Why It’s Okay to Take a Break from Writing

Marilyn Meredith is my guest today and as always, it is great to have her join us. Marilyn will share her thoughts on why we might be justified in taking a break from writing.

Marilyn will also share a few thoughts about her new book, River Spirits. She is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series.

Marilyn is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and is on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in a community very similar to that of her protagonist, Deputy Tempe Crabtree.

You can visit her at http://fictionforyou.com</ul or read her blog at http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/.


George asked me to address this issue. To be honest, I wish I didn’t have to take as many breaks as I do. The reasons I take breaks are:

1. I have non-writing chores to do away from the computer–I do have a regular life. You know like doing errands, grocery shopping, planning and cooking meals.
2. I have a paying writing job. These come every so often and they have nothing to do with the “fiction writing” life.
3. Promotion has taken me away from home.
4. I’m planning/working on promotion.
5. Going on a trip. While I write this, I’m away from home, visiting family. I have a big family and when I get the chance, I love spending time with time with them.
6. But once in a while I do go on a trip just for fun.

However, I think what George really wanted me to talk about is refilling the well.

What I mean is sometimes when we’ve been doing a lot of writing or finished a book, we need to take time off and do something else. Focusing on something different for a while, can renew our energy.

When it’s time to start another writing project, we will be ready.

Because I write two different series, when I’ve sent the latest book in one series off to the publisher, I step away from the place and people I’ve been spending so much time with. It’s like shutting the door on them.

Though I don’t usually take too much time, I start thinking about the next project long before I’m ready to open the door and step into the other setting and greet the characters who live there.

Breaks can refresh you as a writer–whether you take long ones or shorts ones is up to you.


River Spirits

River Spirits

While filming a movie on the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, the film crew trespasses on sacred ground, threats are made against the female stars, a missing woman is found by the Hairy Man, an actor is murdered and Deputy Tempe Crabtree has no idea who is guilty. Once again, the elusive and legendary Hairy Man plays an important role in this newest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery.


Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest River Spirits from Mundania Press. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Contest: The winner will be the person who comments on the most blog posts during the tour. He or she can either have a character in my next book named after them, or choose an earlier book in the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series—either a paper book or e-book.

Tomorrow you’ll find me visiting with Mary Welk.

My topic: The Supportive Writers’ Community


Filed under Writing

12 responses to “Why It’s Okay to Take a Break from Writing

  1. This is a particularly apt topic for me today. I’ve been feeling guilty about reaching a stalemate with my writing project. I think it may be time to set it aside, enjoy family and the holidays, replenish the well, and come back to it later. Thanks George and thanks Marilyn. I needed to hear your message.

  2. I’m glad it helped, JK. Thanks you, George, for hosting me today.

  3. Wanda Dean

    Hi George,

    Totally agree with Marilyn.. This goes for any art. I worked for months on my last art show, and for 8 weeks afterward, I just couldn’t paint! I needed to be re-energized, and now I’m painting again!. I believe that creative minds need a break, and when they do, their brains are taking mental notes for their next project.

    Thanks for sending… Hope everything is good with you… Wanda

  4. Thanks for your comment, Wanda. So glad you told us about your painting and having to take a break.

  5. Taking a break refills the cookie jar of topics and info needed to write a good book. I try to spend time with different groups or cultures. I play cards with high end gamblers, drink beer with coyote hunters, do some acting with a theatre group, meet with firfighters, and participate in local politics. It is amazing how much knowledge this diversity can give you. Yes Marilyn is right on the need to take a break. For me it is a good thing.

  6. Good blog, Marilyn, really like the phrase “refilling the well.”


  7. I have several projects ready to start. I’ve been thinking about several for quite a while, but I still haven’t been able to figure out which to begin. Meanwhile, I’m wrapping up all the work on my high school reunion, blogging, and editing. Never a dull moment!

  8. I still have an obsessive issue that I can’t take a break from it. I feel guilty. I’ll try to relax more. You’ve put out two books a year forever, while I am just getting my first out. I can’t use my full-time job as an excuse forever. The next time I sit down to write, I’ll think about how you’ve done it even with taking breaks. Thanks.

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