1. jc.
    Offline

    jc. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Hawaii

    Breaks? What, why, and for how long?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by jc., Feb 2, 2012.

    Hi everyone.

    Just wondering how often people take breaks in their writing. I mean anything from short breaks to long breaks (ranging from a few hours to a few days or weeks, maybe months).

    What are the reasons behind it? What causes the need for a break? Lastly, what do you do when you're not writing to fill the time?
     
  2. louis1
    Offline

    louis1 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    7
    Well i'm actually on a one week break right now, I just finished the first draft of my novel so i'm giving myself a week to get my head out of that story before i start rewriting and editing.

    what do I do when i'm not writing... mmm i write music, i skateboard, and i just read the first harry potter book. (probably also going to read the second this week). I watch movies, watch tv shows (breaking bad ''best show ever''). and i try not to think about my book, which is quite hard.
     
  3. jc.
    Offline

    jc. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Hi Louis1. First of all, congrats on finishing the first draft! :D Yay for Harry Potter, and I definitely agree with Breaking Bad. It was an amazing show and I learned a lot.

    May I ask how often you take breaks in between your writing though? For example, do you usually write for 3-4 hours and then take an hour break? Do you sometimes write for a few days straight, or do you take breaks in between the chapters?
     
  4. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I usually take breaks if I am sick, or stressed out, or can't concentrate or don't have time to write. So my breaks are fairly regular, at least 30% of the overall writing time. Sometimes I won't write anything for weeks or months, but in that time I'll still be developing the characters and the plot, doing research, writing non-fiction, stuff like that. I have another job, I work from home, so there is plenty for me to do. Also, in my breaks I read books, both fiction and books on writing and I do quite a bit of photography.
     
  5. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I only ever have a real break from writing when I get to the point where I've finished a novel and don't immediately know what to start on next, or if I have a slight writers block, but that usually last for only a couple of days. Otherwise i write.
     
  6. Mark_Archibald
    Offline

    Mark_Archibald Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    3
    Sometimes I take week from writing my main project to work on short stories, than I go back to working on the manuscript. This helps me notice mistakes from typos, to poorly written paragraphs and bad plot lines. Also, from creating original short stories you stack ammo in the form of metaphors and other imagery that you can apply to a larger project.

    Taking several days away from writing? Even if I tried I would still find myself tweaking rough chapters at night.
     
  7. Cacian
    Offline

    Cacian Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    5
    Itake a break every so often. I write short stories and so I take a while between them.
    However I write two to three maybe more poems a day to keep me upbeat.
    Poetry is easier forme and I practice metaphors and usage of words that I don't get to use ever in the spoken world.
    In the meantime I reasearch ideas and feedbacks to understand what I am about as a writer.
     
  8. Skykitty
    Offline

    Skykitty New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Isle of Man
    I only wish I had enough time for writing to consider time spent not writing as a break. As a total beginner, only just starting out I have a full-time job so I get up 30 mins earlier than I need to every day and THAT's MY writing time. The rest of the day is a break from writing.
     
  9. Kallithrix
    Offline

    Kallithrix Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    THIS^^

    I have a full time job which is 1.5 hours commute away. I get up at 5am, am on the train at 6.30, get to work at 8.10, work til 4.30, get the train at 4.50, home at 6.30. My writing time has to be squeezed in somewhere while I'm at home, which is difficult because I have a very demanding house rabbit and a less demanding but noisier housemate to contend with. I usually only find peace and quiet after they've gone to bed around midnight or 1am, which gives me only as long as I can stay awake to write. Maybe 2 hours a night. 2 or 3 hours sleep a night means I'm wiped out by the weekend, when I could actually spend a decent amount of time writing.

    This is why I am currently only able to finish about 1 chapter a month :-(
     
  10. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,221
    Likes Received:
    4,227
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    I've been taking too many 'breaks' that have lead to writer's block which lasted God knows how long.

    So, for me, I take breaks for a few hours, then I go back to write a paragraph to a page.
     
