AHA · Authors Helping Authors · Writing Tips

“Clearing My Head” by Stephanie Haefner

Use BrainSometimes there is so much going on in my brain, or sometimes nothing, which is not good when I need it to have something. During those time I just need to clear my head.



As a writer, I’m often faced with a blank page…that blinking cursor. And there are times it’s fantastic. That cursor moves like you wouldn’t believe. I make so many typing mistakes because my fingers are moving so fast getting the story out of my head before it disappears, lost in the sea of things floating around in there.

But there are those other times where the blinking cursor is a curse. I don’t know what to do next. I don’t know where I need to take my characters. Sometimes it’s during the creating phase. I have reformed and am now a plotter, but even though I have the entire book planned, it’s sometimes difficult to bridge together the scenes I’ve thought up. Or during the editing phase, when I know I need to fix something, but the solution is just not coming to me.

I need a brain break. And it’s not uncommon for me to take several in a day’s time. Just short little vacations where my brain can rest and do absolutely nothing worthwhile. And yes…my brain takes it’s vacations in Twitterland, Facebookville, and Pinterest City.

I know many people consider these social media sites a complete waste of time. I don’t, for many reasons, but I won’t go into them all today. Today I am focusing on the break they give my brain. I can go on Twitter and have a laugh, see what my writer buddies are doing, promo myself, help promo a friend. I only stay a minute or two. Then I hop over to Facebook, see what my family and friends are up to today. Stay there a couple minutes. Then maybe some Pinterest for yummy meal ideas or crafts.

My brain takes maybe a 5 minute break and is ready to get back at it. Stepping away from my work, even for a few minutes, can often give me new perspective. It really helps!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stephanie Haefner is a multi-published contemporary romance author, PRO member of RWA, and secretary for the Western NY Romance Writers. Visit her website at www.stephaniehaefnerthewriter.com or follow her on Twitter at @stephanihaefner

Do you take mini breaks while you’re writing, or doing whatever job you do? Does it help clear your mind and make you more productive? What do you do on your mini breaks?

6 thoughts on ““Clearing My Head” by Stephanie Haefner

  1. Great post, Stephanie. Mini breaks are the bread and butter of my creative half. Without them I would plummet into a nightmare of frustrating headaches. Social media isn’t usually part of my breaks, not because I don’t like them, but because most of my breaks start by me getting up from my chair and walking away from the computer, even if just for a few minutes. I get a glass of water, take a walk around the block, go check on my garden, etc. I like to do things that clear my mind of any tie I have to the words staring at me through the computer screen. They clear up my mind’s eye and give me a well needed break, sometimes even a breakthrough.


  2. Yes Stephanie, I take lots of breaks from writing…most,longer then 5 minutes. During my breaks I grab a snack, read email, watch a few minutes of TV, call or text a friend or just do a chore in the house. Sometimes the breaks turn into hours. LOL


  3. I am lucky enough to be retired and live in Florida. I am home alone most of the day accompanied by two dogs and a old man cat. When I need a break, I can walk a dog or two, feed the old man, jump into the pool, go to the ocean, or think about what is for dinner. Sometime I just come to this blog, read and write a reply


  4. Like Sadie, my “break buddy” is my dog. Four short walks a day, and each one gives me a chance to think freely and creatively. 🙂


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