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sarahdee
04-19-2009, 07:50 AM
I've been feeling like I need a breather from writing for the last little while but as soon as I put aside my manuscript, I start itching to write. The ideas are sparkly and so inviting and before I know it, I'm writing again. Then a little ways into it, I'm like "why oh WHY didn't I stick with that breather? Maybe I'll just put this aside, take a break, and come back." And then the cycle repeats itself again.
So I guess my question: do you guys take breathers? Am I just experiencing a particularly bad case of partway-through-manuscript syndrome and I should just get myself together and write through it?
Or should I take aforementioned breather and determine to just.not.think.about.it for awhile? If so, any recommendations on how to do this?
Thanks:)

wandergirl
04-19-2009, 07:59 AM
I think you're going to get varied answers, but I tend to agree with Stephen King on this one: barrel through and get the first draft done before you take that breather.

whatevergoesnow
04-19-2009, 08:15 AM
I'm with wandergirl. First draft and then take a break.

Claudia Gray
04-19-2009, 09:21 AM
I take breathers, but never because I'm just feeling stuck on the manuscript; that's the kind of thing I think it's best to power through. But, for instance, when I came down with death flu in December, I spent three weeks taking NyQuil and Mucinex, napping whenever I could and occasionally watching DVDs between bouts of coughing -- and did not worry once about the fact that I wasn't writing. Or at one point last year, when things were just extremely tough personally, I gave myself a couple of weeks off in an attempt to de-stress; not writing wasn't the only thing I did to give myself a break, but it was part of it.

I work a full-time job; I know you have to make the time to write, and make that time consistently, and be committed to making progress on the WIP despite adversity. But sometimes RL really does get in the way, and it's okay to take care of yourself once in a while.

Your manuscript, though? Don't ever let it beat you!

jenelcc
04-19-2009, 09:25 AM
It depends on where my life is at any given moment. At this moment I'm studying for comphrehensive PhD exams so when I actually have time to write (usally in 15 minute bursts) I write whatever I want. I have like six novels going on in bits and pieces so I work on whatever I feel like. My brain is too tired for serious discipline.

However, my usual rule is that I have to write a small amount (even if it's just two or three paragraphs) on my main project every day. After that I can do what I want with my writing time. I usually find that after those two or three paragraphs I am totally sucked in and I keep going.

I think the main thing is to keep writing, and if your current piece feels like you are beating your head against the wall, let yourself work on something else for a little while.

Lisa Schroeder
04-19-2009, 11:28 PM
I take long breaks from writing quite often, but I really try not to when I'm in the middle of a draft. If the thing is driving me crazy and I'm blocked or something, it usually means I don't know enough about what needs to happen. So, instead of walking away, which can make things even worse, I've learned, I spend some time free writing. That is, just open a new document and spend time brainstorming what-ifs.

sarahdee
04-20-2009, 02:18 AM
If the thing is driving me crazy and I'm blocked or something, it usually means I don't know enough about what needs to happen. So, instead of walking away, which can make things even worse, I've learned, I spend some time free writing.
This sounds like what I've been experiencing. I think I'm going to take a step back, polish my outline and make sure my MC and I are on the same page, then come at it again.
Thanks for your suggestions everyone:D

maraobj
04-22-2009, 05:16 AM
I can't remember which author said this, but it has always stuck with me, (maybe Nora Roberts???)

"I can't edit what hasn't been written."

This is what I try to remember when I'm ready to walk away.

Danthia
04-22-2009, 04:06 PM
I take breathers all the time. If I don't, I get burnt out and don't want to go anywhere near the keyboard. The trick is to know when you really need a break and when you just don't want to face a problem point in the story. If you're using the breather to procrastinate, that can be bad. But if you're using it to refresh the creative juices, that's good.

If you're in the mood to write, I see no reason to take a breather. Write while the juices are flowing :) Relax on the days they don't.

MeganRebekah
04-22-2009, 04:22 PM
I take breathers all the time. If I don't, I get burnt out and don't want to go anywhere near the keyboard. The trick is to know when you really need a break

That is my philosophy as well! There are some nights I come home from work and get over 5,000 words added because I just can't stop writing.
But a couple nights like that in a row and I usually need to take a night or two off because I'm just plain exhausted.