Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Dipping the Quill Deeper: The Importance of Time Out for Writers!

by Eva Marie Everson

“When you rest, you catch your breath and it holds you up, like water wings.” –Anne Lamott

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I overbooked myself. For six weeks, beginning in the month of February, I “met myself coming and going,” as the old saying goes. I found myself in entirely too many hotel rooms (or hostess guestrooms). Too many takeoffs and landings and sitting at crowded gates. Too many meals in restaurants. 

In a six-week period, I had booked six events; the fifth was speaking at a Christian private school (so much fun!) while visiting friends in my hometown. During that five-day period, even though some work was involved, I took the time to simply “be.” To read. To enjoy conversations with friends while sitting around a blazing fire on a chilly morning with cups of coffee warming our hands. To peruse cute privately owned shops. 

I also spent time with family—an oyster roast where the food was delicious, and the laughter tasted sweeter. A yummy-in-the-tummy lunch at a barbecue joint with a cousin. 

On one sunny and warm afternoon during that week, I spent an hour sitting in the front of a Polaris, riding the foliage-filled trails that cut along and through a friend’s extensive property. At one point, I closed my eyes and breathed in the fresh air. “Take a break,” I whispered to myself. “Enjoy this. Don’t think about the work that is waiting for you. This is your time in God’s brushstrokes.” I followed that up with a single-line prayer: Thank you, Jesus.

Everyone needs time to rest. Time to breathe. Even Jesus “went away” from time to time, separating Himself from His disciples, those who followed Him, and His responsibilities to a short-lived ministry. He knew—and He understood—that without that time, He couldn’t do what He had to do without rest. 

As writers and speakers and published authors we often live under deadlines. Even this blogpost was written in a “I’m on it” moment. Thinking I had missed my “day to post,” I texted Edie and asked, “Did I miss it?” She told me that, no, I had not, but it was coming up. “I’m on it!” I texted back. 

Being under deadline or deadlines is good (without them, we have no work) . . . until it’s not. Once we become overwhelmed by our responsibilities—of work, of family, of social obligations—what we have to give diminishes. We. Need. Rest.

The book of Isaiah holds this warning: “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”; and “This is the place of repose”—but they would not listen (Isaiah 28:12 NIV).

But they would not listen . . . God grants us moments of rest, if we will only take them. God offers places of respose, if we will only look for them. We cannot give what we don’t have and once we pour everything out, there is nothing left to give. We. Must. Rest. 

Work hard, yes. Do your best for Christ and the ministry He has given you, yes. But take a break. 




Eva Marie Everson is the CEO of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is the multiple award-winning author of more than 40 books and countless articles and blogposts. She is also an award-winning speaker and a Bible teacher and the most recent recipient of the AWSA Lifetime Achievement Award (2022). 

Eva Marie is often seen at writers conferences across the States. She served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and taught as a guest professor at Taylor University in 2011. She and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy their grandchildren. They are owned by one persnickety cat named Vanessa.

Eva Marie's latest book, THE THIRD PATH, takes a look at 26 of the questions God asked in the Bible, then makes them personal to the reader. The premise of the book is currently her most asked for continuing workshop at writers conferences.


  1. Sounds like you had a great time taking this advice. Rest does refresh us and strengthen us to face the work we have ahead.