide to take one soon... it's good for the soul.

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  47. What a wonderful break!! Sounds fabulous and came home invigorated and full of ideas. A Gift!

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  48. It's very important to have a rest and not burn yourself out or let yourself start to hate the things that you love by letting it become a chore. Great idea going on a cruise! Sounds like you had a lovely time. :)

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  49. Sounds like you had a beautiful time! Some day I'll take a break. Hopefully before I have a psychotic one! lol!

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  50. Good for you. Sounds like a fabulous time. I believe in living in the moment. Definitely when on vacation, your priority should be enjoy yourself, experience the surroundings, and re-connect with your partner/family. NOT to write or worry about writing. Great advice from you!!

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