“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen

Why You Need to Recharge Your Creative Batteries

If you subscribe to as many writing websites as I do, you’re probably constantly bombarded by the same advice: Just write, write every day, push through writer’s block, don’t wait for inspiration, etc. And while that’s all great advice, and most of the time very necessary to follow, there’s something to be said for taking a break.

creative battery

Writing is a lot like using your smartphone. You have to make sure you have enough battery to do what needs to be done. Let’s pretend for a second that your brainpower is like your smartphone battery.


If you’re fully charged, you’re feeling great and ready to go! Inspiration’s hitting you all over the place, your fingers are flying, and you could write for hours if you had all the time in the world. You can hardly remember what writer’s block is and can’t understand what in the world was holding you back just a few days ago.


You’re still going strong, but you can’t help but glance at the corner of the screen every few minutes. You’re going to have to recharge soon. And depending on what you’re using your battery for, you might have to plug in sooner rather than later.

For example, if you’re watching Netflix on your smartphone, your battery might last a total of three hours rather than, say, four or five if you were texting or checking Facebook. The more brainpower you’re using on your writing and editing, the quicker you’re going to get tired.


Uh oh, this is your brain’s way of warning you to plug in as soon as possible. If you dismiss the notification and keep writing anyway, you run the risk of shutting down. The best thing you could do right now, is finish up what you’re doing and step back. Plug in, do something relaxing, and let your batteries recharge.


If you didn’t take a break after your brain started to get tired, you’re going to shut down. It’ll be a struggle to type even one word, your fingers will feel about five pounds heavier, and eventually you’ll just stop. You’ll shut down.

Now you have no choice but to recharge, but it’s going to take a while to get back to full power. It might take a week to feel productive again when, if you had plugged in earlier, it would’ve only taken a few hours or a day.

Taking a break

While you shouldn’t use it as an excuse for every little frozen screen, it’s good to take a break every once in a while. If your brain is telling you to stop and recharge, listen to it.

Read a book, watch some TV, go for a walk, do something relaxing and away from your computer screen.

When you come back, you’ll be 100% and ready to continue.

How do you recharge your creative batteries? Share in the comments section?


Today I want you to take a break. Do something you enjoy, whether it be outside or inside, then sit back down and write for fifteen minutes. If you want, share your practice in the comments. Be sure to give your fellow writers some advice, too!

About The Magic Violinist

The Magic Violinist is a young author who writes mostly fantasy stories. She loves to play with her dog and spend time with her family. Oh, and she's homeschooled. You can visit her blog at themagicviolinist.blogspot.com. You can also follow The Magic Violinist on Twitter (@Magic_Violinist).

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    I am in awe of you and your skills, sweet girl! #HUGSSS

    Playing with my puppy or reading a thriller novel usually does the trick for me. Thank you for a wonderfully cohesive and EXCITING post <3


    • Aww, thank you so much! 🙂 *hugs back*

      Aren’t dogs the best? And if they’re behaving that day, they make great snuggle buddies while you write.

  • Miriam N

    I can so relate to this Magic Violinist! During the Christmas break I think I was at 0% and took most of the break off to recharge. I think it’s also important to make sure that you don’t feel guilty when you need to take a break. Nobody can go on forever. Thanks for this wonderful post 🙂 Happy Writing! (Second comment! I still win!)

    • YES, not feeling guilty is a big one to remember. You have to take care of yourself to make sure you don’t shut down. That goes for your creative batteries, as well as any other situation. (Ha ha, good for you!)

  • Fanny Crispin

    Hah, well, I guess I never considered recharging…at all. I mean, I’m dutiful to plug in my electronics at the end of the day, and I assumed that was good enough for my creativity as well. But when you work two jobs, run the youth group, volunteer for a half dozen things, as well as the typical household struggles (remembering to buy groceries so you can eat), it does feel incredibly draining. No wonder I have no drive to even look at my manuscript. For my recharging, I resolve to take up yoga (again) 20mins every day after work before sitting down to edit.

    • It’s easy to forget to take a break when you’re so busy, especially if you hardly get any time to work on your writing. Yoga is a fantastic way to recharge! And who knows, new inspiration might hit you while you do it.

  • Love, love, love the battery recharging. We simply must refuel ourselves to keep the creative juices flowing. I love to go have coffee with a friend, go for a run or go to yoga, call a friend I haven’t talk to in a long time. To me, the key is to shift my energy and to give myself some time and space to give it my all at the keyboard again.

    • Thank you! Those are all great ways to get back your energy. Exercise can be especially rewarding, physically and mentally. Taking my dog for a walk has given me more ideas than I can count.

  • What a perfect metaphor!! Another one I’ve used a lot is the teapot — you can only get so much out before you need a refill.
    My favorite thing to do to recharge is to laugh. My husband is funny, my son can be really funny, and my dog can be hysterical as soon as I grab one of his toys. Or there’s always a funny book or a good sitcom or movie (we record them and keep them on standby).
    Once the laughter has cleared away all the “gunge”, I can stop, breathe, and soak up some silence. Inevitably, the ideas will start to flow.
    But you’re right, if I wait too long and ignore the signs, it’s not that quick nor that easy.

