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Favourite posts: Time Off For Good Behavior

December 10, 2010

For the month of December, Write Anything is hosting a retrospective of the posts that have appeared over the past four five years. We hope you enjoy revisiting these posts, as we take stock of where we have come from, and look forward to where we will be heading in the future!

This post first appeared on 15 October 2006.

I spend the better part of every day in front of the computer reading or writing something. It’s not always writing related, but feeds the hunger pangs reminding me how I ache to be a bigger part of the writing world.

Sometimes I just have to stop. I wipe the drool off the keyboard, crack my knuckles and stretch my back. For a day or so. Or maybe longer.

On hiatus, my ideas sometimes flourish. And sometimes is enough. I don’t, at the moment, have deadlines, an editor or publisher. While this doesn’t please me, looking on the bright side, I have the freedom to tuck the pages of my unfinished short story into a folder, close it, and walk away; click off the Microsoft Word document and just lose myself in something like a load of laundry, or planning one of my kids’ school events or in a Lifetime Movie of the Week.

It’s then I find that I remember things; tales that inspire me and stories I want to tell. Word combinations pop into my head. Titles appear in my mind’s eye. Threads worthy of weaving thoughts together seem evident where they were non-existent.

I’m not one to look for ways to get back to writing when I’m blocked or bored or barren. I just let it go, and eventually it comes back. I write personal stories that are cumbersome and draining, so perhaps that is part of the equation. Sometimes I need to step away in order to step back and approach it with a fresh pair of eyes and a repaired psyche.

No matter the reason the writing stops, I think its ok to give yourself time off. Even when it’s what you want to do, need to do, must do. If you’re not in peril for the paycheck it provides, be it monetary or emotional, try giving yourself time off. You may find don’t have to go back to writing at all, that it comes knocking on your door.

And best of all you might be surprised how things rearrange themselves, fall into place and become crystal clear when you’re not even looking.

I always am.


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