I love writing. It’s my favoritest thing to do in the world. But like anything, if one thing is all you ever do, it will drive you bat crazy.
Thus enter the “other interests.” Because we all have other things we enjoy doing. While I would love to dive into one project after the other, these breaks don’t just give me time to dive into some of my other interests for a while, they also help me write when I get back to it. They clear my mind and some of these hobbies even earn me a gratuitous amount of compliments. It’s always good to hear that you’re awesome, am I right? ^_^
The biggest benefit of breaks is that they help me formulate ideas. My brain (magnificent as it is ^_^) can only do so much, and while I’m knee deep in one story, I don’t always have the brain space to work the kinks out of other ideas. During my last break, I not only prepped two stories, I worked the kinks out of a story I’ve been trying to work out for several months. During the break before that, I wrote the best song on the keyboard that I’ve written in my life. Not that it’s saying much, as I’m not fabulous, but I love it, and it was perfect for the story I was about to dive into. 🙂
Breaks also help with “Writer’s Brain” — you know that worn out, beat down, how can I ever write another word/paragraph/page/story feeling? Writing a book is hard. And we need a vacation from that. (Notice I said vacation…vacation is not 5 months long.) Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in writing that I don’t even realize how tired I am until I’m forced to take a break because the exhaustion is driving me to want to quit entirely. The worst thing is that I don’t even know I’m tired until I slow down. After which I spend 3 or 4 days completely out of it and tired and then suddenly I wake up on day 5 and my brain is working again. This is why I try not to write everyday, or at least take it easy one day and just do 300 words instead of 3000, even in crazy making mode.
Now, taking a writing break doesn’t always mean I’m not working on something. As you can see from the above, I plot, plan, and outline during my breaks. I just don’t do any actual drafting and editing.
I’ve reached 52k and some odd words on my NaNo story. I’ve won NaNoWriMo. ^^ Instead of plowing ahead and trying to finish by the end of the month, I’m going to be nice to myself (and listen to my sister) for a change and take a few days off. I still haven’t watch Game of Thrones (No joke), so I’m going to do that. See how poor Rob Stark dies. And I hear the jerk king is poisoned or something and I must see that. I’m also going to watch some movies. Life of Pi and Brave and The Hobbit finally. (Yes, I get super behind when I’m writing.) I’m collecting my winner’s badge on Monday!! I can’t wait. ^^ But until the end of the month, no writing for me. I was starting to fall apart.
Taking this time off is really hard for me. I don’t like to set my writing aside. But I’ve spent the last week just dragging my feet. I got to 48k and my brain just quit on me. I asked for 2,000 more words and it gave them to me, but I can’t do anymore, I’m exhausted. Writing is just no fun when you’re wearing yourself out. At first I felt like a failure, but enough of that nonsense. I wrote 50k words in 18 days. A failure I am not.
Sometimes we just need a break, you know. I’ve watched two episodes of Game of Thrones, and I feel so much better already. ^_^ (Like how awesome is the dragon girl! I can’t spell her name, I’m not even going to try.)