Making Room Not To Write – Plus an Introduction

December was a month that saw very little writing on my part.  I had these grand plans for the month, I was going to get so much writing done, do some plotting for future editing, things like that.

But December did not go as I planned.  Almost no writing got done.  Absolutely no blog-formatting got done. Nearly no reading got done.

I’ll admit, I spent a bit of time beating myself up about that all.  I’ve told myself that I should have pushed, that I should have written even if it was a struggle, that I needed to write, that even if I wasn’t writing at least I could have looked at the layout of Disparate Threads, or revisited the outline of my novel-draft, or read more books. Something.

But I didn’t.  I hung out with friends some, and watched entirely too many shows on Netflix.  I did a little bit of cleaning, and a fair amount of sleeping.  There was work at the day job in there too, of course.  And I did make some Christmas gifts.

Still, I was beating myself up for not writing.  I wondered if I had been just fooling myself about being able to do “this writing thing.”  I had moments of wanting to think of myself as a failure — but something held me back from giving over entirely to that thought.

As I start to ease back into the writing work that I had intended to do in December, I realize something very important.  I needed to give myself that break — it wasn’t failure, rather self-care. Yes, sometimes there is a need to push yourself to keep going, even if you don’t feel like it, but sometimes it’s also important to allow yourself room to take a breath.  Giving myself permission to allow the space to not write helps me as I step back into my writing now.  A break does not mean failure.  Sometimes, a break is needed in order to refresh, recharge, and be able to keep going.

Yes, I’ve told myself this before, but apparently I need to be told it again.

This month we were invited to write a little Introduction about ourselves – so I’ll take a brief moment to do so.  There’s also plenty of “who am I?” pondering and rambling in my About Me page.

I’m Allison, and I hate writing bio’s and “about me” posts… I’m just bad at introducing myself.  I’m a writer, and technically a published author and poet, though the published piece isn’t something I mention often because I still feel like a fake in that regard in some ways.  I have an MA in Religion, a BA in History, and ponder going on for another Masters (in Public History) and maybe even a Doctorate. But for now I am focusing on keeping up at my pay-the-bills-job, and juggling my blogging and fiction writing in order to get an actual, functional, draft of my first novel done by the fall of 2015 (self-set goal). Also, I endeavor to stop using “and” and “but” at the start of so many of my sentences.

This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a IWSG badgegreat group of supportive writers, helping one another through our writing ups-and-downs.
There is also a great Facebook Community for more daily connection!  More posts from the group are tagged on Twitter at #IWSG. 

We have also, recently, put out a new book, for free (through most sites).  Check it out for all sorts of great articles on topics from writing to publishing, everything in-between and beyond!


17 thoughts on “Making Room Not To Write – Plus an Introduction”

  1. I’m glad you stopped beating yourself up over not writing. Sometimes a break is necessary to recharge the brain. I know if I try to write when the words aren’t there, I’ll just end up tossing it out and starting over. Good luck with your writing in 2015!


    1. Thanks! It is important to get away from the page…I think part of what I was beating myself up about was the fact that my “away from the page” time was spent with an open document on the computer, and a show playing on the screen. But even that, letting my brain just passively take in tv-show-antics, is an important thing to do sometimes!


  2. Nice to meet you, Allison. I schedule the month of December off. I know after Nanowrimo in November and all the December distractions, I need to give myself a break. I actually got some writing done, so it bonus. You need to have some time to get your mind away from writing, don’t be so hard on yourself. Good luck in 2015.


    1. Thanks! I think I got fooled in November, NaNo didn’t seem HARD for me this year, so I thought that it would be easy to slide back into less writing for December, but had no idea I’d need a full stop. Of course, there were other factors, and I have to remind myself that there is also grief wrapped up in there (my Grandmother, who had been living with us, died the week after Thanksgiving).
      Thanks for the well wishes, I think 2015 is going to end up being a very good year for me 🙂


  3. You aren’t the only one who didn’t write in December. I kept up my blogs but not on my story. When I accepted that writing wasn’t going to happen without getting stressed, I felt so much better.


    1. I know lots of people took December off — and it is always helpful to remember that I’m not alone in that! I tend to be too hard on myself, with many things, so this was just one of them. However – I’m going to make note on the new calendar that I just got: December (and I’ll pick a few weeks here and there throughout the year) I’m allowed some guilt-free non-writing stretches.


  4. Hi Allison! Beating ourselves up gets us nowhere but in a deeper funk! I’m glad you recognized that you needed a break! Happy writing in 2015!


    1. That’s another good lesson to learn (and a hard one). One of these days I’ll figure it out when I most need it! The fact that I’m getting good at recognizing the futility of beating myself up just shortly after the fact is a good sign 🙂


    1. I think the shift of writing BEING one of my forms of self-care to it being something that I am pushing myself to do even if I don’t necessarily “feel like it” is part of the challenge.


  5. One of the reasons I watch TV at night is because I work at home and if I don’t have a way to shut my brain off, I will go right back down to my office and continue, even after working all day. That said, I too, have to tell myself it’s okay if I take a break from writing because if I don’t I get burned out and I’d rather have to tell myself to take a break often, than to not and end up burned out! So good for you for listening to yourself! Good way to start the new year! Lisa @


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