It’s been a week. It might have well been a month. Or a year.
To what am I referring?
The length of time since I have done any writing, or editing, or blogging…
I gave myself permission to take some much needed time off and now it almost feels like I’m starting over.
I have to admit that I didn’t realise how much I truly needed to enjoy some downtime. Even if for snatches of it I felt bored.
(Genuine conversation included – Me: ‘*groan* I’m bored‘ Partner: ‘What do you want to do?‘ Me:’Meh. Nothing.‘ cue; rolling of partner’s eyes).
It was nice not to have to feel responsible for my writing for a little while. There was no duty linked with any attempt to edit and I hadn’t understood quite how much this had affected me in the last few weeks. Of course, now I can easily identify that I had put far too much pressure on myself and expected unrealistic efforts to be made.
As someone said in the comments section for my previous post: “I keep forgetting. I’m supposed to be having fun with this!” I had been so focused on the end product I had sucked all of the fun out of writing and editing my novel.
So in many ways it is a new start for me now. I know what I want to achieve but I’m not going to push myself too hard to accomplish it. I have time. There is no external deadline looming over me. Only my own perceived expectations – and these can be unreasonably harsh.
From this point forward I’m giving myself permission of a different kind: to enjoy writing again.
If, at any point, I’m not having fun with the challenge of writing my novel or editing those paragraphs to really improve my manuscript, I’m allowing myself the option of taking a step back. To have the freedom to say ‘That’s enough for today’.
I trust in my desire to be a writer – to become a published novelist – enough to trust that I will continue down this path even throughout the difficult times. No matter how often I may step back and allow myself the opportunity to rest, to think, to read, I will always stride forward again, safe in the knowledge that I have faith in my ability to persevere and make the dream come true.
And it’s back into the fray again…
What about you? How do you know when you need to take a break, and how do you get back into the rhythm of writing regularly again? Let me know in comments.