Rest.

“I am not a hero if I deny rest; I am only tired.”

– Susan McHenry 

When we were kids, we were given a naptime.

But now that we’re adults, having a “naptime” is seen as a luxury.

Workaholism is so prevalent in society today that it has become the norm. It’s gotten to the point where anyone who doesn’t spent most of their time working (even on the weekends) is seen as “lazy.”

Even taking a week off for vacation makes you feel guilty—as if you’re doing something wrong. As if taking a sick day, or a day off, is an act of grave injustice against American society.

Pardon my bluntness: but that’s all idiotic.

There is nothing wrong with rest.

Chances are, if we feel tired, then we are tired—and we need a break.

And what’s so wrong with taking a break every once in a while?

I’ve discovered that, sometimes, the greatest obstacle to our writing is actually a rather simple one: lack of rest.

My Battle With Rest

I have to be honest, I really hate it when the whisper of my soul tells me:

“Rest.”

Usually, instead of actually resting, I get angry at my soul:

“No, no,” I tell it. “I can’t rest right now. Are you kidding me? I have to be a Writing Robot—a machine that keeps churning out the gold!”

But, despite my protest, the whisper of my soul remains adamant:

“Rest,” it repeats.

“But I have to get this chapter done,” I cry. “I need to fix this plot point! I can’t rest.”

“Rest,” my soul repeats.

I’m embarrassed to say that, often times, I don’t give in to my soul’s well-meaning guidance.

Instead, I keep plowing through the work.

But do you know how many drafts I had to toss out because they were done in a state of unrest? Do you know how many blog posts you’ve never seen on this blog because they were conceived in a state of unrest? (At one point, I was going to publish an incredibly boring post that compared writing to traffic school. I kid you not.)

I’ve written way too many useless, unsalvageable crap in a state of unrest, and it has been one great, big, idiotic waste of time!

How much time have we all wasted on something that we knew was junk (and would always be junk) simply because we were too stubborn and wanted to live up to the myth that a good American, a great writer, a model human being is one who never needs rest?

Too much time has been wasted trying to prove that rest is a luxury and not a necessity.

We’re so lucky that Rest has unconditional love for us. Rest sees us fighting against it, and yet, it still waits patiently for us, until we finally give in to it.

When we finally give in to it, Rest brings us in close and hugs us. We fall into its soft, warm embrace and we admit to it that we had no power over it in the first place.

But Rest makes no judgments on us. She just takes us in all the same.

Take A Rest Today

Hey, sometimes we just need rest.

To deny ourselves rest doesn’t make us cooler, stronger, amazing, or more capable human beings. No, denying ourselves rest only makes us really really tired. And cranky. And stressed. And kinda mean. Let’s face it: abstaining from rest makes us jerks. We’re like Simon Cowell having to wear a pair of kid-size tightie whities on a rainy day.

So, please: let’s stop torturing ourselves. Let’s leave the writing for another day.

I know. This is heresy, right?

But although some might believe that to be a good writer you have to write every single day—I respectfully disagree.

I believe that sometimes you just need to take a good, long rest from writing in order to get better at it.

So rest.

Close your laptop. Kick up you feet. Stretch your fingers. Take a sweet yawn. Lay that heavy head on a pillow… because all that work can be done later.

The work you’ll create in a state of unrest will be unsalvageable crap anyway. So why not rest, so you can create better work later on?

Rest. 

It’s not being lazy. It’s being healthy. (It’s also being really smart because it makes you more productive in the long run.)

Rest.

Yeahhhhh. That’s better.

Relax.

Forget about waxing philosophical—forget about “waxing” completely. Just “wane” for now.

Go ahead. Take your “naptime.” (The work will be there when you’ve been properly “rebooted.” Don’t worry.)

For now, just busy yourself with not busying yourself.

Refresh yourself.

Rest.

