Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Time Off (From Writing) For Good Behaviour

Image courtesy of winnond /

Guilt, we all feel it, especially when it comes to taking time off. For a lot of you I am guessing that writing is already something that you have to squeeze into your day. When you don't take the opportunity to use some free time to get more writing done the guilt sets in. I have written before (here) about using your spare minutes wisely, and (here) about spending just one minute on your writing. BUT, sometimes you really just need to take a break.

If you are worn out and can barely keep your eyes open, if you have sick family members to take care of, if you are sick yourself, or if you just plain want to do something else, then it is ok to take time off. You know what they say about all work and no play. Don't believe me? How about these guys (via quote garden)?

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.  ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.  ~Ovid
Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You
Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness. ~George MacDonald
Guilt is always hungry, don't let it consume you. ~Terri Guillemets
 A poor life this if, full of care,We have no time to stand and stare.~William Henry Davies

Take a day or two, or even a week if you feel you need it, and then come back to your writing refreshed, your health and your writing (not to mention the family who never see you) will thank you. Just don't leave it too long or you will find it too hard to get back into a routine and then you will face a whole host of other problems.

Do you feel guilty about taking time off from your writing? How do you overcome it? Let me know in the comments section below or you contact me here.


  1. Taking a break is so important, but I do feel guilty when I do it. More often than not though, having some time away from it actually helps get the ideas flowing - so that's the guilt dealt with. ;-)

    1. Turns out this post was quite timely as I was forced to take time off over the weekend with a really bad cold and killer headache that made looking at a screen impossible. It was hard to stop myself feeling guilty but I knew that I would only make matters worse if I attempted to work through it. My mind is still always on the go though even if my fingers aren't on the keyboard and I agree that sometimes a few days off leaves you raring to get back into it.