Take a breather. Five minutes. Get up, stretch your legs, take your eyes away from your screen or paper. Take a walk in the woods. Play with a ball of string. Get something to eat.
NaNoWriMo is a taxing time. It’s stressful. We’re attached to our writing utensils and we can’t part ways for long. But honestly, we really have to do that, once in a while. But taking our breaks is important. It lets our minds rest, distracts us for a few minutes. But the thing is, we’re very rarely actually not progressing forward. I’ve taken time to catch a breather and my brain has pieced together parts that I was struggling with, despite doing a completely unrelated thing.
Sometimes our brains can make logic leaps when we’re paying attention to it… and sometimes it only makes those connections when we’re not actively focusing on it anymore.
I know it seems like we have to hammer away hard at what we’re working on, and that we can’t do anything else. But between NaNo and our responsibilities– housework, actual work, chores and remembering to eat and sleep– there doesn’t seem to be a lot of time left just to take a wedge out for ourselves. And we really need that. The human mind isn’t designed to focus hard-wire on one thing without distraction. Single-mindedness is great for short term and drive, but after a few weeks you really just need to take your moment.
Take your moment. Look after yourself. Let your brain have an moment off, to do nothing except rest. Maybe you’ll thank it for the help.