Last weekend I did something I’ve never done before – I gave myself permission to not write – something totally different than simply saying, “I’m not going to write tonight.”
Giving myself that permission meant I could go forward without feeling guilty about not writing. It also meant I could clear my mind of all the clutter for a few hours and only think about my stories in passing. It meant when the weekend was over, I actually felt refreshed and was ready to get back to my writing.
It was something entirely new for me. When I simply say I’m not going to write, the guilt that I’m not working on a story remains. The clutter of all the stories I have worked on or should be working on remains. When I get past the day of not writing I feel neither motivated nor rested so the vicious circle of not writing continues. Or I break the circle and struggle with the work.
That refreshed feeling actually had me itching to get back to my stories. Ultimately, I think that resulted in better writing and more of it than the struggled, gasping attempts I had been managing up to last weekend.
It isn’t like giving myself permission not to write meant I didn’t think of the writing at all either. I don’t believe my writing/story brain ever stops turning. But instead of forcing ideas to form I was letting them come naturally. The story I have most recently been working on worked itself through so the actual writing came much easier.
All-in-all, a thoroughly satisfying experiment and one I intend to repeat.