I had eleven days off for Christmas and New Years. No work to do. Just spending time with family, reading and writing. I also decided to take a stab at brewing my own beer. It was all and all relaxing time.
What was different about this time, other than the hours I suddenly had to spend, was that I started writing again. There was a three week spell before this break when I didn’t write a poem, blogging was a chore and I didn’t have many ideas churning around my head. I had taken a break, stepped back from life for a bit, and the writing finally started to come again.
This experience was similar to what Kendall Ruth explored in his essay “Listening Past a Writer’s Block.” Where many people try to beat Writer’s Block into submission, Kendall began to see the positive effects of listening, and how there is a rhythm in taking a step back from your art. Only then can we begin to create again:
There are plenty of inspirational books and essays out there about the creative process– the kind that make you think you could be the next Wordsworth or Rembrandt. There are even books on the neurological mechanisms of Writer’s Block. There are few that say, “Don’t beat yourself up. Just put the brush, the pen, the camera down…. and listen.” This listening is an art form in itself. How else will the good stories, the kind that speak to the True, ever be heard and, thus, written?
What is your favorite way to take a break from your creative work?
How long of break do you take?
How is your creativity affected when you come back from a break? When you don’t take a break?