Are Breaks Good or Bad?

I have to admit I haven’t touched my manuscript in a while.  I have wanted to, life can get in the way though.  Besides working a full time job, I do writing on the side, work with some other gamers on creating games ourselves, am a member of the SCA, a wife, dog owner, gamer, and various other things which come with being an adult; so sometimes my writing or editing just falls to the wayside.

I do think breaks from writing and editing is necessary, it gives you time to get away and see things with a fresh mind.  This can help you see something which was there all along but until you didn’t look at it for a while, you never realized needed changing.  Of course on the flipside of that coin is the fact that the longer you are away from working on your manuscript, the harder it becomes to make it habit to work on it again.

I have hit that point.  It actually didn’t occur to me until the other day when I realized my writing group will meet this week.  I did do some editing to the pages I took the last time but it needs more.  Life just hasn’t been good for me.  Of course it hasn’t helped that many weekends this month I have not been well and thus many things have been ignored, but that is an excuse I need to just get over.  So it’s back to the grindstone for me.

What are your thoughts on taking breaks?  Do you think they are helpful?  Hurtful? Something which perhaps should be “scheduled” in to your writing/editing process?


About awritersprocess
I have been a writer longer than I can remember. It started with poems in grade school and evolved into the manuscripts, articles, and blogs that I currently write for. My desire to become an editor came later in life but I am no less passionate about that as I am about writing. I have a BA in English (with a minor in History) and have even taken a proofreading class through Editorial Freelancers Association. I am a writer for hire.

4 Responses to Are Breaks Good or Bad?

  1. Andy Szpuk says:

    I thinks breaks can be positive, as long as the break doesn’t become permanent.

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    I hear you! I’ve had so many on/off periods (mainly off) with my novel, and it just gets harder and harder to get back into the swing of things. I always paid lip service to the ‘writing something every day’ school of thought, but never really did it. Because I thought: ‘Well, can 500 words of drivel or 10 minutes of scribbling here and there REALLY help when I should be writing that wonderful, magnificent, world-changing masterpiece?’ But for the past 3 weeks or so I have been writing daily, however small, and even if it’s not directly related to my novel, I do feel it really does make a difference.
    Of course, planned breaks are good for you, refreshing your spirit and maybe even your writing!

    • If you like writing every day, I suggest doing NaNoWriMo. Yes it is 50,000 and a lot can be drivel but its written and then you can edit to make it great. If you wait to write when it will be perfect (the writing not the time) you will never succeed.

  3. Tiggy Hayes says:

    i left my first NaNoWriMo novel for a while and am now actively having it reviewed while last November’s novel is very much on hold – i have not looked at it since 30 Nov.

    but I do subscribe to the writing something everyday idea. sometimes it is just drivel, but coming back to it later is can be the catalyst for a story or just padding for something already written. even writing a blog is good as that is quick and out of the way once posted.

    a break from a piece of work is ok as long as you are still writing something.

    I do empathise and understand your efforts so well.


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