It’s Monday, and we’re in the final stretch of our discussion on this fabulous little book, On Being a Writer, by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig!

If you’re still here and coherent after five full weeks of reading and discussing, you’re probably more than ready for this chapter on REST!




Before we begin, catch this brief video message from the co-authors:



And don’t you love Ann’s suggestion with the prop she shows in the video?

What tactics have worked for you?

It doesn’t have to be week-long vacations, does it? I find that if I’m writing in a public place like the library or Panera, just getting up to go to the bathroom or even switching tables for a slightly different view and perspective goes a long way to serve as a brief respite.

If I’m writing at home, sometimes just changing the load of laundry or unloading the dishwasher is enough to reset my mind to be ready for more productive work.

I do think it’s worthwhile, even when I think I’m finished with a piece, to step away from it for a while. It might be for one night, or even a few days — but leaving the article or blog post and coming back to it always gives a fresh perspective. Often I’ll revisit the work and decide to tweak a few sentences here and there. Sometimes I re-read it and remain convinced that I’ve done my best. Either way, the break in proximity is helpful.

You might also try the Pomodoro technique that Ann and Charity mention in their book and earlier videos. It’s a method in which you set a timer for 25-minute increments, and take brief breaks between those designated periods. It’s supposed to optimize productivity. I’ve been using it while homeschooling my kids these past few weeks, and I think it has helped!

What works for you?


For today’s discussion and/or link-up:

Describe your perfect day of rest that will leave you refreshed and motivated to press on in the writing life. 

Do you struggle with the habit of rest? If so, why? How can you build rest into your routine? 

Do you feel guilty when you take time to rest? If so, why? 

How has rest helped you to be more productive? 

Describe a time when you took a break from writing. What was it like? Was it intentional, or forced (such as a period of illness)? 

Come back Wednesday for a discussion on the final chapter: LIMIT.

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8 thoughts on “on being a writer :: rest {chapter 11}

  1. Am very much looking forward to reading everyone’s contribution in response to this particular chapter. [Really like your idea of stepping away from a piece and then re-visiting it afresh].

  2. I’ve finally caught up with the readings and journaling my thoughts, after a little hiatus to make a couple of writing deadlines. This discussion and book have been an encouragement to me, especially is this busy season of writing. So, this chapter was very timely!

    I struggle with rest in general, so it is helpful to think about rest in the context of writing. My husband and I are often reminded of these wise words from a friend, “Rest before you get tired.” Sounds silly, but it has been so helpful for us to plan our rest before a really busy week or season so that we have energy for that time, and so that we can connect as a couple and a family while we’re fresh.

    It’s also helpful for me to remember that when I’m well rested, I’m actually more productive than pushing myself so hard that my mind is boggled, I’m running on automatic, and I’m super busy but not making much progress on anything.

    My perfect day of rest is calling a home cleaning service, ordering pizza for dinner, and spending the day in pajamas to read, watch tv, bake something for fun, and enjoy the peace of not feeling like I “should” be doing something.

  3. For my “daily” rest from writing – the little breaks I need – I fold the laundry! I sit all day at my day job, and then to also come home and sit and write can make my body tense up. So I stand and fold the clothes. It is mindless work, that allows my brain to continue fleshing out what I was writing about. And, the laundry does need to be folded! But my dream rest would be a week away in the mountains, in a cabin, to write, walk and take in the views of the mountains! Ahhh, one day

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