Positive Writer

Write with More Confidence and Greater Satisfaction

You’re Not a Machine and That’s Okay

I write. You Write. We write. Daily, monthly and yearly. You’re a good writer and you love it, but sometimes you don’t love it so much and you need a break. Sometimes a long break.

Here’s the thing, you’re not a machine. And, frankly, neither am I.

The last few months I’ve felt less and less like writing and the more I forced myself to write, the less enthusiastic I’ve become.

Sometimes in life, you just don’t feel like it. You need something else. You need to go, do, be, have, give… something else.

But instead, we punish ourselves. Harshly.

We’re taught that we can’t rely on inspiration, we can’t rely on desire, and we can’t rely on enthusiasm, joy and the muse.

We read blog and after blog about how important it is to write 500 words a day, 200 words a day, or hell, 2000 words a day.

Every day.

Some people can do this. There’s no denying that. Until the time comes when they can’t or simply don’t want to, but they’ll fight the good fight and force themselves to continue writing, good, bad or ugly.

It doesn’t matter as long as the pen is moving. So they say.

But life demands breaks. Other things that have nothing to do with writing, beckon.

Every year I go through this lull. Every year I fight it. Every year I say inspiration be damned and I fight through the period of nothingness… no new ideas… no brilliant schemes to keep scribbling…

Here’s the thing, contradictions be damned, I. Am. Not. A. Machine.

I’m going to take a break.

And, that’s okay.

Maybe, when you find yourself stuck or in a lull, a break will do you some good too.

*The image above is from our vacation in Holland last week. If you’d like to see more pictures from our trip, I posted them on the Positive Writer Facebook page here.

About Bryan Hutchinson

I'm a positive writer and when that doesn't work, I eat chocolate. I help fellow writers overcome doubt and thrive! In my free time, I love visiting castles with my wife, Joan. Join me on Twitter and Facebook.

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Like a good friend, Bryan guides you through the process of facing your inner demons, conquering the craft, and creating work that matters. ―Jeff Goins

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  • samcarter44

    Good stuff, Bryan. Thanks for posting!

  • Carrie Aulenbacher

    I just sent out a newsletter talking about this – how timely! We need to tell ourselves that it’s okay. I think we’re overwhelmed at times with things telling us to keep forcing words out but I’ll always be a fan of quality over quantity. Glad your beautiful trip produced this great post!

  • Such an important message, Bryan. Thanks for the reminder that it’s okay (and even necessary for our muse’s sake) to take a break. Looks like you had a wonderful vacation!

    • We did. 🙂 It was awesome. Disney next. Thanks muches… Ready to write a new post yet?

      • Disney World or Disneyland? June is out for me for a post, but maybe the latter part of July or August? We’ll talk …

        Thanks again for giving us permission to take breaks. No matter how long.

  • Beth Deyo

    This came to me at the most perfect time. Thank you so much!

  • I so agree. When I start to beat myself up about not writing enough, my muse asks me to walk in nature or lie on the earth. She is less concerned with my writing output or even commitment than she is about my deeper connection to life!

  • I just finished reading a post from another writer, who was saying how he didn’t feel like writing I’m the past few days. The comments where full of other people saying the same (me included).

    I think we forget to take breaks and are so good at chastise ourselves because we feel we have to prove again and again that yes, we are writers, and yes, we do it seriously and it’s not just an hobby. Moreover my top factor in forgetting to breath is the sense of guilt I feel losing time (especially since I have a time consuming full time job).

    However some times it’s impossible to force yourself doing something you don’t feel to. I should say “fortunately” because this forces us to stop for a while.

  • EmFairley

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to read the post… I was knee deep in the second edit of my new novel, and as such pretty much giving myself a break from email to focus on the edit. I know that’s not the sort of break you mean, but now I’m two days from completion, I’ll be taking a four day weekend for that break. I’ve also got a short vacation booked for the end of July.

    I love your Netherlands pix too