The act of writing steals a surprising amount of mental energy! Sometimes it can creep up unknowingly. One moment you’re deep into writing an emotional dialogue scene, and the next you’re sitting at the blinking cursor on your screen, without a single sentence coming to your mind.
When this happens, sometimes it’s best to get up from your chair, stretch, grab a drink of water, and do something else for a little while. This will give your writing brain a chance to rest and recover for a new writing session! But what to do when you aren’t writing? What are productive, refreshing activities you can do, instead of hopping onto social media or mindlessly playing a video game? Today I’m going to share 5 ideas for things to do when you need a rest from writing, but don’t have anything else to do.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
Activity #1: Read a good story!
What’s better to refill your creative well and get you excited to keep writing than reading a great story? Whenever I read a book I absolutely love it gets me so inspired to keep working on my own novels and trying to make them better and better, in hopes that one day I’ll write a story half as good as the one I read.
Of course, you want to be careful that you’re not walking back to your writing desk and completely plagiarizing the story you just read, claiming it was just “inspiration”! Trust me, I’ve done that way too many times, and when you look back at what you wrote, you’ll immediately see the way-too-close similarities! So make sure you’re aware of that, and maybe space out some time in between reading and writing so that each isn’t too fresh in your mind when you move to the other.
Activity #2: Go outside!
I know this can be a very foreign concept to many writers! 😉 Even though I love the outdoors, sometimes I don’t want to do anything but sit around, hunched up in my room. Getting outside is a very good cure for that, as well as a way to get your mind and body moving in a new way, to rest your inner-writer, and return refreshed and in a better state of mind.
Whenever I feel stuck in my writing, or start to get restless after a couple hours of working on my computer, I’ve found that exercise in the outdoors is the best way to get away from that environment, clear my mind, and refill my mental energy!
Activity #3: Spend time with family/friends.
I’m sure this is already a common thing most people do, but honestly, it’s something you can’t really do too much of! Bonding with family and friends is such an incredible thing.
A bonus to this, though it may be surprising…get ready for it…is that sometimes having real-life conversations with real-life people…can transfer into your writing and make it more…well, like real life! Seriously though, studying conversation and incorporating the things you notice into your writing can be a game-changer! It’s just a bonus to consider while spending time with people or while you’re in a large crowd! But don’t get too caught up in this–have fun and actually spend time with them too! 😉
Activity #4: Submit your writing for feedback!
It really is shocking how helpful this is. When you’re finished with a draft of an article, short story, even a novel, submitting it for feedback from fellow writers is definitely a huge step into growing as a writer! When you’re tired of writing and need a couple days to recharge, or you’ve already self-edited a project so many times you don’t know what to do with the story anymore, send it to a friend! Get honest critiques from writers, bookworms, etc. Receiving feedback from non-writers can be helpful as well, but if you want advice on how to improve your writing prose and actual story quality, generally giving your writing to other writers is going to be your best bet.
Activity #5: Give feedback to other writers.
Giving feedback is also a great thing to do when you’re taking a break from writing. You can help a fellow writer with their projects, as well as improve your teaching and writing abilities simply by studying and critiquing someone else’s work.
You don’t have to be a professional editor to give a fellow writer feedback! Even if you’re at the same level of writing experience, a fresh pair of eyes on a project goes a long way! Just remember to give constructive, clear, concise criticism, along with throwing in an encouraging word here and there as well!
Bonus Activity: Watch a good movie!
WHAAAT BONUS ACTIVITY?? Yessir!!
I didn’t want to count this as another full activity, just because of its similarity to the first one! Watching movies isn’t always something you do when you’re procrastinating and being lazy. It can refill your creative well, get your writer gears turning, and jumpstart inspiration and motivation!! I don’t know about you, but when I watch an epic film like The Lord of the Rings, I always get hyped to continue working on my medieval fantasy novels!
And there you have it!! Five (technically six) awesome activity ideas for when you need a break from writing!! They may have been kind of a no-brainer, but hopefully it was helpful to see them listed out and explained!
Thank you so much for reading, and happy writing! 🙂
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