Can you stop writing—take a break—for “too long”?

On the first day of class, eighteen students sat in a circle, facing each other as awkward as can be. We didn’t really look at each other, and most of us had no idea what we were doing there. Our teacher leaned forward and turned to look at each of us. She asked how long it had been since each of us has written.

Most people said the usual time. “Oh, it’s been a day.” “About a week or so.” But one boy hesitated, raised his hand, and confessed that he hadn’t written in many years. He wanted to get back into it though. He looked nervous and even questioned if he was a writer anymore. Breaks don’t usually last that long.

Our teacher smiled and nodded. She mentioned that it didn’t make him any less of a writer for taking that long of a break. Sometimes we needed to develop more. Or perhaps it wasn’t our time to write that particular story. But, whatever it was, it was all right.

As someone who writes almost every day, it’s strange to think about a break that long. But that boy’s stories were so memorable. He always had an intriguing air about his writing. I didn’t know much more about him rather than his name and the stories he wrote, but he was an interesting character.

Writing breaks can take a long time, but it’s all right if they take a while longer than what others say they should be. Some writers don’t write another novel for another five or ten years. And that’s all right too.

Writing every day doesn’t make someone a writer. You can be a wonderful writer without living up to others’ ideas of how often you should write.

4 thoughts on “Can you stop writing—take a break—for “too long”?

  1. I felt that personally, the writer in me was dead – or extremely dormant – for many years, as grown-up life crowded my physical and mental space.

    But that ability remained. And it resurfaced, thankfully, quite a while later.

    We should never view the breaks as lost time. Everything is a learning experience… everything we go through builds us, and eventually – at the right time – what we’ve unknowingly internalised comes out in one form or another.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s