Sometimes, you need to mix it up a bit — write something that gives you a break from a big project you’ve been working on. Just recently, the title of a story and a new character popped into my head. I decided to follow the path where she led me and I’ve had a lot of fun going there. As I was writing my story, I realized that mixing it up and writing something totally different is a great idea for three reasons:
It can be energizing: Just plunging into a totally different world had given me a shot of adrenalin. It’s given me a boost to realize that I can invent and play with a new character and tell a story that’s humorous and entertaining. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a new kind of writing challenge to renew our energy.
It can be relaxing: Taking a break for a while from my major long-term project has given me a mental health break. It’s let me exercise a new set of writing muscles and give my mind a rest from the well-worn grooves it was getting just a tad too comfortable in. When we mix it up and let one project percolate by working on something new, we relax and let go — and that’s often just what the doctor ordered.
It can be revealing: Just by playing around with a lighthearted story, I’ve discovered that there’s something new and exciting I can bring to my other work. Sometimes taking off in a totally different direction lets you discover something valuable that you didn’t even know about yourself and about what and how you want to communicate. By mixing it up, you enrich everything you’re doing.
Isaac Asimov was an enormously creative and prolific writer. He was always working on several projects at once. When he hit a roadblock with one, he’d switch gears and move onto something else for a while. He felt this approach helped him stay fresh and fueled his imagination. Why not try it and see if it works for you as you write on?