Wellbeing and Creativity | On Taking a Break and Not Beating Yourself Up

This week I finally finished part two of my novel. This is the third rewrite of this novel and I had been hoping to finish this draft by Christmas. But. Life got in the way. I’ve had flare ups, problems with medication, work stress and I have been struggling to find my writing mojo. This second part of the novel (and reaching 50,000 words) has dragged on. The last five thousand words of part two taking about six weeks to write because I just couldn’t get started.

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Panic would normally ensue right about now. But the fact is, I don’t have writers block. I still believe in the story I’m writing and feel confident I can finish this draft. I just don’t think that if I force myself to write part three in a month or even if I make myself write a little every day, that it will be my best work. I feel really tired right now, physically and mentally and so writing just isn’t happening like it normally does.

So I have decided to take a rest. I’m not parking my writing altogether – any flashes of inspiration or sudden idea of ‘oh that’s how that scene needs to happen’ and I will pick up my pen. But I’m not going to try and write every day of December, I’m not going to beat myself up for not completing this daft within my own deadline.

Instead, I’m going to take a creative break because I honestly believe you have to feed your creativity to make your best work. Therefore December is going to be a month for writing short stories, researching my next novel idea, knitting, painting, reading and just not beating myself up about my WIP. At the end of the day, even if I finish this manuscript there is no guarantee it will ever be published so right now I am very much writing for the love of it and I don’t want to kill my love for writing by forcing myself to write at a time when I’m a bit stressed, a bit knackered and really just want to get to the Christmas holidays!

I am looking forward to reserving a few days of my Christmas holidays to write and get back to the manuscript with a fresh pair of eyes and a hopefully revived energy for writing.

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In the meantime, here is my plan for the next three weeks to keep my creativity up!

Week one: Work on a short story, practice yoga every day

Week two: Read a piece of nonfiction, practice meditation every day

Week three: Write a short story or vignette based on a piece of music, reread a favourite novel

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