Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Hiatus from writing

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    6

    Hiatus from writing

    Is it ok to take a hiatus from writing? I mean you work crazy hours, selling your soul, and not getting much recognition. Is it really worth it for long periods of time without a vacation?

    For some people it's hard to write, so stopping is easy, but it is it hard to get back on the saddle after taking a vacation?

    I really think that while they are necessary evil, they can be a stumbling block to your writing.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW mccardey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Australia.
    Posts
    8,220
    Quote Originally Posted by spikywriter View Post
    Is it ok to take a hiatus from writing? I mean you work crazy hours, selling your soul, and not getting much recognition. Is it really worth it for long periods of time without a vacation?

    For some people it's hard to write, so stopping is easy, but it is it hard to get back on the saddle after taking a vacation?

    I really think that while they are necessary evil, they can be a stumbling block to your writing.
    In my house we call it "feeding the beast". Writing takes stuff out of you - sometimes it's good to focus on putting stuff in. I take a good long break between drafts. But I'm very disciplined - always 2hrs twice a day at a minimum when I'm writing and lots and lots of reading when I'm not.

    Take your break with a clear conscience, grasshopper...

  3. #3
    Tell it like it Is Susan Littlefield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    With my cats
    Posts
    8,084
    Spikywriter,

    .

    I don't stop writing for long periods of time, but I do take vacations where I put my writing aside. I did take a break from creative writing when I was went to paralegal school and also completed by B.A., but I did a lot of academic writing.

    If you need a break, take a break. If not don't. It all depends on what you want.
    Susan

    Please visit my website: http://www.susanlittlefield.blogspot.com/


  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW RobertEvert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ivory Tower
    Posts
    454
    Absolutely. I think taking a break and stepping back from your work often provides clearer insight as to what's working and what isn't.

    Don't beat yourself up for focusing on the other important things in your life! Good luck!

  5. #5
    resident curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    26,296
    Quote Originally Posted by spikywriter View Post
    Is it ok to take a hiatus from writing? I mean you work crazy hours, selling your soul, and not getting much recognition. Is it really worth it for long periods of time without a vacation?

    For some people it's hard to write, so stopping is easy, but it is it hard to get back on the saddle after taking a vacation?

    I really think that while they are necessary evil, they can be a stumbling block to your writing.
    You can take a break, or never write at all. There is no law that says you ever have to write.

    Honestly, if I believed for a second that I was selling my soul, I'd never write again. I don't understand that attitude at all. Writing should be fun, something you love doing, or why do it at all?

    If you're writing for recognition, rather than writing because it's the way you most want to spend your time, then you may as well take a long hiatus.

    Having said that, I do take a vacation twice a year. I take two weeks sometime during the summer, and stop from just before Christmas until after the New Year. Though this isn't as much a vacation away from writing as it is a vacation away form everything else life throws at me.

    Refilling the well is fine. A vacation is fine. But it should be for a set time. It is hard to get back in the saddle.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin ThatLauren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    NY,NY
    Posts
    22
    I am just recently back from a year without writing (excluding academic papers).

    I feel even more driven and confident. I have also found a shift in the genre I want to pursue. It was liberating to take a break, and return on my own time and initiative.

  7. #7
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Outer Brigantia
    Posts
    7,659
    I'm staring an BA in February and I'm certainly scaling things back. Right now, I find reading books on Roman history books as 'fun,' over writing. I do write, but the marathons have become 2 hour evening jogs.

    I can't help wondering if I had done the same in my first degree, that maybe I would have done a bit better than a good second-class.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW treehugger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas
    Posts
    171
    With my current WIP, when I was writing the first draft my life was kind of crazy and at times weeks would go by between writing sessions, and I think the work really suffered for that--it was really tough to get back into it and to maintain a voice and coherent storyline and characters. I'm editing now and the first draft needed so, so, so much work, and I really wish I could/would have written more regularly without all those big gaps in the middle of the project. But I'm working on it almost every day now, and the WIP is coming along SO WELL now and I'm really enjoying the work now too. (My life is also a lot calmer and stable now, which also probably makes a big difference.)

