March 1, 2020

Time for a Break

“Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs.”

I was sitting on the deck of my hotel room in Jamaica early in the morning. It was pouring rain. I didn’t mind. It was refreshing and didn’t last long.

Before my vacation started, I had set an intention to read and write, a lot. However, despite the lazy, stress-free days, I didn’t do either. Rather than read four books, I read four chapters of one book. I started writing two or three times and partway through, wrote “Bullshit” across the page before crumpling it up and tossing it in the garbage can a few steps away from my poolside chair. I wasn’t motivated at all which is strange given that when I’m at home, I yearn for long stretches of time to do what I love. But now, with all the time in the world staring me straight in the face, I was doing nada, rien, nothing.

“What’s wrong with me?” I wrote at the top of another blank page. I closed my eyes for a few moments then started to write…

You have difficulty being in a fallow state because you judge yourself by the societal standard: Unless you’re “outputting,” you’re not being productive or worthy. Don’t blame yourself. You’ve been taught to worship at the throne of overdrive. What you don’t realize is that your best work happens when you take breaks. The creative mind cannot go non-stop. 

You have already developed most of the material for your memoir. You’ve been writing blog posts every week for three years. That uses a lot of energy. Remember, the muse doesn’t respect human timetables. She worked her butt off for you and now she’s had enough. That’s why your pen ran dry. This isn’t a punishment. The muse is a giver by nature, but she has limits. She needs a rest and so do you.

Your memoir will get finished. Your blog will not die. Given all you’ve produced in the last three years, you must reset and recalibrate. You will relax, explore, and try new things. And in time, your creative spark will reignite. 

As I wrote, I questioned where this was coming from. Was it the muse herself? Was it my deeper knowing? Not sure but I knew I needed to heed the advice.

So what does this mean? Simple. My memoir is going to sit in the drawer for a while. How long? Don’t know. Long enough for the desire to return or at least the willingness to do the work. I won’t be posting weekly on my blog. How often will I post? Not sure. Maybe every couple of weeks. Maybe once a month. We’ll see.

Is the situation permanent? I don’t think so. But it’s what works for me right now. You won’t see my memoir as soon as I had planned. You won’t see me every Sunday. But if you follow me on Facebook or subscribe to my email list, you’ll know when I have something to share. I’d like to focus on quality over quantity for a while and see how it goes.

So this isn’t “See you later.” It’s “See you a bit less.” As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. Do you need a break?