When most people think of what it would be like to be their own boss as a freelance writer, they envision a better work-life balance than they could ever get in the office. In reality, being a freelance writer often means long days in front of the computer and the sense that you always have to be on, ready to respond to clients and jump at opportunities, whenever they arise. That can make it difficult to even fit a coffee break into the day. However, down time is an essential part of being a good freelance writer. You need breaks during your workday and you need longer breaks away from your writing, just as you would any other job. If you’ve been skipping lunch, working weekends, and missing out on trips, these reasons that breaks matter might have you adding some days off to your schedule.
Taking a Break Makes You a Better Writer
There is a good reason that more and more companies are insisting that employees actually use their vacation time. Study after study has shown that working long hours is not the best way to be productive and to do your best work. Instead, taking breaks to refresh your mind and body helps you focus on your tasks and perform them at a higher level.
If you’ve ever pushed yourself through a marathon writing session to meet a deadline, then there is a good chance you’ve seen this in action. You’re more likely to make mistakes and your writing simply isn’t of the quality you would like. The work you provide to your clients will be better if you both take breaks from the computer throughout the day and if you take days off periodically to focus on yourself.
Walking Away Breaks Writer’s Block
Have you ever stared at a blank page for an extended length of time, struggling to come up with the words to complete your work? Writer’s block is real, and it can get in the way of delivering quality work to clients in a timely manner.
Fortunately, the cure for writer’s block is often simply not writing for a while. Taking a break gets you away from the pressure of coming up with the words your client needs and gives your brain a time to relax. When you come back to your desk, you may be surprised at how much clarity you have.
Staying Healthy Requires Rest
When you’re running a freelance writing business, if you don’t work, you don’t get paid—and you can’t work if you’re sick. You may feel like you have to push yourself to take on more work to make more money, and that may be successful for a time. Eventually, your physical and mental health will suffer, though, and you’ll be forced to make a much longer break from writing—and earning.
Depriving yourself of 20 minutes to take a walk or grab a cup of tea isn’t worth the long-term impact that stress-induced health problems can have on your business.
Take charge of your freelance writing schedule with the help of Writers Work. Our members can set writing goals and track their daily performance to make sure they’re getting the job done while balancing their need for breaks. Try all of our tools today by becoming a member in a risk-free, 30-day trial.