The Write Attitude: Give Yourself A Break

Jennifer Applin

By Jennifer Applin


Moms are known for burning the candle at both ends. In an effort to meet the needs of others, they often ignore their own. Add a writing career to the mix and they’ll end up burned at some point. That’s what I quickly learned when I first started out. I thought the solution to handling all of my mom duties and writing deadlines was to stay up late and get up early. I was wrong.

The problem with this routine is that successful writing takes creative energy. This wasn’t the case in college. Back then, it seemed the more pressure I had, the better I wrote. My best work came as the result of an all-nighter with a continuous flow of java. Maybe it just comes with getting older, but for some reason when I try this now, my brain turns to mush. When I’m sitting at my desk at 3 AM the only thing reflecting back at me is a blank screen. What I’ve learned as a mom is that taking a break isn’t just a privilege; it’s a necessity.

Giving your creative juices the chance to recharge is an important part of the writing process. If you plan on staying up late to work on that book proposal but your exhausting day has left your drained, pack it in and head to bed. Try again in the morning when you’re refreshed and can actually form a complete thought willmake better use of your time. If you plan on writing a query during your child’s naptime but you can’t find the words, flip through a magazine instead. You’re still working by doing research and coming up with new article ideas, yet you’re not forcing the part of the creative process that isn’t ready.

Of course meeting deadlines is a bit different. You don’t always have the option of putting the work aside and this sort of pressure can help at times. But considering that many aspects of a writing career involves self-imposed deadlines; listen to your body as it gives you clues about your creative process. Allow yourself to take a break when you need it. You’ll be more productive and a better writer because of it.
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Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and four young children. Aside from writing for many regional publications, she is regular contributor to eLearners.com and Projectworkingmom.com. She spends her days cooking, cleaning and caring for little ones, and her nights writing about pregnancy, parenting, and the quest for peace (as in peace and quiet). You can also find her at Managing the MotherLoad.
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5 Responses to “The Write Attitude: Give Yourself A Break”


  1. 1 anniegirl1138 June 18, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    I don’t understand the getting up early to write thing. I am in awe of people who crave a special time out early morning or after the kids are asleep.

  2. 2 freelance writer June 18, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you for this informative post. I’m working on a book proposal/query. There are some things that you recommended for the in person interview that I think will help me shape my written proposal.

  3. 3 The Writer Mama June 23, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Thanks for your comments!

    🙂 Christina

  4. 4 Carren June 27, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Thank you for the encouraging post. I find that even for non mom’s like me, there are still very honest nuggets of wisdom to be gleaned.

  5. 5 Jennifer Applin June 30, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Thanks so much for the comments!


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