Most jobs include vacation time, usually starting at two weeks a year and going up from there. Though I’ve never been a fan of taking a two-week trip, I used to look forward to those vacation days off from work to have a break, catch up on personal projects, and make shorter vacation-like excursions.
However, for the past fourteen years, I’ve had to forgo the annual vacation. As a magazine publisher of four periodicals, with overlapping production schedules, there’s always some time-sensitive task to do. At best, I can take a day off during a slow season or grab an occasional long weekend.
Although a traditional vacation isn’t feasible, should I ever take a vacation from writing? That is, should I schedule a time where, by intention, I do not write? A time when I take a writing break? If I do, will I return, refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready to dive back into my world of words with renewed passion and heightened creativity?
I don’t know the answer, and I may never test my premise. At this time, I don’t feel the need.
In reality, if I take a break from writing, by the second day, I sense something’s amiss. My being longs for more. I have this innate need to create with words; I yearn to write. So a vacation would only agitate me.
Instead, here’s what I do:
- When I complete a milestone on a major project, I take one day off.
- When I can’t fathom another minute grinding away on my manuscript, I take a few days to work on another project.
- When I need a break, I change genres. I work on a short story, web content, a contest submission, an article, or even plan a novel. Then, a few days later, it’s back to my project.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.