Breaks. You need them.

Normally, I don’t like giving writing advice, because every writer is different. We all have different styles and needs and methods. However, I have a piece of writing advice I feel is absolutely pertinent to share, and that’s the importance of taking breaks.

You’ve heard the saying: “Writers should write every single day!” (Implying, of course, if you don’t, you’re either not a writer or you’re doing it wrong.)

No. No. No. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Writers need breaks just as much as anyone in the workplace needs a weekend, a weight lifter needs a rest day, or a pilot needs time out of the sky.

I’m not necessarily talking a break of two or three weeks, but a day, two days, and if needed, a little more than that is absolutely, fundamentally healthy to maintain good mental health. I often find myself in a position where I come home from work and stare at my laptop thinking, “I should be writing. I should be editing. I should be putting my all into this story.”

And I just can’t.

And that’s okay.

The moment the thing that brings you joy becomes an obligation is the moment you need to step away from it. Otherwise, what’s the point? Otherwise, who are you as a person? Where is your craft, and how are you taking care of yourself?

Trust your instincts. If you’re dreading that walk to the computer/laptop/tablet, don’t do it. Take care of yourself, and you’ll take care of your writing. Take care of your writing, and your writing will take care of you.