Monday, January 12, 2015

Permission to just stop....

In our house, the lead up to Christmas is especially busy. As well as the usual Christmas and end of year activities, my younger son has his birthday a week before Christmas. I had a couple of manuscripts that needed editing sitting there and calling me to get to work. By the time Christmas came around, I was exhausted.

This year, we did something a bit different to what we normally do the week after Christmas. We did nothing!

That's not completely true, we did do things, but nothing we had to do. I didn't even do any writing or editing. I left it all in their files and didn't touch it. I even spent time just lying under a tree and thinking about nothing.

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For me, and many writers I know, it's sometimes hard to just stop for a while. After the crazy times we had in December, having a complete rest from writing and other things I had to do, was just what the doctor ordered.

This rest helped clear blocks to getting writing and editing done and the ideas are flowing once more. I'm excited about revisiting manuscripts I was polishing in 2014, and jotting down ideas for new projects for this year. It has also helped me focus on my writing goals for the coming year and I have a plan for the projects to start working on. 

I know there's a lot of advice out there that says to be a successful writer, you need to write every day, but there are times when you just need to give yourself permission to stop for a while. It's amazing how much fresher you are when you come back to writing again.

Giving myself permission to stop is something I'm getting better at, especially when I really need a break. Before Christmas, 2015 was looking overwhelming. I'm now really looking forward to 2015, it's great starting the year refreshed and ready for the year to come.

Melissa Gijsbers is a Melbourne based author and the mother of two boys. She has had flash fiction stories in five anthologies and published her first children's book, Swallow Me, NOW! in October 2014.
Follow her writing journey at and visit her website at


  1. Thanks for that Melissa. That's so true. We often push ourselves without giving the well a chance to fill up again. Thanks for the reminder that it's okay to rest. Blessings.

  2. Exactly what I have been doing too, Melissa--and the cricket and tennis on TV help with that relaxing too!

  3. A break from writing - and a break from housework, and other things that press in our lives...a great thing to do. Bless you

  4. I discovered that with study many years ago - sometimes a complete (short) break makes you more productive than if you keep slogging on day after day. Maybe there is is something in this Sabbath idea :)

  5. Agree! I think regular writing breaks makes you fresher.

  6. Thanks for the post Melissa....I'm with Meredith-a break from housework!!