All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy


Via gifer.com


Does anyone remember that famous line? I lifted it from the movie, The Shining. Stanley Kubrick stole it from James Howell’s Proverbs in English (1659) It means that if one works all the time without a vacay or break, one becomes both bored and boring.



I must be mindful to create and institute balance, or all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. That’s me, I’m Jill. Play a little, write some more. Mindfulness leads to manifestation which leads to fulfilling your dreams.



Though the scene doesn’t exist in Stephen King’s novel, in the movie, the main character, Jack Torrance is a writer, and he types the above line repeatedly. Whether the character had writer’s block and was hoping for inspiration so therefore engaged in freewriting or he was influenced by the supernatural evil of the Overlook, is debatable. For the purpose of this article, it doesn’t matter. I’m aiming to warn writers and authors, who forget to take breaks from writing, that it’s uber-important to do so.



It's super easy to land in the writing zone, or down some rabbit hole of research, and block out the world. I’ve noted in other articles how I burrow into beast mode and forget to eat and shower. While the writing zone doubles as a magical place of productivity for me, where cranking out a ton of articles is a breeze, designing creative memes is like coasting downhill, banging out chapters and other work is not only a snap but winning, I’m losing things as well.



Those things may not be the same for everyone, but for me, I tend to lose myself for a bit, along with my center, and sometimes clarity. The point is we need to make time for self-care, relaxation, and attention to family and friends. And let’s not forget our furbabies. They rely on us for everything.


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Believe it or not, sometimes too much focus, like typing away until your fingers turn stiff, your stomach rumbles and screams, “Feed Me,” and you start to stink, can be stifling. Getting back to basics, your kids, your pets, your home, your yard, yourself, can work wonders. Save and close your document, pay attention to those around you and embrace nature for a day or a short while. Take your dog for a walk. Plan a day trip or two, take a real vacation, or just catch some rays on your patio lounge chair. Grab a snack and a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Cook a nice meal or bake some cookies. Oh, and yeah jump in the shower or luxuriate in a bubble bath if that’s your thang. I promise when you come back to your WIP or other writing, your fingers will tap those keys with new enthusiasm and ideas.




Hi. I'm Liz Ambrico, freelance proofreader and aspiring author. I too am querying agents, editors, and publishers in hopes of becoming a published author.

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Wordy is the get-in-the-know hotspot for writers. From grammar to publishing find info, tips, and inspiration to take your WIP (Work In Progress) to the next level.

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I co-founded and managed a successful author and writer group on Long Island for five years. During events with publishers and authors I learned what matters, what agents are looking for, and the benefits and pitfalls of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.

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