Grit, discipline, and determination are as crucial for writers as skill. But the key to creative success is not only making a writing routine and sticking with it, but also knowing when to slack off and break it.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for your project and productivity is to step away from it and fill your brain with other stories, new ideas, and different air – or let it be filled with nothing at all. If your writing’s in a rut, give yourself permission to set it aside and allow your day’s work to be energizing your mind with a change of scene and pace. Take a hike, fly a kite, see a new film, make a craft project, or spend an afternoon with family and friends. Get some distance from your writing so you can return to it refreshed and revitalized.
Under deadline and can’t afford to slack off? Fake it. Instead of working on your laptop at your desk like usual, bring a notebook and pen to the dog park and draft in longhand while cute pups romp nearby. Instead of writing at a local cafe all Sunday afternoon, prop yourself and your laptop up in bed and make it a low-budget, cozy retreat. Take yourself and your notebook out to dinner and jot notes on your next chapter in between courses. Writing someplace where you don’t usually work can help it feel less like work for that day. You might even fool yourself into having fun.