    • Ooh, I love comparing it to a teapot! 🙂

      I hadn’t even thought of something as simple as that. There are so many great resources out there for a good laugh. (And you’re absolutely right, dogs are hysterical.)

  • 100%

    Yesterday was the day. I had planned it. I had entered it in my diary. I had woken up smiling to my muse as she fidgeted in my tummy. She knew and I knew that we had planned it. I leapt from bed inspired, recharged and full of joy.


    I went for my morning swim. I grabbed a coffee on the way home and popped into the market to buy some groceries. At home I quickly did the dishes, put the rubbish out, wiped down the fridge doors, hung some washing out, swept the floors and watered the pot plants on the verandah.

    The sun was glinting through the trees, the birds were singing, the kitchen was gleaming and the verandah herbs were perky and water fresh. It was indeed a beautiful day.

    I had the hose in hand so I watered the lawn and the new veggie garden. I felt immense love for my car so I washed that too, with suds and the fresh sparkling gush of hose water. I felt so pleased.

    I brought the dry bits of washing in, folded them and put them away. I felt so fresh and charged. So capable and bright. Muse rumbled in my tummy. I smiled at her assuring her that yes today was the day.

    I started dinner, a mild sweet curry on the stove top. I prefer it if it’s cooked earlier and reheated in the evening, it seems to taste sweeter.

    I played a CD that I love to sing to. And I sung. I even repeated 1 track 4 times; it was that good.
    I danced and stretched and yawned and released.

    And finally I turned the computer on. I checked messages, emails, weather, news. I paid bills.

    Muse tapped on my rib cage. I smiled and said yes, yes I promise.

    I made up a salad for lunch and then enjoyed a cup of tea with a chocolate biscuit. And then I went back to the cupboard for another chocolate biscuit. ANOTHER chocolate biscuit.

    WHOA now, hold on. What is going on here? That nasty little fear monkey had zapped my 100% and wanted more: something sweet.

    My house was clean, washing done, cupboards stocked, car clean, dinner cooked, bills paid, messages checked, I knew the weather forecast for the week BUT not a scrap of writing had been done. Not one single creative goal had been achieved.

    I sighed.
    Now travelling on 50%, I made haste.

    Downloads, file saves, folders created, images stored.

    I left the computer on.

    Dinner time. Rice cooked, curry reheated, chappatis mixed and grilled. Dinner served, dinner eaten, dishes done, benches wiped, blog posts created (revised drafts from earlier works, now sitting in Draft on blog database), 1 blog post published, blog menu updated, new links added, 2 pages of WIP completed.


    Tired now.



    I lay my sleepy head on the soft pillow and my last thought flashed in neon dreamy state: productive procrastinator. And muse wondered if that might be a good title for a book. And I said I’m too tired to think about it, I’ll write it down in the morning.


    Last drop of energy consumed as I curled into …..

    • Love. This. Such a perfect, simple way to portray how easy it is to get caught up in other things throughout the day. I really liked the descriptions of your muse tapping on your rib cage!

    • Amy Klco

      This is so beautifully written and so true. I am also a very productive procrastinator. I have found that, whenever I’m getting a whole lot of “things” done, I have to stop and ask myself, “What is it you are avoiding doing?” There is always something.

      And yes, it would be a good title. Write it! I want to read it. 🙂

      • Hi Amy
        Yes it is true.
        I know for sure that my procrastination is often avoidance of something deep wishing to percolate to the surface.
        I still play the game though 😉
        Thanks for your feedback and looking forward to reading your comments on TWP.
        Kind regards

    • I couldn’t help but cringe and chuckle simultaneously as I read this. It is my day all too often. I thought when I had growing children and was working full-time my days were consumed all too fast. Now, in retirement, it often doesn’t seem any different.

      Yes, that’s a great book title. Please write it — you’ll sell tons of copies!

      • Ha ha thanks.
        I’m not the only one then.
        I did wax lyrical a little bit with this, but it’s it far from the truth.
        Thanks for the feedback.

  • My dearest Magic Violinist,
    My problem is I am always recharging my batteries, and rarely depleting them.
    I find I spend so much of my time recharging in a sunbeam I don’t take the time to dictate my stories to my typist.
    I will tell my typist to read your story, her batteries are running out. Though, if she has enough energy to clean the seven litter boxes I don’t mind.
    Love Pooh

    • Ha ha, I get what you mean. 😉 Sometimes recharging just feels awesome. (I frequently catch myself watching one Netflix episode more than I promised myself.)

  • A beautiful metaphor for what we all find ourselves doing some days. Thank you for sharing your awesome writing with us, and for always finding a way to take the ordinary out of every day living and writing.

  • A.E. Albert

    Writing is the most exhausting activity I’ve ever done. I love it and in a weird way it energizes me at the same time. Yet, I know that sometimes I need a break. The trouble with writing is that even though I know I need a break, I don’t want to stop. You’re right, writers must acknowledge when they need a rest, our work will only be the better for it.

    • You’re absolutely right, it’s so exhausting and energizing. It’s the best feeling when you get in the zone and feel as if you could write for hours. 🙂 But following that rush is usually a major crash. It’s a huge balancing act.