Between sunny summer days beckoning us outdoors and news of the current pandemic demanding our attention, concentrating on writing can be awfully difficult. Not to minimize the importance of getting out for fresh air or learning how we can best protect ourselves and one another, but you might be wondering how you’re supposed to focus with everything happening around you. You’re certainly not alone in that.
We suggest taking creative breaks from your writing from time to time. What do we mean by “creative breaks?” Well, what other activities do you enjoy that give you a sense of accomplishment from making something new? It could be painting or knitting or playing an instrument. Or gardening or landscaping or designing an interior space. Or cooking or creating recipes. These are just a few ideas. What do you feel passionate about?
Once you’ve identified your other creative interests, make a real effort to incorporate them into your break time. That way, instead of zoning out in front of the TV or computer screen, you’re still engaging your mind while stepping away from your writing project. Something else you’re working on might even give you an idea for your writing. For example, a recipe you create might play an important role in the backstory of one of your characters. Or, maybe the feeling of relaxing into another creative activity, perhaps one with lower stakes than writing, will help you relax enough to overcome writer’s block. You might be super stressed about an article you’re writing, but you know your friend will love the scarf you’re knitting for them, flaws and all, so the pressure’s off for a bit. Either way, you win when you rediscover your sense of creative focus.