You deserve it.

much “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah,”

Ollin

> > > Blog Update: I’ll be taking a much-needed rest from the blog the first week of July. In the meantime, I’ll be sharing some C2C classic posts with you. I’ll be returning with new posts on July 9th. Note: I will NOT be moderating or approving comments until AFTER I come back from my blog break. So if you don’t see your comments for a while, that is why. You all have a great 4th of July!

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27 comments on “Rest.

  1. Zen says:

    Oh god your post makes me want to snuggle under my covers and sleep right now. Unfortunately I’m at work… procrastinating. Uhm.

  2. MarinaSofia says:

    Hey, some of us still have siestas…! Enjoy your well-deserved rest.

  3. Daniela says:

    Oh thank you so MUCH! Finally it is out … I often wondered about it myself, all these ‘build your tribe until you die’ and ‘in your face’ marketing strategies can make you feel useless unless you do it exactly as they preach. And preach they do – you will be hard pushed to find any social media without countless tweets reminding you how early you have to wake up in order to make yourself into a ‘writer’ … when did it became a production line?

    Ollin; you have my vote BIG TIME! I started (I think a day or two ago) writing about ‘being snowed-under’ looking through the lens of a ‘newbie blogger’ … this is how snowed-under (and inadequate) I was starting to feel! Luckily, I started to clarify few things throughe writing about it. And now reading this blog just confirmed it for me.

    Enjoy your rest. I am glad you are human!

    Cheers!
    Daniela

    • Ollin says:

      Yes, yes, yes. No wonder we have overburdened, overstressed, and overwhelmed writers in constant anxiety mode. We all need a little bit of rest. Oh and yes: I’m glad I am human, too.

  4. Conor Ebbs says:

    Spot on Ollin. I have the same guilt when I miss a day, like I’m cheating on my writing habit with idle time.

    But idle time is important. It allows ideas to marinate. I need a rest. This is just another clarion call that echoes my own mind.

    Thank you.

  5. Arisa says:

    I can very much agree! And I love the nap time I’ve been taking with my kitten lately. I slum down on the couch, he climbs on board and settles down and then we both close our eyes and take a nap of any length of time, no alarm clocks to wake us.

  6. […] Rest by Ollin Morales at Courage 2 Create […]

  7. Ollin,

    This is such an important message for our times. I find naps so refreshing, yet I do sometimes resist. Thanks for the encouragement.

  8. Awesome quote at the start! It reflects so many of us.

  9. Kirsten says:

    Good for you, on taking some time for yourself! You’re doing a great job with the blog, and this will give us newer followers a chance to read all the good stuff we might have missed.
    Enjoy, and come back refreshed!

  10. RD Meyer says:

    I can’t tell you the number of arguments I’ve gotten into with folks about this. Too many think rest is a sign of being weak. I view it as a way to recharge and bring out your best product. I can plow through and produce a few more mediocre pages, or I can get a fresh start and blow you away. Which do you think your readers would prefer?

  11. l0ve0utl0ud says:

    I completely agree with you – we have all been conditioned into thinking that rest is ‘wrong’ or for the weak or lazy. I have been really learning to listen to my body in these past few months, because I realised that I don’t allow myself to rest until my body is in a critical state. Now, I try to prevent myself from getting to such a state and give myself time off as soon as I feel like my energy levels are low.

  12. Katie says:

    And here I was just feeling guilty for not writing so many words of my WIP this morning.. but you’ve made me feel better. I was resting instead of writing, and sometimes that’s a much better choice. YOU deserve a rest, Ollin! Enjoy your time off. (:

    • Ollin says:

      Thank you, Katie! I did enjoy my time off, although I did sneak in some few things, guess I’m still quite the workaholic. But I can’t help myself! But I did get a significant amount of time off. Went to the beach and the pool, so that was definitely. Still felt a little guilty about it though. Eh, but what can you do?

  13. This so needed to be said. Not taking a rest is unhealthy and ultimately slows us down. Thank you so much for posting.

    Nissi.

  14. Yvette Carol says:

    You know Ollin sometimes I think we really do need permission to rest! Without it my creative soul would shrivel up and blow away like dust on the wind…

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