I Took a Week Off from Writing

What’s up everybody,

Back to work after taking a week off. I started the break because I think I was burning out from work. I was starting to have some anxiety and stress. I started losing focus and energy toward my main writing project. Actually, I started losing my direction in terms of project focus: I abandoned my main project, and started doing other “work” that seemed to catch my interest. I stopped by A project to work on my B project, but then abandoned that for a C project, and the cycle just continued. I started thinking about social media and marketing and all these other things that I needed to do and it became overwhelming. I started to feel anxious. So, I decided to take a week off for mental health, where I broke free from my normal routine and didn’t put any expectations on myself.

What happened:
Mostly, I wasted time lol. Honestly, I didn’t schedule anything for my break, so the time wasn’t structured, and I didn’t fill it with fun activities like camping or visiting museums or anything like that. Basically, the break was more focused on what I DIDN’T do. I didn’t do any writing or any gym for the week. Mostly I just stayed at the house, had dinner with my neighborhood friends, drank a few beers after work, and mostly just chilled. Oh, I ordered lots of delivery! My food of choice was pizza. As a result, I gained weight. About 2kg.

Did my stress go away?
In a way, taking the break was good. Perhaps doing the same thing over and over again can lead to boredom. Or perhaps limiting your fun by staying in the neighborhood can be difficult. So relaxing and not putting any standards on myself for once kind of felt like a load off. However, I’m not entirely sure my nervousness was due to overwork. I still don’t know the cause of my loss of focus and subsequent stress/anxiety. My best guess is that writing lead to overthinking, which lead to loss of focus, which then lead to anxiety and stress.

Lessons:

  1. I can’t get distracted with other projects. Even though they may seem easier or like a pleasant distraction, I need to think of them as what they are: another form of distraction and a symptom that I’m losing my mental focus. The next time I start losing my focus, I need to be aware of it and then take steps to correct it.
  2. Structure my break time. I need to factor in rest and recovery more. Especially recovery for mental health. Instead of just staying at home and eating pizza, I should engage in healthier activities.
  3. This just reaffirms my belief that I need to take a holistic approach to writing. I can’t write to the best of my abilities when my health is in decline. I can’t concentrate on story when I’m having an argument with someone. I need to stay focused on being a good human first, then I can be a good writer.

Overall, I really needed a break this week to recover. Honestly, my mental health wasn’t good. I needed to do some healing on my mind and body, and just try to figure out what was wrong. I needed to lower my stress and anxiety levels and regain my focus. You know, this writing thing that I’m doing isn’t easy, and it’s not always beneficial to your health. I need to be mindful of that.

Now it’s the new week and I’m back to work. My goal is to stay focused on my main writing project, and also keep a healthy life outside of writing by staying active, surrounding myself with the right people, and prioritizing rest and recovery. I’m still extremely excited to share this new project with you, and I can’t wait to start putting some materials out. There’s a long road of working in silence ahead of me, but I know that it’s going to be worth it.

Oh, and if you’re reading this, I honestly hope some of this stuff helps you. We can all lose our way at times and, even if you’re not a writer, I hope some of this can help you in your daily life as well.

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