Thursday, June 23, 2011

Knowing When To Take A Break

Hi guys!

First off - if you haven't already, don't forget to go sign up for my agent-judged first page contest on my blog, with Literary Agent Victoria Marini!

Sorry for missing my regularly scheduled post last time! I didn't have anything worthwhile to post, so I skipped it! Which, gives me a great topic for this week's post.

How to decide when it's time to take a break.

I've been writing hard for a really, really long time. When I wasn't writing, I was querying. When I wasn't querying or writing, I was researching agents. Over the period of a year and a half, I've written three full books (including rounds and rounds of revisions) and three more in various stages. The most I've ever taken off was a four-day stint of not writing. It's exhausting. And I've come to a point in my career where all of that 24/7 focus on my writing career has left my family feeling a bit neglected.

That's when I knew it was time to take a break. I've been working so hard that trying to come up with a new story idea just wasn't happening. The more I tried to force it, the less it came. Even scenes that I had outlined to write felt forced.

So, rather than writing an inspiring post about something for your writing journey, I'm asking the question: What do you do to refresh your muse? For me, I'm just taking time off from writing. I'm reading, watching movies, spending time with my family. I'll get back to writing, just as soon as I feel refreshed. So far, after 5 days of not writing, I'm still exhausted. So maybe another week. Maybe two. But I will get back to writing, and know that it will be better than ever because I am refreshed.

So tell me - what are your tricks to keeping yourself going strong? Do you take regular vacations from writing, or are you like me, the energizer bunny until your batteries die and you have to replace them? :)


Shelley Watters writes romance for young adults and adults. She lives in Arizona with her husband, two kids and two dogs. She loves listening to music, reading good books and letting her imagination go wild as she creates new worlds and torments her characters in delicious ways. She is an active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is represented by Mark McVeigh of the McVeigh Agency.


  1. It's always good to take a break. Good, that you know when to ;o) I think reading books always gets me back into it, but it also gives me much needed time away ;o) Great post!

  2. Nice post! I try to work in breaks from social networking and writing too. :)

  3. I take breaks all the time. I treat it like a job, mostly. I take the weekends off to spend with family. If I don't have anything going on, I'll sneak in a few hours of writing here and there. It's always good to recharge. I do take several weeks off for family vacations, as well. Have a good rest! You deserve it! :D