One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Last night I went bowling. But that’s not the whole story. The summer of 2012, the BFF and I had this summer pass we bought that let us play 2 free games every week. So we went and bowled and bowled and bowled. Sometimes our games were good, other times not so much.

In fact I used to tell people I bowled a two-seventyโ€”two games, seventy each. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It was soooo frustrating to practice so much and feel like we weren’t improving. We looked up techniques, asked other bowlers, but our scores didn’t seen to move.

It had been awhile since I’d last played when it came to last night, and it seemed like things were going as they usually did. Then this happened.


I’ve never gotten a turkey before. Ever. This was a personal best for me. Part of it was taking a step back, the other part was not over-thinking my techniques.


It’s good to study technique and practice and improve yourself. But there can be too much of a good thing. Sometimes a break is necessary to move forward.

But what you take a break from depends entirely upon your individual situations. Maybe you’ve been editing too long. Maybe it’s time to start editing. Maybe you’re reading too much. Maybe you’re not reading enough. It’s just as important to cut the wood as it is to sharpen the saw and vice versa.

A mentor of mine recommended after finishing Shade I write something completely different to freshen my writing. I switched from third POV to first and from fantasy to a bit more contemporary. That’s how Project Clemmings was born. And it seems like this has been much easier to write–not that it should be easier per se. I just feel like I’m finally bowling a 142. I have a wise mentor.

So whatever you’re doing, take a look at your projects and goals and ask yourself how you can take a step back. How can you rejuvenate yourself as a writer? Or how can you keep yourself rejuvenated?

Then bowl a turkey.

Have you ever had to take a break? Was it helpful? What do you do to rejuvenate yourself?


13 thoughts on “One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

  1. Rejuvenation is definitely needed. Going beyond fatigue can make you stumble and make a mess of things. Been there far too many times.

    Not very good at bowling unless I do it without caring. I try to do well and I mess up. I go in it for fun, I get a decent score. Though, I’m always out-voted when I request the bumpers.

  2. I prefer granny bowling, or bowling with bumpers.
    As for taking a break, there is an important point to get away, to do something completely different, and to flex other muscles. It’s also is a good way to remind us that writing is supposed to be fun.

    • Haha, you and Charles both. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I took a bowling class in college, so I feel like if I used bumpers I’d give my former teacher a stress heart attack.

      I like that last phrase, remind us that writing is fun. It should be.

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