A writing hiatus

Have you ever thought of taking a break from blogging? Did the thought of going dormant for a few weeks, hibernating, practicing detachment and forgetfulness ever occur to you? Did that idea of no writing week seem blissful or somehow empty? Did you wonder if you would miss your posts, the jolts of affirmation, the conversations? Or did the peace and quiet of no writing at all seem calming?

Is it good to take a break from writing?

Glasses without frame

Remember that I’m not talking about the soul-crushing, anxiety-ridden, vacuous breaks also known as writer’s block that are not breaks at all but simply something like furlough days forced on writers. I’m simply talking about a temporary separation from the keyboard and a temporary putting down of the writer’s lens through which one gets accustomed to seeing and recording through the long and recurring habit of putting pen to paper.

It’s a break one hopes to come back from with a fresh perspective and a new start. It’s a break one hopes would free oneself from the shackles of having to write every now and then, driving oneself into a groove saying the same things over and over again digging a deeper rut to move back and forth in.

But what if one fails to come back from the self-imposed break?

What if the experience of spending hours and hours on one’s writing loses its appeal in comparison to the multitudinous stimuli of the real world? What if one loses oneself in the world and realizes that the world outside the page is a far more rewarding experience to connect with than the unreal luxury of being immersed in one’s own writing?

If such an event comes to pass, it need not be such a sorry state of affairs. After all, if something like that happened, it would simply replace one rewarding experience for another.

But what if writing still appeals but one loses one’s writer’s lenses during the break in the humdrum world? What if the break fails to end and turns to writer’s block? What if the supportive community of readers is gone and one has to come back to isolation?

Have you braved such risks and still taken a break? Did you ever want to?

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34 thoughts on “A writing hiatus”

  1. My blog has developed a duel purpose. One of them to to help ease my anxiety that leads me to delete everything anyone can read. Postings on writer forums, Facebook, texts — anything and everything. The blog is helping with that, but one day of the week I turn off the internet and recluse .

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  2. I’ve just returned to blogging after several months off. I was in the middle of some very stressful life events, which included a relocation across the country. I just didn’t have the presence of mind to blog–or write much of anything for that matter. Now I’m nearly settled in the new place–at least until the next scheduled move next Spring. All along during the hiatus things would happen and I’d think–I should blog that. Last week I sat and made a list of the topics that had stuck in my head. Then, I sat down and blogged them all. I’ll post over the next few weeks. Since, I’ve started NaNoWriMoi. I guess my point is that writing, and connecting with my blogself, is always there. I can reach back and find it as soon as I regain the headspace.

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  3. A really nice thought. I thought over it, but for me, writing is the break I like taking from my other-wise busy office life. So how can I take a break from the break itself..? I have yet to come across the desire to do so but I guess one may feel it after too much blogging or regular blogging.

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  4. If I didn’t take a break of a week I would be divorced (or maybe not as he takes to the golf course and I write) but seriously yes, I take a break and it feels good to starve myself of writing for a week. I usually find I get great ideas and store them away for future use. But then I do cheat and hog the camera a lot…

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  5. I had to take a break recently as a result of selling my house and relocating. Relocation is one way to impose a hiatus, whether you like it or not. That was two months of writing I’ve lost.

    I’ve decided to use NaNoWriMo as a way to break myself back into writing. I must be insane.

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  6. There was a very long period is which nothing was written. 1981 – 1997 and then 1998 – 2007. It started sporadically but has picked up and become something of a focus.

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  7. Why take a break? I blog when I fancy it. Sometimes three times in a week sometimes three times in a month. You’re making it sound like a chore. Do it because you want to. If you don’t want to then quit. Writers love to moan about the struggle to unleash their creativity cus its easier than actually writing. Get on with it!!!

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  8. I have been experiencing a ‘writer’s block’ induced hiatus from writing. But I found myself picking up my camera instead. Another passion of mine. So. It’s all good:) Plus I realized that if I had to make my living writing I would starve to death, or at the very least be a very svelte size 6. No wonder people like Hemingway was such a mess. Not that I am comparing myself to them. I wish!!

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  9. I’ve been thinking about taking a blogging break. I just get tired of worrying about writing a post and responding to emails!

    Writing breaks are awesome, by the way. I love taking good long breaks! I think it’s healthy.

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  10. Yes, I’ve done both … taken a break from blogging, and taken a break from writing. I think the break from writing ended up being the harder to reverse, in that, once I put down my writer’s filter, my world became smaller. When we are constantly in motion (as writers), we see everything through the filter of writing. But in both cases, the break was needed in order to get me moving in a forward direction for whatever came next. These days, I use caution in respect to how I stifle my writing. A break can be good. Or not.

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  11. I’m taking a break right now while I shop my book. Between my full time day job and the bloody shopping around for a publisher has taken up all my energy. But so be it. It’s not the worse problem to have 🙂 If you, or any of your readers, would like to do a Guest Blog for me, I’d be delighted to read what you have. They can submit to firegut1@gmail.com.

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  12. Since I started blogging a couple of months ago it has taken the place of writing my second novel. Eek! But I believe writing the shorter pieces help me in my other writing. It can be demanding to commit to blogging 2 or 3 times a week and your brain is always alert to ideas for your next post, it never switches off, but bottom line, I write therefore I am! Whatever the medium 🙂 Great questions you posed in your post!

