I had a post in mind for this months Insecure Writer’s Support Group post… But then I got slammed with feeling sick, overwhelmed, and on buses that wanted to run late.
So instead I write this, on my phone while waiting to get home after a long day (and briefly edit before heading to work the next morning).
When I get home I plan to curl up and go to bed, I’ve been dreaming about it all day. Because I am drained, completely and thoroughly.
It really should be no surprise. I “won” NaNoWriMo this month, while working full time with a long commute, still keeping up on this blog and other projects, AND I cooked and prepared meals for much of a two-day Thanksgiving extravaganza, and the rest of the month wasn’t exactly low-key on the social scale. I should be tired.
And yet, I feel guilty for not planning to write tonight. For not writing much at all since the 26th.
I have to remind myself (and I am sure I’m not the only one needing this reminder), that we need to give ourselves breaks. Sometimes life overwhelms, and we then need to step back and give ourselves room to breath. It doesn’t make one any less of a writer to not write for a short while – we need to take time to rest, and that’s okay. You know, sometimes it’s even okay to decide to watch some tv, rather than read a book – just another form of storytelling.
Pushing ourselves to far without a break can be detrimental. It can cause those insecurities to flare up and take control because we are weakened. Just like a body pushed beyond its limit with not sleeping as well as you should, or not eating properly, can make you more vulnerable to illness, pushing yourself with your work too much (a little pushing is important) can make you more likely to start over-criticizing and questioning your ability and the worth of your art.
Writing is a draining activity – even in those amazing moments of story creation you are using a lot of energy and effort. So be sure to take the time to allow yourselves to refuel.
Sometimes it is okay to let yourself take a break. Sometimes it is even necessary.
Also, exciting news! The Insecure Writer’s Support Group has a new book out! 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!
This is my monthly post as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, a great 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.