    On the other hand, I might take "breaks" in the sense that I'm not working on some big creative project but I am still journaling, so I am still writing regularly. I think it's very important to keep in practice, even if you are just doing the writing equivalent of doodles. The more you write the better you get and the easier it becomes and the more you like it. But if you're unhappy as it sounds like you are, a break might be good to get some perspective. Maybe writing isn't for you, or maybe you should explore a different genre.
    Writer. Artist. Gardener. Crazy Cat Lady.
    http://sonyamirus.com/

  9. #9
    Retired Illuminatus dangerousbill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    The sovereign state of Baja Arizona
    Posts
    4,728
    Quote Originally Posted by spikywriter View Post
    I really think that while they are necessary evil, they can be a stumbling block to your writing.
    If I stop for an extended time, like a month or more, it's extremely difficult to get back in the groove. I generally have to discard the first stuff I write when I go back to it.
    Dangerous Bill

    'Lessons for a Dominant Woman' - A woman's journey, breaking out of the abused wife trap to enslaving her college professor. Romantic realistic femdom. A prequel to 'Lessons at the Edge' CAUTION: Explicit, 18+
    http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Domina...=william+gaius

  10. #10
    empty-nester! shadowwalker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    Posts
    5,130
    Breaks or vacations should be planned and of a set duration. That way you know when you'll be starting in again, and when, and you don't just keep putting it off.
    Je suis Charlie

    "It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

    Passion is easy; commitment is hard.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Coco82's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    393
    I've taken breaks and it is tough to get bacj in the swing of things if it's too long. So make it a set time like 2 weeks, a month, etc. I agree with a previous poster that said you should enjoy writing. For me I love & can't imagine doing anything else with my life and when I took a break it was to read, either research or otherwise, which I feel in the end only made me a better writer.
    WIP: Un-named Future History novel





    “A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
    George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

  12. #12
    battling wildfires and plot holes Blinkk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    northern CA where the girls are warm
    Posts
    3,537
    Each person is different. People write for different reasons, and going on hiatus for a hobbyist is totally acceptable. If you're relying on your writing for income then a hiatus might not be viable. I'm a hobbyist and I've gone on hiatus for years and that works for me. It might not work for you, of course.

    I think all forms of art struggle with this. Mccardey bought up a good point. Writing is a creative art, and all creative arts expend energy. Musicians go on hiatus. Actors go on hiatus. It's normal for creative people to need to recharge.

    I think you should try your vacation and see what it does to you. You'll soon develop methods and tricks when it comes to jumping back into writing.

  13. #13
    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Coastal North Carolina
    Posts
    9,494
    If anyone is feeling frustration about writing, or the writing life, or even wondering where it is all headed, perhaps some time off might be a good idea. But not for the immediate reason (a break). Maybe the ease or difficulty of a return after the break would be a good test of one's desire to write, to be able to handle the highs and lows of writing and of the writing life. Maybe it would be a good test to see if it's a desired career path (whether full time or part time).
    Phoenix (Historical - 2006)First Place, 2007 Arizona Authors Assoc. Book Awards Whiskey Creek Press
    Something Bad (Horror - 2007) Medallion Press. Silver Medal, 2008 IPPY awards, Horror category
    Rollicking Anthropomorphisms (Poetry Collection - 2008) 2009 EPPIE Award Finalist Whiskey Creek Press
    Agnes Hahn (Psychological Suspense 2008) Medallion Press Silver Medal, 2009 IPPY awards, Horror category
    Imola (Sequel to Agnes Hahn 2009) - Medallion Press
    3.99 (Psychological Suspense/Mystery 2012) - Musa 2014 EPIC e-book awards Finalist, Paranormal category

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW melnve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    366
    I'm on hiatus at the moment because I'm pregnant and my brain doesn't work properly anymore! Not sure when I'll get back on board, but I'm still subbing and have a few nibbles on the go, so it I'm hoping I have to get back into it because I've sold something!

    Mel


    WIP:
    YA Historical/Time Travelly/Sci Fi - ish something or other...

    Querying:
    YA Fantasy, 75,000 words.

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW VeronicaX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    The land of the midnight sun
    Posts
    295
    I didn't write anything creative for 5 years (2005-2010), but it didn't do me any harm, rather the opposite. The first story I wrote after my hiatus is still the best one I've ever written, imo.

    So, in short: do what your heart tells you to

  16. #16
    50% Dark, 50% Snark Nick Rolynd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    US
    Posts
    415
    I am currently on a short hiatus due to being bogged down with school work this week. (Thanks, professors, for the case, project, eight-chapter exam, and 20-30 page marketing plan you scheduled for the same week.) I don't like taking long hiatuses though. Writing is like any other skill. The less you do it, the more your current abilities start to degrade. (Granted, if you're wanting to wipe our your current writing style, not writing may actually help you.)
    I write sci-fi and blog about stuff! // Knite Writes
    ___________

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW JKRowley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    750
    I think an occasional break can be quite healthy. Writers face a lot of criticism and rejection with their work. This is good, because it helps a writer see the problems in a story and improve his craft. However, it can bog you down at times.

    Common advice is to set down a piece of work and let it sit for some time before revising. Perhaps this is good advice for our brains as well. Taking a breather from the work can give us a fresh perspective and creative vigor.

