Writing and Publishing

Should You Ever Take a Vacation From Writing?

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.

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: Successful Author FAQs: Discover the Art of Writing, the Business of Publishing, and the Joy of Wielding Words. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

8 replies on “Should You Ever Take a Vacation From Writing?”

I have been taking a vacation from writing for others lately. My writing has turned inward as I process change and personal growth. I have never been close to your drive and consistency but aspire to. Thanks for the good words Peter.

I don’t know if I’d call it a vacation, but my writing has certainly slowed down lately. I sometimes feel that I am losing steam, in a lull, not sure what direction to take. So I am taking time to recharge by reading the writing of others.

I recently felt like God was prompting me to take a break from my blog for a few weeks. At first it felt like the opposite of what I should do but then I realized that this was a perfect opportunity to show Him that I love Him even more than I love to write and work on my blog. In the end, He richly blessed my time away and I was able to use the time I normally spend on my blog to finish the first draft of my book. It was so amazing to see how God worked and used this experience to grow and encourage me as a writer.

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