4 Brain Breaks for Better Writing

View of the Falls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

When you’re chasing deadlines, stepping away from your work is necessary, but it might seem nearly impossible. It can be even more difficult if it’s something you’re not used to doing, like writing for your small business. Sometimes the more time you spend away from your writing, the less you want to actually follow through with a final draft.

But you can accomplish that crucial step in the editing process, even in a short amount of time. You just have to trick your brain into believing more time has passed to produce better results. There’s no full-proof strategy, but there are some options that range from a quick shake-up to a longer journey.

View of the Falls in Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Unplug and get outside.

Remove your eyes from any type of screen. Take deep breaths of fresh air. Bring your pet if you have one. Pay attention to the small details of your surroundings. Even if the weather isn’t ideal, going outside for a small amount of time can get your blood flowing and peak your senses.

Try visiting the mall.

Always try to shop local, but when you need some space from your work, the mall can place you into some interesting scenarios. You don’t have to buy anything; just walk around and observe. Be totally present for even just 30 minutes, and you’ll come away with new life knowledge you can then take back to your editing process. 

Phone a friend.

If you have a little extra time between your draft and your due date, see if a friend is available to talk on the phone or to text. Discuss something completely different from what you’ve written. Ask them about their day. Play a game of trivia. Share new music recommendations. Then circle back to your task at hand once the conversation comes to a natural conclusion.

Woman talking on the phone

Create art to give your left brain a break.

Try your hand at a different artform like sewing or splatter painting. If you don’t think of yourself as artistic, coloring in a simple picture can be therapeutic. This forces you to focus your attention away from your primary project.

When you’re ready, edit.

Your first draft isn’t meant to be publishable. It’s a way to get your thoughts onto paper with grammatical issues, spelling mistakes, structural errors, and all. 

Effective editing happens when you give your work space to breathe—whether it’s a deliverable, a poem, a novel, or otherwise. When you allow yourself the time between project edits, you allow your work the courtesy of a new world view. And your piece will be all the better for it.

Woman on computer in home office