There’s one struggle I constantly have with myself as a writer: whether or not I’m allowed to give myself permission to take a break.
That sentence even sounds silly. Of course I’m allowed to give myself permission. It’s my own writing. Duh. But doesn’t it fly in the face of all the advice we hear from various well-known writers?
Write every single day. Write at the same time every day. Find your writing routine and stick to it. Don’t stop.
But a couple of months ago, I found myself overwhelmed with the approaching holidays and all that I needed to do. I promised myself I’d crochet gifts for my immediate family members and committed to crocheting items for a holiday boutique. (I’m an avid crocheter, for those of you who don’t know.) That, coupled with the pressure I’d put on myself to keep up revisions on my middle grade novel, was too much to handle. I could only exhaust my creative energy in so many places.
So, I decided to put my novel in the desk drawer until I could come up for air. Plus, giving myself a considerable amount of time before looking at it again meant I could come to it with fresh eyes later.
Logical thoughts, right? My inner voice couldn’t disagree more.
You’re procrastinating. This novel is never going to get finished and it’s your fault. How can you call yourself a writer if you don’t write every day of the week?
Even today, when I know that decision was the best for me at the time, I still take digs at myself for taking such a long break. It feels illegal.
I think you writers can relate. We’re often too hard on ourselves. But isn’t that also why we keep coming back to it? Isn’t that why many writers have produced great works that readers will always cherish? Because they never lower the bar for themselves?
I think it comes down to failure for me. If I’m not working on my craft, then I’m not a writer. But failure to write for a short period of time does not mean I’m failing. I’m letting the engine cool before I rev things up with more power than ever.
So, after a much needed hiatus, I’m back on the blog and ready to continue my writing journey. And hoping and wishing that I can learn to cut myself more slack in the future.
Wishing you all happy writing and revising this year. Bring on the writing adventures, 2017!