Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

The Importance of Rest

Resting is a Critical Part to Any Challenge…

Those who have been following this so far, you know I have a mini-challenge of 20 short stories by the end of the month, a major challenge of publishing my age of 67 books in my 67th year, and a major challenge of running in 67 miles of races in my 67th year.

I started the writing on the 10th and the exercise on the 11th.

When I sat this up, being a long-time athlete, I knew that rest was going to be critical in all three challenges because all three were long-term.

So today was my first scheduled rest day. So far I have written five short stories in five days and in four days walked over 10,000 steps per day. A perfect start, actually, so very happy.

I could have easily been to my writing computer by 1 a.m. to do a short story, but it was a rest day. I ended up walking 6,000 steps in just a natural day. And my legs feel better tonight for slowing down for a day.

Pushing through today would have been fairly attainable, actually, but I know for certain the rest is going to help me more over time. That is why I planned it.

So today I had a WMG meeting, did some workshop loading to Teachable, watched a bunch of television, did some email, and did some reading for the short story and novel challenge people are sending me. A good rest day.

So now I am off to bed for a full night sleep. Tomorrow I will do some work at WMG, then go do some picking, then back at it tomorrow evening after cooking dinner.

So folks, if your desire is to hit a long term goal, either with writing or exercise, make sure you build in rest days. They are as critical as hitting your milage or your pages.



  • Kate Pavelle

    Yep, rest is a prescribed part of a fitness regimen, especially as we get older. I had been griping to my karate sensei about weight lifting and how much harder it had become, and he said: “Most people don’t realize the big secret – as you get older, the best exercise is the one you get in bed!”
    Now, sensei is a known ladies’ man. I, being a literal creature at times, had said, “But sensei, that can be a pretty physical activity in addition to everything else!”
    His eyes bugged out, his hair wizened like on command, and he proceeded to repeat my name in this incredulous, appalled voice. It was hilarious.
    But yeah, rest up more than once a week when over 40.

  • Marsha Ward

    I so agree. That’s why I build rest days into my project length-projection goals. If I say I’m going to write X project in 6 total days, you can bet there is at least one day in there set aside for rest.

  • Baby Writer

    Dean, what advice do you have for a baby writer (2 novels published) on distinguishing between rest and procrastination?

    • dwsmith

      If you have written five stories in five days, or a novel in five or ten days, then a day off is rest. If you are just not getting to many words because your critical voice is stopping you and telling you everything is shit, then you are procrastinating. Pretty simple measure, actually. (grin)