On Stepping Back

via Death to Stock Photo
via Death to Stock Photo

You know those movie montages* where the girl breaks up with her boyfriend** and starts reinventing herself? Going dancing, taking classes, visiting new places, making new friends? That’s how I feel after (finally) making the decision to take a break from writing fiction.

Since my writing break started, I’ve noticed how much more mental energy I have every day. I’ve started paying attention to interests I had been ignoring for a long time. I’ve been journaling regularly and started doing yoga this week. I’m reading a biography I got for my birthday and remembered how much I LOVED reading biographies as a kid. My stress and anxiety levels have gone way down. I don’t feel *as* guilty about not writing as I used to. I feel so much lighter and freer than I did before.

Stepping back from writing is still scary sometimes, especially because it seems like EVERYONE on the internet tells you to never give up, to always keep pushing, to never give up on your dreams. Well, honestly I was pushing myself into a brick wall repeatedly, and that shit is EXHAUSTING. So even though I sometimes wonder “What am I doing, I have no idea!” I know it’s really the best option for me right now. (Shout out to Meg Kissack from That Hummingbird Life for a super uplifting conversation on Twitter that helped reinforce that this decision was the right one for me!)

I realize it’s a little ironic to write about not writing, but I think reevaluating your dreams and seeing if they’re really working for you is important, and isn’t discussed enough online. So if you feel like you’ve been hitting the same obstacle over and over again, maybe it’s time to step back. You can always come back to it whenever you’re ready.


*Is there a movie where this happens? I feel like I’ve seen it before, but the name is totally escaping me right now…

**All breakups mentioned in this post are metaphorical. Teddy and I are still doing great, in case you were wondering.

Continue Reading