I started writing my five-book series this summer, hoping to finish by the end of the year. So far, I am still on track, but having written three books in four months is really starting to get a bit tiring.
Don’t get me wrong: I love writing. I could do it all day. Even now.
But sometimes you just need to step back, take a moment to gather your thoughts, and relax. Even the best of us need some time to ourselves.
I know, lots of times you feel like, “I have so many things to do!” “I really need to crack down hard on myself to finish this before my deadline!” “How will I get all of these things done?”
Chillax, people. If you get your novel finished a few days later than your deadline, it’s okay. As long as you get it finished.
If you’ve felt one of the above statements, or more, you might want to sit back and cool down. Writing is hard; we all need our days off.
Here’re some tips to relaxing and getting the most out of your vacation:
1. Reward yourself for all your hard work.
Do you like ice cream? Or cookies? Or cake and pie? Or maybe all four? You’ve put a lot of time and hard work into your story, you deserve some nice thing! (It doesn’t even have to be food, but seriously, there’s not much out there that’s better than food.) Get yourself that new writing app for your phone you’ve been dying to try. Get yourself a new notebook. Maybe a Starbucks gift card. Hang out with friends when you’d normally say, “I have things to do” (i. e. writing). Just reward yourself.
2. Focus on things other than writing.
If you think about your writing too much on your relaxation vacation, it might not be so much of a relaxation vacation. You need to spend some time doing some other things (maybe try living a “normal” life?). Spend time with friends and family, and just have fun, without your writing barging in. And I know, it’s impossible to wipe writing permanently for your mind, but for once, don’t let it be at the forefront of your mind. Let it sit in the back, quietly waiting until you can get back to it.
3. Don’t dwell on things.
Whether it’s about writing or not, the worst thing you can do on your vacation is dwell on things. Dwelling is no good. For one, most of what we worry about never happens. Around 75% of people worry about things that have already happened (which we can do nothing about), and things that may happen (which probably won’t). What else can I say? Don’t worry, be happy.
4. Let your inspiration guide you.
All right, after all the things I’ve said, I’m not saying you still can’t write, but that you should simply take a break from the writing process. You can write every now and then if the urge comes (which it will surely do), but my advice is to let your inspiration lead you. If inspiration strikes, write it down. If inspiration says, “YOU MUST WRITE,” then write. Don’t write because you feel obligated to; write because you want and need to.
5. Remember that this is just another step in the writing process, and, in the end, it will all be worth it.
Don’t we all imagine the glowing end in which we are all published, and all our glorious fans are crowding around us, begging for their books to be signed? If your dreams are strong enough, this will happen. So, just remember these things. Remember how it will all turn out in the end.
Now, perhaps some of you are the opposite of being too much of a busybody. As for how to overcome that, I’ll talk about that next time. As for now, I hope you enjoyed this post, I hope it gave you some positive thoughts, and I hope it helps.
~ J. Dominique