For the past several weeks, I’d been meeting, or even exceeding, my daily word count goals. I was writing early in the morning before work. And late at night. And in the margins. I was a woman on a mission. Focused, productive. Making progress. Checking things off my list. Watching the word count grow. Eyes on the prize.

Then—boom—one afternoon I hit a wall. My brain resisted any attempt at crafting more words. I texted a couple friends to confess just how tired I suddenly felt. I shared the honest truth: I could no longer keep these hours or juggle All The Things. I needed a break.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? When we push ourselves so hard, we will inevitably run out of steam.

If you find yourself in a similar position, I hereby offer you permission to press “pause.”  Take whatever time you need to recharge.

Get some exercise.

Catch up on your favorite show.

Get lost in a good book.

Organize your pantry. (Okay, yes, I’ve been told I need to learn how to relax…)

Go on a date with a partner or friend.

Enjoy nature and fresh air.

Wander around a museum or art gallery.

Whatever your time of rest looks like, be as gentle with yourself as you would be with a loved one.

Your writing project will be there waiting for you once you are recharged.