Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Permission NOT To Write

Quite a few years ago, I enrolled in a Degree in Criminal Justice. My main reason for doing so was my interest in reading and writing crime and mystery fiction. I thought by doing this course, I would gain a good grounding in police procedure. I was particularly interested in forensic science and profiling.

Unfortunately, after completing the first semester, I discovered that some subjects (naturally, the ones in which I was most interested) were available only to those working in the field. On top of this, I was finding it hard to fit in course requirements around other demands on my time (notably, bringing up four children and working part time). Everything was suffering - my family, work, my health and my studies.

I really wanted just to stop - to never have to do another assignment. But I kept going. I'd started the course - I felt I 'had' to finish. What would people say if I just tossed it in? "But you've paid all that money - it seems a shame not to carry it through" or worse still "I'm not surprised; I never thought you'd finish".

At the end of the first year, I quit. It simply wasn't worth the price I was paying in stress and lack of time. I didn't have to do the course - I didn't need it for career advancement, after all. A huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt happy again.

And what did people say? Most didn't even comment. It was obviously a far bigger thing for me than it was for them. Those who did say something were supportive: "You've got to do what feels right for you."

How true that is. If something is 'not right' for us, it's so much harder to generate enthusiasm. It's so much harder to find the time. Things just don't flow. This is as true for writing as it is for anything else. There are many reasons for feeling you need 'permission not to write' - but the only one who needs to give that permission is YOU.

Life Gets In The Way

No matter how organised you are, there comes a time when life will get in the way of your plans. You get sick, or lose your job and find that stress sets in. A member of your family might need your support. Or... everything happens at once! How often have you found that when one thing goes wrong, more disasters follow?

At times like this you need to give your attention to the obstacles in your way. If you don't have the time or inclination to write, then don't. It's your life. Do what feels right for you.

You Start A New Job

...or you're offered a new and more challenging position. You're torn between focusing on the job and splitting your energy between that and your writing. Eventually you begin to resent your writing for (a) taking your time away from your new responsibilities and (b) making you feel guilty.

Assuming you wanted the job in the first place, doesn't it make more sense to take some time out from writing at this stage? If you love to write, you'll come back to it. And if you don't return to it - then perhaps writing wasn't as important to you as you thought. It's good to find that out.

You're Losing Interest in Writing

It's getting harder and harder to drag yourself to the computer and write. You find yourself relieved when the house simply *has* to be cleaned, or the school holidays arrive and it's impossible to find any peace to write. But everyone knows you're writing a book, and they keep asking how it's going. You know you sound as though you're making excuses... and you are.

Look around you. Hundreds - no, thousands - of people pick up and put down one hobby after another. They go to art classes, they dabble in photography, they take up martial arts. It's fine to try things out. That doesn't mean you have to keep doing them if you've discovered they're not really for you.

So what if you're halfway through a book? Just tell people the truth: "Writing takes a lot more creative energy than you'd think - I'm not sure it's for me," or "Writing is a long-term commitment. Meanwhile, I'm not getting to try out other things I'd like to do. So I'm having a break from it for a while."

Never, never keep writing just because of what other people might say or do if you stop.

You're Feeling Burnt Out

This is not quite the same thing as deciding that writing is not for you. Let's suppose you absolutely love writing. You've always loved it, and creating characters and plots gives you a huge buzz. But... you've written six books and although the rejection letters are getting more encouraging, you still haven't received a 'yes'. Or maybe that agent that was recommended has knocked you back.

You're tired. You know that you'll never stop writing, but... you're feeling down and you wish you could just stop for a while.

Fine. Do it. Take a month off, or a year off. Take as long as you need, until you feel that unmistakable urge return and you just have to sit down and write. Give yourself permission right now to take a vacation from writing - for as long as you like. What's the difference between letting a field lie fallow for a year or so between crops and letting your imagination rejuvenate itself between projects? Giving yourself permission not to write for a while might be the very best thing you can do for your writing career.

