Don’t Take That Break – Josh Journal
For some people, taking a break seems like a luxury. There is too much to do, so they work themselves to the bone. With no rest in between, they work until they get burnt out. Exhausted. Fatigued. Worn out.
And when they are emptied, it becomes impossible to go on with the task at hand.
A major key to maintaining strength, morale, and maximizing productivity is knowing when to take a break. Such period is used to rest, recover, research where necessary, and regain strength and motivation for the task ahead.
Taking breaks where necessary is often the difference between good and great. The time spent away can give you a new perspective that when applied will go on to make a world of difference.
For creatives, we love to work in rhythm. We search for inspiration, we try to get into “the zone”. And eventually, we find our “mojo”.
The next question for us is, should I ride this mojo to the end, even if I get exhausted in between? Or should I take a break in between, and come back to continue?
The fear many of us have is that if we take that break, we might never get back in the zone. We know how long it took to get the inspiration.
There is also the fact that the inspiration to work and the mood to work don’t necessarily come hand in hand.
I was a victim of this recently. As with everything related to me, there were a few minor tweaks to my situation though.
I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been stuck with writer’s block. As a matter of fact, I have more ideas on hand than time to work on them.
My only issue has consistently been getting in the mood to write. There have been multiple instances where I wasn’t in the mood to write, yet my brain was unraveling and piecing an idea together.
I had the opening lines, multiple sentences to fix at different points, and the exact lines to close with. All that was missing was the will to pen it down.
“Why didn’t you use the Google voice typing feature?” You might ask.
I have a dictation app that is more effective, easier, and intuitive than the default Google version. Again, the mood was absent.
Just as I was unwilling to type, I was also unwilling to dictate.
I know myself well enough to avoid situations like this. This is why I created a writing schedule that has proven to be successful.
As a writer, if you struggle to get in the mood, or struggle with inspiration, I will advise you to create a schedule for yourself and hold yourself to it.
Even when it seems forced, stick to it until it feels normal. If you have no issue with mood, will, or inspiration, then you need to be put up in a museum. Your type is rare.
Before now, if I know I am about to get into a period when my time would be disrupted and I would be unable to keep to schedule, or my private time would be drastically reduced, I ensure I write at least one piece daily.
I’d squeeze myself, jump through hoops, do everything possible to ensure I write something every day. No matter how minimal.
In the last two weeks, this proved to be impossible. I had a work engagement that left me with no time for anything else. I barely had enough time to sleep in between.
By the time I was done, I already knew this break had messed up my writing psyche.
When I got back on schedule, I would do anything and everything but write. Again, ideas were not a problem.
I sat with my phone and couldn’t type. The same thing happened on the PC. The only reason I didn’t bother with a pen and paper is that I know my handwriting is a mess. That would just be punishing my eyes and brain when I eventually need to transfer it to the screen.
I decided to take a personal break and resume on a specific day. I spent the rest of the week going through all the tabs I had opened on my browser.
This is a good time to mention that those in the know have concluded that I have a Google Chrome Browser Tab problem.
I would be writing about that later.
Thankfully, I was able to go through my over two hundred tabs this week. All of these while keeping up with my regular feeds.
When on Saturday, I successfully closed the last of the tabs, I knew anything is possible.
I knew if I could do that, then I can write whenever I want.
Well, here I am. Writing again.
I hope the next time I go on a forced break, my “tabbed victory” reminds me of how I can do anything, and I seamlessly get back to writing.