Why Writers Need Rest #atozchallenge #amnotwriting

Sometimes, I think our status needs to be #amnotwriting.

Because we shouldn’t always be writing. Our art can suffer from constant output, and we can forget how real people interact–how they talk, how they think, how they act–if we’re only surrounded by their literary counterparts all the time.


We can forget what it’s like to be outside, among the wind and birds and bugs. We can overlook the little details of life, the smells and tastes and touches of things that we need to make our writing feel genuine.

And as much as I’ve enjoyed the A to Z challenge, I find that I’m looking forward to May, more so as we get closer. Because I’m looking forward to not having to write a post every morning. I’m eager to rest, to have days off (more than just Sunday), to relax.

I’m hoping to get back to my novel, which has been on hold for all of April due to the challenge. I want to read more (my book reviewing has also been relegated to May). I want that relaxing feeling of not having to post again, to where my mind can wander to the “what if’s” instead of the “what I need to do next’s.”

Because I don’t think excellent art should be made through 9-to-5 dedication, every day. I think it needs the freedom of being relaxed, of letting one’s mind wander. Of doing nothing. Taking time off.

J. R. R. Tolkien apparently needed rest to get the creative traction required to write The Lord of the Rings. Before he took time off, he felt like the sequel to The Hobbit could never be written. The task was too monumental, his mood wasn’t right, and he wasn’t motivated. Relaxation restored him and brought him to where he could not only write, but to where what he was writing was even better than that which had come before (in his mind, at least).

And while art can certainly be made under the pressures of a deadline, I wonder that the artist (and possibly the art itself?) suffers for it.

What do you think? What activities are you skipping in favor of work right now? Are you satisfied with the art you create under pressure?

Copyright 2016 Andrea Lundgren

Photo by dorne, Creative Commons

5 thoughts on “Why Writers Need Rest #atozchallenge #amnotwriting

  1. I completely agree, you’ll burn out your writer brain if you don’t give yourself a break. It’s hard to be creative when you’re short-circuiting.

    I wrote all my posts in advance, but I’m ready for May to get here as well. It’s still a flurry of activity visiting other blogs, answering comments, and promoting your posts. I’m also in the middle of moving, which adds to the feeling of going non-stop. Come on, May!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would think, in the case of writing the worst romance story ever, you’d have to write it in advance. But it’s still impressive that you’re doing all you are doing and moving, on top of it. I’m moving this summer. If it’d been in April, I think I might’ve skipped the challenge. 🙂


  2. This sounds very familiar. I was having some revision challenges, so I signed up for the A-Z challenge as a “rest” from writing. Now, I’m looking forward to the completion of this challenge so I can rest from blogging and get back to writing. I fully understand why farmers leave fields fallow now!


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