It IS okay to take a break.

I realised the other day that I’ve been quite quiet on here lately, not just here but other social networking sites as well. 

I’ve been busy doing things other than writing (cue gasps of horror), and all sorts of guilty feelings tapped away in my subconscious. I wasn’t fulfilling my personal goals. I was letting current and potential fans down. I wasn’t supporting my fellow writers as I should be.

Besides which, us writers know the mantra: write every day. If you want to get anywhere, write every day. If you want to improve, write every day. If you want to learn, write every day. Because, how are your dreams going to come true if you don’t write every day?
Quite simply, you’ll burn out. Like everything else, it becomes a chore when you’re having to squeeze it in around everything else most of us have to juggle.

It was a fellow writer who pointed out to me (while I was moaning that I hadn’t done any writing for ages) that it’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to focus on something different. And besides which, I was still feeding my creative side, as I’ve become passionate about upcycling and home decor. I’ve always been into various crafts and other home-made things, but have recently become quite excited about this latest trend. It’s not a new phenomenon, though, as my mum tells me it was all the rage in the seventies.

More and more people are shifting away from buying expensive, mass produced items from the big department stores, preferring to pick up bargains from flea markets, garage sales, charity shops – not to mention the various different websites giving stuff away for free – and with a little love and inspiration, turning them into treasured items and giving them a new lease of life.
As such, I chose to take some leisure time and immersed myself in this old pastime, studying books and websites and blogs (Pinterest is especially great for this) and television programmes for some inspiration. Although we’ve not started a project yet, we do have some wooden boxes which my husband saved from certain death, which is going to be turned into much-needed shelving storage for our bedroom. I’ve also been doing some well-overdue sorting and rearranging in our home and feel so much more organised for it (I can’t bear clutter or disorganisation, but the writing is always put first).
Only, now that I’ve taken some time for me to do something that excites me (as well as regain some order to life), I’ve woken up this morning feeling refreshed and ready to start writing again (as well as a need to pick up that cross stitch project again).

So, next time you feel like beating yourself up for not completing your target number of hours/words for that day/week, remember that it’s okay to recharge the batteries every once in a while. 
I used to be a ‘corporate slave’ (as some would call it) and back then, I would take holidays, days off, etc, and make time for my leisure pursuits in the evenings or at the weekend like normal people do. I seem to have forgotten what an important part of life it is.

No matter how passionate you are about your writing, or getting the latest project off your desk, or starting the next one and meeting your tough personal goals, remember that it’s okay to take a break.
(Thank you Alexandria Gilbert for reminding of this and inspiring this latest blog post).