Monday, September 22, 2014

It's Okay to Take a Break

Writing is exhausting.

I love, love, love writing. Have I mentioned that I love it? Because I LOVE it. But just like any other job, working nonstop can result in major burnout. Symptoms of burnout include, but are not limited to: fatigue, irritability, and the desire to throw your computer across the room because JUST FIX YOURSELF, MANUSCRIPT.

Ahem. It’s possible I almost reached burnout status recently. The feelings are still a bit raw.

For the safety of computers everywhere (and our brains), I’m going to talk about something that has become a lifesaver for me: Mental Health Days, or what I lovingly refer to as brain breaks. As awesome as our brains are, they can become overworked and worn, just like any other part of our bodies. They need rest.

On that same note, the creativity well needs refilling every now and then. We need books and movies. We need walks outside and we need sunlight. Heck, sometimes we need to binge-watch twelve hours of Friday Night Lights on Netflix. These things give us material to keep the gears turning.

And to be completely honest, sometimes you just need a break. Sometimes you’re worn-out with this whole writing thing, just like with any other job. And that’s okay! It happens. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Mental Health Days can last a day, or a week, or even a month or two. If you’re facing a deadline, a month-long break may not be feasible, but walking away from the computer for a day or two can work wonders.

The bottom line here is to give yourself a little grace. Don’t beat yourself up for not being a production factory. Brains need to recharge. Creativity needs to recharge. You need to recharge. It’s okay to take care of yourself. Promise.

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