Is it a bad idea to take a holiday from writing?

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a post about taking a holiday from writing…

People often ask me if it’s a bad idea to take a holiday from writing.

No, I always tell them. It’s a terrific idea. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of “grace” when you work to re-establish the writing habit on your return. And don’t expect it to be easy. I give some specific advice on how to do that, here.

A recent blog post by former literary agent and current author Nathan Bransford provides a telling description of the value of holidays. Here is part of what Bransford says:

“We [believe that we] can’t just vacation sometimes and do whatever we want, we need to vacation in a “good” way that maximizes our return and helps restore our productivity. We can’t just have hobbies, they need to somehow be monetized. And we certainly can’t just spend our time writing a book for fun.

“I see what this does to writers all the time.

“This drive to feed the beast warps writers’ perception of their own creative projects. To give themselves permission, some writers need to transform their passion project into an economic endeavor. A book is not just “allowed” to be just a book. If it doesn’t achieve publication (i.e. status) and economic viability, well then it wasn’t worth it entirely.”

Bransford recently returned from a holiday in Scotland where he did whatever he felt like doing each day for three weeks. (Spoiler: it didn’t include any writing.) But he hopes that the sense of freedom and self-sufficiency he enjoyed during his time away will help fuel is writing now that he has returned home.

I’ve always felt the same way and I encourage my clients to as well. Take your holidays! We all need them.

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