Writers are constantly running at eleven (Thank you, This is Spinal Tap). No one wants to get burned out, so be sure to keep an eye on your stamina and mood. When it starts to slow and/or falter, it might be time to take a break.
Nothing wrong with a break. The trick to any time off from writing is to get restarted before the break becomes permanent. (Although I could probably get behind a permanent vacation on that beach….)
Many writers find if they stay away from writing too long, their inspiration can get lost. During the long break when the kidlets were babies, a couple promising characters gave up, packed their bags, and left me in the dust. You don’t want that to happen, trust me.
So let’s say you need a break (or, like me….you’ve been on a bit of a break since carpal tunnel release surgery on your right hand in April). What’s the best way to handle it?
Mark it on your calendar before you begin. Figure out the total amount of time you need and split it up:
Physical rest and mental rest are equally important. I’m a big supporter of giving yourself a set time (a week? Two weeks?) of time-off to rest and relax. Read books for fun (not research!). Spend time in nature. Plant a garden. Go to a museum. Binge watch a series you’ve heard others rave about. All of these refill the well of your creativity.
After your time-off has ended, take another week or so and start small. Do a character interview. Pull a story thread and see if it’s connected throughout your story. Talk to your antagonist and find out how he/she is the hero in their own version of your story. Research lovely clothing and/or locations. This will feed your creativity while making the work fun.
By the time you are at the end of your small work, you’ll be ready to tackle the big job. Take a deep breath, divvy up the challenges ahead, and dive in.
You can do it. Your readers are waiting!