This week’s topic is about taking a day of rest from writing, and whether it’s a necessary part of writing or a horrible and wretched sin.
Right up front, let me say that there is only one absolute sin when it comes to writing a novel. Not getting it done. That’s it. Beyond anything else, you must finish the first draft, and the first revision, and all subsequent revisions. However you go about it is up to you, but you must have that moment when you look at the file on the computer, or you look at the stack of papers, and you say, “Done.” There is no sin beyond not working for and having that moment. Anything else is just how you play the game.
One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “How do you do it?” It’s a fair question, and some people are actually asking exactly what it sounds like, but a far larger amount of people are actually trying to ask, “How can I do it?” And that’s an entirely different question. It’s also one I can’t possibly answer. Every person is unique, and every writer is even MORE unique, and a system of writing that works wonderfully for one person might actually kill another writer’s career, or even passion to write.
So, when talking about taking a day of rest, I can only answer what works for me, and that is that I simply don’t do it. I write every day I exist. I can’t help it. I don’t want to help it. I’ve applied to no support groups. What does work for me is an occasional nap during the work day… a time where I sprawl out and read and then nod off for a half hour or so. Some authors would be horrified at the thought of losing an hour or two in the middle of the day, but for me it extends the day and refreshes my mind. Those horrified writers can toddle off with their own writing methodologies, and for those who do like to take naps in the middle of the day, I can only say that my bed is reserved between 4:00 and 5:30, so unless you’re very pretty and either have a permission slip from my wife or a reasonably decent forgery, you’ll have to go elsewhere.Read More...