And while you're taking that time off, you can stay connected by reading and filing articles on writing, joining a chat group for writers, or building your writer's website. Or simply read a lot! :-)

There are, no doubt, many more reasons for needing permission not to write. The best guide is your own gut feeling. If the thought of not having to write for a while makes you heave a sigh of relief, then take action.

Permission not to write is hereby granted.

(c) Copyright Marg McAlister

Marg McAlister has published magazine articles, short stories, books for children, ezines, promotional material, sales letters and web content. She has written 5 distance education courses on writing, and her online help for writers is popular all over the world. Sign up for her regular writers' tipsheet at

In The News:

Hong Kong faces 'unimaginable and dreadful' future, China warns
Sun, 17 Nov 2019 16:55:00 +0000
Police in Hong Kong have used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to drive back protesters trying to flee a university campus amid violent clashes in city.

How long will China tolerate embarrassing protests?
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 13:26:00 +0000
China has accused the UK and US of interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong as authorities struggle to contain months of protests in the city.

Girl, 15, dies in suspension bridge collapse
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 11:16:00 +0000
A 15-year-old girl has died after a suspension bridge in Toulouse collapsed.

China records third case of plague this month
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 11:42:00 +0000
A 55-year-old man has become the third person to be diagnosed with a form of plague in China this month.

Archaeological artefact smuggling ring smashed after London raids
Mon, 18 Nov 2019 12:01:00 +0000
Italian police have broken up a smuggling ring that was illegally transporting archaeological artefacts around the world.

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

Italics Part 2 - Using Italics to Show Thoughts

Way back in your early school years, you were probably... Read More

The Three Cs of Writing an Excellent all Purpose Headline

Since the headline is the first contact your readers have... Read More

Characters In A Romance Novel

Before you even begin writing your novel, you need to... Read More

Sense of Place

What is Sense of Place? It's the image of a... Read More

Top 10 Common English Goofs by Web Authors

In reviewing and browsing web sites over the years, I... Read More

The Opportunities As A Freelance Proofreader in the UK

A UK based freelance proofreader should be able to provide... Read More

Editing and Polishing - How Much is Enough?

A few days ago, I critiqued a chapter for a... Read More

Balance Your Life

Balance your life ... Read More

Before You Write Your Book, Organize Its Parts - Part 1

If you are a serious writer who wants to publish... Read More

Suspense Novels Need Fast Starts

Suspense novels, unlike any other genre, need fast starts. Fans... Read More

Writing Tips For Novice Authors

If you are reading this article then you probably have... Read More

Freelance Writing: How Many Regular Clients Should You Have?

This is a tough question for every freelance writer. For... Read More

The Dreaded Daily Word Count

Open any book on 'how to write,' and somewhere you... Read More

Top Seven Essential Hot-Selling Points To Implement Before Writing Chapter One

Every part of your book can be a sales tool.... Read More

Ten Ways to Get Cheap (and Free) Magazine Samples

1 - Join a reading or writing group. Ask members... Read More

A New Way To Self Publish

More and more good authors are turning to the Internet... Read More

New York Code Orange Jaisini New Art Series

The creativity of Jaisini is not designed to be preaching... Read More

To Tell If You Are A Literary Snob

"I don't know if I should put 'writer' on my... Read More

Idea Mining for Writers 101

Want to write an article or book, but are stuck... Read More

Is The Theme Running Throughout The Story?

Creative Writing Tips ?It's no use coming up with a... Read More

Top Ten Tips (Part 1)

The following rules are essential if you want people to... Read More

What Is The Single Worst Writing Mistake?

The following answer sounds simplistic?but think about it. The single... Read More

Creative Writing Tips - Does The Name You Chose Suit Your Character?

How do you choose a name? Do you put down... Read More

Publish It Now! No Matter What It Is

Do you want to publish something? An article, a non-fiction... Read More

How to Publish a Book: Key Differences Between Publishing and Self Publishing

For many authors just starting out, it can be a... Read More