Between a heat wave that pretty much obliterated most of my productivity and a small “what am I doing with my life?” crisis, I didn’t write for a week.
That’s right. I didn’t write.
Initially, I’d just decided to take a 3-day weekend from writing, something I hadn’t done in a while. Like I said, I was having a bit of a crisis and I needed to take a break and reset. However, with the heat (I don’t have A/C in my room where I spend most of my time and do most of my work) those three days stretched out to a week.
Part of my crisis was the doubt that I should be wasting all of my time writing. I’ve been getting frustrated with it, the lack of progress, the lack of motivation, the fact that it felt like work. I decided to take a few days off and see how I felt about writing. If I thought I could leave it, then I would. I didn’t know what I would do, but I’d find something.
As it turns out, not writing was actually a good thing. Oh, I still want to make my living as a writer and I’m still going to write. But not writing helped me gain some perspective on my situation.
First of all, just because I wasn’t writing didn’t mean I wasn’t still thinking like a writer. What I mean is even though I was on break, I was still getting ideas. Ideas for new stories, ideas for revisions, ideas for rewrites. I did a lot of jotting down while I wasn’t writing. It was nice having the ideas just come to me like that instead of trying to force them or beg them to come out of hiding.
And I still did other writing. I kept up with my blog posts and I wrote in my journal. I also scribbled on a couple of other goof projects, stuff that will never see the light of day. I could do it because I had the time to do it and I didn’t feel guilty about devoting twenty minutes to writing down a bit that came to mind.
I will admit that I was very bored without my writing. Yes, sometimes (lately most of the time) it feels like a pain and a chore, but without it, I was often left staring at my computer screen wondering what I should do. Sure I read more and of course I watched baseball, but that didn’t really fill the time like writing does.
In the end, not writing for a week helped me more than if I’d pushed through it and made myself write. I needed that time to reset, recharge, and re-evaluate what I was doing and how I was doing it.
I’m back to the grind again, working on a few different projects. It still feels like work sometimes. But it feels like the right kind of work now.