One and a half week ago I sent my WIP away to my editor for some much needed TLC. Now, I always write on multiple things. I have a main WIP, then I usually always work on the following book, as well as a little side project. (Gotta have some of those side projects).
But when I sent my main WIP away, I thought to myself: “You know what? Don’t. Don’t write anything for a bit. Take a break. Read instead. See what happens.”
I’m not the kind of person who doesn’t read while they write. I usually always write, and I definitely always read. I suppose I get why some people are afraid to be influenced or to copy someone’s voice, but that’s not me. I’m not good enough to copy someone’s voice, even if I tried. So I always read.
But now that I sent my WIP away, I wanted to read more. Get through some piles, have whole evenings to myself to read. I did just that. And it was amazing. There was something so relieving about coming home and knowing I was on a break from my writing, knowing I could just pick up that book I wanted to finish.
Of course, I was kind of scared. Scared that I’d lose my mojo, lose my muse or whatever. I was worried that if I didn’t keep the writing up, I’d get worse at it. Like if you stop going to the gym for a while, and you come back weaker.
Like I said, it’s been a week and a half. It feels much longer, but I checked. Maybe by the time I post this it will be two weeks. And instead of ruining my writing habits, like I feared, the exact opposite happened.
I found myself sitting down to write, not because I scheduled in time for it, but because I really had to. There was this scene I just had to write suddenly. I’m usually very habitual and strict, I sit down to write because I’ve told myself that now’s the time to write. But this time it was different, now I was sitting down to write because I just had to. The withdrawal was getting too strong, I couldn’t stay away.
Taking a break from my WIP; setting aside a couple of weeks to just read has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. Instead of struggling to get back into it, I can’t wait now. I’m still holding off, trying to get through some books. But the urge is strong. And I love it.
The lesson to take away from this? Maybe you need a break too? And maybe you don’t have to be as scared of it as you think. Maybe it helps.