Ready to Rest

We’re more than a third of the way through our 100 days of writing and closing in on the 50 day milestone. Already we’ve heard from guest writers; we’ve shared ups and downs. There are many more to come, I assure you.

In the coming weeks there are yet more writers stopping by for a chat on the blog. We’ll work hard, write faithfully, and celebrate the discoveries along the way.

But, some of you may be starting to feel the drain. That’s okay. Perfectly normal. As we venture ever deeper into the wilds of Write 100 the trail becomes more and more trying.

So how are we going to deal with the natural strain that accompanies a challenge such as this?

Sometimes you need to press pause. Sometimes (on a regular basis, actually) you need to rest.

Rarely do we rest well. Our culture has forgotten how to rest. We must remain busy and occupied at all times. Even in our leisure we must be productive and active.

When we fail to rest, however, we begin to miss out on life. And that does us zero favors. In a world that shouts “go, go, go!” we all, but writers in particular, must take time to close our ears and focus on what matters. When we rest we reorient our priorities and reestablish our focus. We remember how to wonder, how to delight, how to notice. Rest reminds us of the very important reality that we are not invincible. We have our limits, and there is beauty to be found in those limitations.

We’ve talked before about how you must choose to write, well, this weekend choose to rest.

Rest with intention. Don’t worry about the clock. Put away distractions. Slow down.  If you’re like me, you’ll probably have to put boundaries on yourself to enforce the rest. If that’s what you need, do it.

You may think you don’t have time to rest–what with the many demands on your attention and your time. On the contrary you don’t have time to not rest.

I guarantee, when you build a practice of rest into your life you will find that you are more productive in the long run. It’s an investment in self-care. It will take time to get used to, but it is how we humans are wired. We are meant to rest and to enjoy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Keep writing. Keep to your writing routine so your head stays in the game (you’ve already done so much to build the momentum that will sustain you throughout the weeks and months remaining in this challenge). If you need to adjust your time allotment or the type of writing/research you do to check off that box on your Write 100 calendar, make those changes. You will do your writing a favor if you make time to rest.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few ideas of ways you can rest this weekend:

  • Spend time outside. Go to the park. Take a walk.
  • Call up an old friend and catch up on life. Take as long as you need.
  • Take a short break from your main Write 100 project. Write something totally new and different. Just have fun!
  • Play a game with your family.
  • Try a new restaurant. Taste some exotic foods.
  • Pick a movie you’ve been wanting to watch and make it a movie night. Popcorn. Candy. PJ’s. The works.
  • Do an art project– a coloring book, scrapbooking, jewelry making, anything!
  • Get dressed up and take pictures, just for the fun of it.
  • Married? Make it a date night with your spouse.
  • Experiment with a new recipe.
  • Go for a drive in the country.
  • Turn up your favorite songs and dance like nobody’s watching.
  • Volunteer for an event or charity in your area.
  • Take a nice, long nap.
  • Get lost in a book. Read it all the way to the end.
  • Enjoy the quiet of an early morning, or watch the stars flicker awake after sunset.

Whatever it is, whether in the company of others or in solitude, find an activity or practice that rejuvenates you.

Writing + life. They go together. It’s important to make them work together. Be wary of neglecting one while focusing solely on the other. Living life, building relationships, and resting with intention will make you a better write, believe it or not. And writing about it will, I like to think, help you live better too.

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