When you’re a writer, is doing nothing unproductive?

Book page with 'productivity' heading

A good question!

Well, it depends how you come at the issue. If you’ve stuff you really need to get done, then yes.

If you’re writing, then not necessarily.

‘Always be doing’ can be the enemy of creativity. We pressure ourselves to deliver when we might benefit more from stopping to take a breather instead.

Why? Because the subconscious actually does its best work when it isn’t actively concentrating on something. When it’s left to form connections, come up with fresh ideas and run with them.

Of course, this isn’t to deny the role of structure and discipline in our writing schedule. We still need to show up and get those words down.

But we also need to give our thoughts room to breathe. To solve problems and find inspiration.

This isn’t just self-care woo. A study by Stanford University has shown that stepping away from our desks and taking a walk can boost creative output by 60 per cent!

And even if we don’t have a solution to our creative problem, taking a break puts us in a much better place to be able to tackle it.

The next time you hit a writing wall, don’t plough on through. Go easy on yourself and take that break.

You never know what fantastic ideas your mind can deliver – if you give it a rest, and the chance.

How do you give yourself space when you’re writing?

Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “When you’re a writer, is doing nothing unproductive?

  1. So pleased this will help you, Lydia! (I find it’s useful in my professional practice as an editor, too.)

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