  11. louis1
    Offline

    louis1 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    7
    i don't have the luxury to write 3 or 4 hours straight, with school and work, i only write when i have the time to, mainly on the one hour bus i take every morning, (writing a novel on an iphone is the worst thing ever), so you could say i take 6 hours break between every time i write :p. but i try to write everyday, (except for weekends) and no, i don't take breaks between chapters. i take breaks only when i'm getting sick of writing and i start to hate everything. lol
     
  12. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    To be fair, it sounds like you should sleep at night and then spend your entire weekends writing, when you're actually fresh and awake and your head can actually function. Even 1 hour of work done when your head is fresh as compared to 3 hours when your head is just slush and goo is way more worth it, and usually of higher quality, and it also means you can stop torturing yourself during the weekdays.

    And as for myself, I lack so much discipline that what I need is to WRITE rather than take breaks. I feel like I'm always taking breaks because my personal specialty is procrastination :redface:
     
  13. MegTheLedge
    Offline

    MegTheLedge Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Under a fuzzy hat
    Usually, I write whenever I get the chance. My breaks aren't really breaks. They're just my everyday life occurring. When I do willingly take breaks from writing, I'm playing guitar or recording.
     
  14. Kallithrix
    Offline

    Kallithrix Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    Well, that would make a degree of sense I guess, but I actually write better at night - I've always been a night owl. My brain actually kicks into gear about 11pm and maintains revs til it suddenly just runs out of fuel and stalls at about 3 or 4am. I also can't write when there are other people around, so I like the night as it's like being alone in the world - even the birds and traffic has gone to bed.

    And I still do write at the weekend - the last few Friday nights I've stayed up til 8 or 9am writing, then crashed out and gone to bed til the afternoon!

    Maybe I'm just nocturnal? It's only the damn job preventing me from doing it permanently ;)
     
  15. Xatyrn
    Offline

    Xatyrn Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    In a little mountainous state.
    Sometimes I just don't feel like writing. This happened a few days ago and it was kinda scary, but I'm back on track now. But anyway, in Stephen King's On Writing, he mentions that he can manage about 2,000 words per sit-down (then revises and deletes 1/4). I notice when I near 1,500+ words I really tire out and my mind gets a little sluggish -- but it can also depend on the fun you're having and what sort of inspiration is fueling you.

    When I take breaks, ahh, there are a million other things I can do: homework, read, write, visit other forums, Tumblr...
    It's troublesome because I find that I feel in the mood to write the most late at night. Which sort of clashes with getting up at 6 for school.
     
  16. Cosmic Latte
    Offline

    Cosmic Latte Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Under the starry, starry sky...
    Yup. I also work full-time with 10 hours a week in commuting time, and then tack on another 20 to 30 hours doing schoolwork. In fact, I just turned in an assignment and playing on the internet is my treat. This might sound really weird (because it does to me), but I actually find I manage the stresses of managing work & school & family better when I am writing consistently.

    Since I've had this crazy schedule I've found I can write just about anywhere and at any time. I prefer writing in long chunks of time and take breaks by fetching the mail or making lunch. Or doing housework. Or yard work. Or go hiking. It doesn't really matter what I do, except shopping and TV put me in a terrible mood for writing anything productive. What I "hear" stays with me when I'm too tired.

    The longest break I ever took from writing would be when I took my first accounting class, because it was sooo grueling! I just needed the time to try and absorb the material. Interestingly, the singlemost productive writing time I ever had began within a couple months after that break, when I finished my first novel-length first draft.
     
  17. jc.
    Offline

    jc. Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I hear you about the Accounting thing. I'm in the last two months of an Accounting program right now, and after I get my license I need to get certified in Quickbooks for Accountants. I wish I'd never signed up for it because it tires me out so much that I'd rather tweak on here than work on my books.

    Anyway I guess I may as well answer my own question.

    When I was working full-time I only wrote a few times a week (maybe up to three or four hours max) because I was also balancing school. Now that I'm not working outside of the home, my time is pretty much split even between my schoolwork and my writing. I spend 3-4 hours every other day on homework, and at least an hour or two everyday for writing. I spend a lot of time brainstorming and jotting down ideas though.
     

Share This Page