When I was in high school, taking a sick day wasn’t an option. I played sports. To play in the game, you had to attend practice. To attend practice, you had to be in school. That meant toughing it out – going to class no matter what. I’ve carried that bad habit over into adulthood.
Pushing myself to the limit is most definitely a bad habit because it never ends well. I get tired. I get cranky. I get sick. And I most definitely can’t work.
R is for Resting
One of my biggest challenges as a writer is the ability to stay rested. I cannot write when I’m tired. I’ve tried, but it makes my head hurt. The words blur. I do stupid things, like put my characters in situations that I read in other novels. Caffeine works for a while, but it’s not the same as staying well rested.
God created us perfectly with a need for sustenance, air, water … and rest. We need to study our craft. We need to ask questions, practice, and learn, but we also need to know when to rest. Know when you need to step back, whether it’s for a day, a week, a year.
There will come a time when you, as a writer, want to step away. You’ll want to walk away from the computer. You’ll want to work as an accountant just so you don’t have to work with words. You’ll want to take a break.
Rest up. Let your brain relax. Give your characters a little vacation. Your writing will always be there when you’re ready to come back, but don’t be afraid to take that break. If you push yourself to the limit, like I always do, you’ll eventually be resting anyway, but with a box full of tissues from a sick bed.
QUESTION: Where’s your favorite place to rest and refresh?