    That is, if you can take a break. If I am not working on a WIP, I end of writing ranting posts on the internet or angry letters to people.
    Jill
    Debut YA novel, "Divided Moon" - now available!

    Twitter - @MoonOverMadison
    Blog - http://jillysbookblog.blogspot.com

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW rwm4768's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    13,717
    Taking a break is a good thing. If you're not a full-time writer, you still have to pay the bills by doing something else, which could eat up a lot of time. You don't want to do so much that you burn yourself out.

  19. #19
    Caped Codder jaksen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    In MA, USA, across from a 17th century cemetery
    Posts
    5,119
    I am one of those who never ever ever ever took a break, despite child care, a retarded-autistic son, husband working long hours, a full time job myself, a needy older parent ...

    Until I did. I simply had to. I barely wrote this summer and, wow, I never thought I'd see the day I'd say that. I was constantly on visits to nursing homes, dealing with my mother (with dementia) and attending to my own health with a heart attack scare and blah blah ... (There are many others on AW who could top me with their many obligations, etc.)

    Anyhow, I stopped writing in late June and am just picking it up again now. My goal is now, minimum, two hours a day, and I am taking it from there. A hiatus is sometimes the only thing that will preserve one's sanity, so if you need to take one, then take one. Make no apologies.
    Latest story in December 2013 issue of EQMM.

    Eeyore was saying to himself, “This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it.” A.A. Milne

  20. #20
    Not responsible for bitten fingers Shadow_Ferret's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    In a world of my own making
    Posts
    23,525
    I e taken extended breaks from fiction writing. Shortly after my first son was born was the longest. Probably a few years. But I came back energized.

    Now I'm finding I have a sort of seasonal clock. As the days get shorter and it gets folder I go into writin hibernation and when spring comes I'm renewed and excited to start writing again.
    Twitter | Pinterest | WordPress | Tumblr

    “I love words but I don’t like strange ones. You don’t understand them and they don’t understand you. Old words is like old friends, you know ‘em the minute you see ‘em.” -- Will Rogers

    "Blame it on my ADD, baby." -- AWOLNATION

  21. #21
    Don't Eat the Grot! August Talok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    On a pale blue dot.
    Posts
    1,023
    Taking too long of a break messes me up. I realized a few years back I must keep moving forward with my writing, with no more than a month off at the most. If I go past a month, it sort of throws me off my game. The ideas keep flowing, but the writing slips. Writing all the time, even a sentence or two a day, keeps me sharp.
    "Always keep 'em guessing."


    Don't Eat the Grot!

  22. #22
    practical experience, FTW Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    AW. A very nice place!
    Posts
    11,459
    ... hiatuses aren't okay. Vacations most definitely are. I totally agree with you about the benefits of them. Whenever I take them I come back refreshed. Mine usually run between three days to two weeks. After a big project I most always take one. During that time I catch up on reading or go away somewhere. That's just my own experience though.

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW Benedetto Youssef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    NY,NY
    Posts
    121
    I sometimes take breaks after every chapter. Usually 1-3 days just to catch my breath and really flesh out the next chapter in my head. Honestly when I am not writing I am usually thinking of my story and fleshing out new ideas and plots. This is when some of my best work takes place, on breaks.

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    37
    I find it hard to write when I'm not in the mood. I prefer to take 'mico-breaks' during the project, then between drafts i might take longer breaks. Though if I dont feel in the mood to work one day I just wont. You'd usually find me here talking about writing or playing some random computer game that involves NO writing. Iv'e found that a change is as good as a holiday when it comes to writing and this is not my ENTIRE life. Im not dependant on writing to make a living yet, so my outlook may change significantly as time goes by and I come to depend on it.

    Short answer: If its hard to write today you probably shouldn't be writing today!
    Kim
    a woman posing as a writer

    bloggy business

  25. #25
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    74
    Well, are you a dabbler or a career oriented writer? If you're just a dabbler, then I don't think it matters much. From what you have written here, it doesn't sound like you are currently enjoying writing, which would make you think you need a break--I've been there.

    The key when that happens is learning how to enjoy the process of writing. Pick something you enjoy about writing and focus on that for a while. Eventually, you will feel inspired to continue writing.

    Taking a hiatus for me, would depend on if I have reached a point where I was satisfied with my projects. You shouldn't be taking long breaks if you have not earned it, in my opinion.

    I also would not recommend taking breaks often because it's like they say, "Use it or lose it." If you don't constantly hone your craft, then how can you say that you deserve to get better?

    I don't 'Sell my soul' when I write or to get the approval and recognition of other people. My work with writing is my joy; I do it for the art of words.

    In my experience, taking long breaks never amounted to much. It just made it that much harder to return to writing.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search