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  13. I’ve taken many breaks from writing, some self imposed, some imposed by life, some by blocks that turn into a break. Recently I didn’t blog for a month, which wasn’t intentional, but days have that habit of flipping quickly, don’t they?

    Funny, I just blogged about this last week, in terms of a break from the WIP, not blogging, and the understanding (with age and experience) that this too will pass, no need for angst. I write, it’s what I do, and eventually the break ends and I’ll be writing again. 🙂

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  14. Thanks for bringing this topic to the surface.

    I sometimes schedule breaks from writing my “work” blogs because if I’m on vacation or travelling, there isn’t always something to write about. I’ve also tried to arrange for guest bloggers, but that hasn’t always worked well.

    I purposely set no firm schedule about my personal blog because I didn’t want to get to a point where I felt I had to write something. Ironically, I actually post to No Facilities more often than the work blogs. Maybe the lack of pressure helps.

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  15. The longest break I took from writing was a week. Anything longer than that and I risk losing my feel for writing. The longer I go without writing the easier it is to not write. Personally, I would rather not take breaks if I don’t have to.

    As others say, it’s good to take a break eventually. Stepping away from a project can give me time to refocus and recharge. After a short break I find that I can’t wait to get back to writing and the few days off were worth it.

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  16. I took a break from writing my dissertation (a 6-month break to be exact) and boy, it’s so hard getting back into it. But….I feel like after 4 years of intense PhD studies, my mind was just like – – REST. Anyway, now I’m getting back into it, but my dissertation blog has suffered as well. I used to post so often because I was writing more. So now I need to get it going again.

    Breaks can be fine, but you have to be really disciplined when you come back to it. And….for the most part the most successful writers seem to always say “write every day no matter what”. So this leads me to believe that my break was not the best decision.

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  17. A break from writing? Christmas is my imposed break. So is gardening. I waited so long to begin writing my book that the relief of starting and completing it still drives me on. I mainly blog for publicity for my novel, it’s why I started blogging. However people tend not to like my book promotion ones. I painstakingly constructed blogs which took days. I thought my efforts merited more that vacant responses and the occasional LIKE. Thanks btw. Now I write Haikus which are quick and seem to get me the instant likes I crave. As for book promotion, I drop them in but feel it offends my bloggy-mates. So a break at the moment is not going to happen as my book is only 1 month old. What book I hear you ask… or maybe not… Paulyanna: International Rent-boy… I think the title screams cheap badly written eBook. I need bloggers (like you) to inform the masses.

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  18. I took a break over the summer because I was just so burnt out with it. I returned feeling much happier and with a plan to manage my time better because that was really the key reason why I needed a break.

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  19. I have taken two separate week-long breaks recently. Both times I scheduled posts in advance and took a notebook away with me. I think it is good to have a proper “holiday” even if this is busy doing other things. Didn’t we have a Daily Prompt recently: unplugged? Sue

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  20. I’ve taken a break when I felt ‘dry’… but then the juices start bubbling again, and writing becomes irresistible again… and the conversations so validating…loved your phrase – “the jolts of affirmation”

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  21. I think a break is essential from time to time – whether it be from blogging or any other form of writing. Sometimes I just need to get away from the computer and I might spend some days sitting in the sunshine in my backyard.

    If the break is not too long, I’ll return eager to get going again, but if it stretches into weeks (as has happened in the past before I had to write to a schedule), it’s hard to get going again. It’s always a relief to finally get back into the swing again. I also value my schedule, as it stops me escaping for too long.

    🙂

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  22. I let a period of limited creativity (not so much a ‘block’ but…) become my hiatus – that way I can switch off, just read, do whatever but at the same time turn over in my head what I^d like to do next without actually doing it. I may make a few notes but I believe a break from time to time is necessary.

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  23. Blogging is like a good friend to those of us who really feel hooked and passionate about it. So I think that we should be able to take a hiatus or break or space from a really close friend from time to time. When we come back to that friend, we pick up where we left off with even more enthusiasm and freshness. That’s what I think it would be like for me if I took a break. Now I have to just do it!!!! :).

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  24. “Have you ever thought of taking a break from blogging? Did the thought of going dormant for a few weeks, hibernating, practicing detachment and forgetfulness ever occur to you?”

    Thank you for this post. I read this first part, and it made me laugh, a laugh I needed! I am ALWAYS taking a break with a post a week being a robust commitment in my life already. But you give me hope.

    I also think that real life experiences are quite important as well, seeing as we are not robots afterall 😉

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  25. Just recently, my computer died. I had to buy a new one and have a friend unload all my files, etc. etc. etc. It was a month without blogging or being in touch with my FB family and friends. After the first day, I never missed it, but I was also happy to resume all communication after that month. I think we need to live in both worlds and reap the best of each.

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  26. I resonantly came back from a long break, And I think is is good to take a break now and then. And when I get back into it I remember how much I missed it. But some times to much of a good thing is a bad thing.

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  27. I haven’t taken a break of more than a week, but then, I haven’t felt like I needed to. I would like to back off online a bit so I can work on longer stories, but I can’t seem to pull away from the shorter bursts of creativity that come in the form of posts. In that respect, a complete break might be the answer…

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