Writing Tip #10: Take a Short Break

Say you’ve spent hours planning, plotting, writing, and rewriting a portion of your story.  When you’re not at the keyboard or hunched over the notebook, you’re thinking about the problem during other activities.  Desperate to get this snarl worked out.  I know the feeling.

But it often helps to walk away from that portion or even that whole story for a little while.  Work on another story, or pick up a hobby you haven’t touched in a while.  Getting stuck is natural to writers.  Getting unstuck comes with time and a little brain break.  🙂

For instance, I was recently stuck over a portion of my outline–I couldn’t specify or articulate the conflict well enough to keep plotting.  I spent maybe a week playing with ideas, pushing forward, and pondering the problem in my off-time.  Then my family and I were busy over the weekend, and I had no time to think about the story.

But when I came back to my notes, the problem wasn’t that bad.  Sure, the conflict could be more specific, but my notes were actually clearer than I’d remembered, and they gave me enough information to continue plotting.

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m a planner.  🙂

Point being, when you get stuck (and you will), it may work to just walk away from the project temporarily.  This gives your mind a break, and you can return to the project and assess with a clearer head.

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