As writers, we often find ourselves squeezing in extra writing-work time around many other demands in our lives, from paying jobs to family responsibilities to house chores and more.

But don’t forget to take to take time to rest, too. Rest can help you write better in a number of ways.

One Surprising Way to Write Better: Rest

Image by Liber the Poet

Rest so You Can Focus

We all lose focus from time to time. But the under-rested brain struggles to make the necessary adjustments to get back on task—something scientists compare to a power failure. How can you do your best writing if you can’t even get your brain on task?

Rest to Increase Your Productivity

The number one resource we rely on to get more done is time. But more and more, studies are indicating that’s simply not a good approach. Time is finite—but energy is renewable. Longer hours and less sleep lead to burnout and reduces our ability to get things done.

Most of All, Rest to Be More Creative

From getting enough sleep to taking a break for a walk, your brain is more creative when you give it time to idle—there’s a reason showers are famous for giving eureka moments. Sleeping fosters associative networks in your brain, letting it make more connections, which is closely associated with creativity.

These are of course only a few ways you can benefit from staying well rested. Lack of sleep and overworking yourself can also lead to getting sick more frequently, being more stressed out, and even feeling pain more keenly.

So rest up! Your writing depends on it.

How do you make time for rest?

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes and think about how you feel right now. Are you rested or overworked? Stressed or centered? What can you do to make sure you look to your body’s and mind’s needs on a regular basis to help you do your best writing? Write down your reflections, then share them in the comments!

Emily Wenstrom
Emily Wenstrom
By day, Emily Wenstrom, is the editor of short story website wordhaus, author social media coach, and freelance content marketing specialist. By early-early morning, she is E. J. Wenstrom, a sci-fi and fantasy author whose first novel Mud will release in March 2016.