How Going On a Content Creation Strike Can Help You Grow As a Writer (And Human)

A few years into my writing journey, I started to feel like I was on a hamster wheel.

Now, when I was a child, I learned something important about the hamster wheel. Back then, I had a pair of hamsters — Maxi and Moritz.

Once a day, I would let the hamsters roam free under supervision. Instead of running around in circles, they were able to explore their environment. They got under the piano. Behind the huge standing clock. Under the living room table. Into the bathroom.

I’m certain it was their favorite time of day.

They still used the hamster wheel to keep fit. But because they had space to explore, it was just something they used when they felt like it. The hamster wheel wasn’t their entire world.

Turns out that stepping off the hamster wheel is beneficial for hamsters.

But what about us?

It’s increasingly common for writers to see themselves as “content creators.” And sooner than later, many content creators find themselves on creative treadmills where they incessantly try to please and feed an algorithm that’s never satiated.

Is it possible to not do that? Let me share my own experience with you so you can judge for yourself. I will also give you a guideline for deciding whether it might be useful for you to take a break or not, and share how a “content creation strike” can help you grow.

What Happens When You Step Off the Writing Hamster Wheel?

When I started writing this piece *checks notes* a few months ago *coughs*, I hadn’t published a new article for over nine months. Nor sent out an email to my list. Nor done anything that counts as creating in the business world.

I hadn’t planned to “strike.” I just got busy doing more important things and had to focus my energy on what mattered most.

So, what happened?

Well, contrary to conventional wisdom that tells us we must keep on creating, my business brought in about the same income as before. (I had continued working with my long-term coaching clients and facilitating a monthly group challenge.)

My writing stats went down but thanks to SEO, I still received the occasional comment that an article of mine had been really useful to someone else. And I didn’t even have to deal with negative comments!

Because I was working a lot less, my hourly rate went up while my work-related stress level went down.

That’s pretty cool, right?

What’s even more awesome is that it helped me grow as a person and, hopefully, as a writer. Now that I am inspired to write again, writing is more enjoyable for me and I feel like I actually have something to say.

How to Decide if You Should Go On a “Content Creation Strike”

My experience taught me that it’s possible to go on an extended writing strike — and be better off afterward. The key to pulling this off is being able to tell the difference between helpful and detrimental consistency.

The following is about consistency in writing but this distinction applies anywhere else in life as well.

Helpful consistency

If you are just starting out as a writer, consistency is generally helpful. After all, when we start something new, we need to develop our skill set and doing something regularly can help with that.

The same is true if we aren’t a beginner but want to take our writing skills to the next level. Upleveling a skill generally also take a period of concentrated effort.

Ask yourself if any of the following sentences resonate with you:

    • I’m overflowing with ideas for my writing.

    • Writing is extremely rewarding for me.

    • I feel like I’m producing some of my best work yet.

If any of these sentences describe how you currently feel, you’re probably in a period of helpful consistency.

To further capitalize on this, I would recommend doing a writing challenge. You can always take a break afterward. 🙂

Detrimental consistency

However, if you have been consistently writing for a while, you might have fallen into a rut (like I had). When you’re in that place, consistency isn’t helpful, it’s detrimental.

Do your efforts feel like you are trying to push a river upstream? If so, consider stopping.

The same is true if your writing has a negative impact on other areas of your life. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

    • Are you neglecting relationships or self-care?

    • Do you still have time for hobbies, or has writing become your only hobby?

    • Do you still enjoy writing, or does it feel like a chore?

If you answered yes to any of these, you could probably use a writing break.

Before deciding whether to do this, take an honest look at your finances. How much money is your writing bringing in, either directly (where you are paid for your writing) or indirectly (where you are getting new clients)?

When calculating this, also take into account how much of that is created by fresh writing (as opposed to articles you wrote a while back that are still bringing in traffic).

Are you dependent on that income? Are there ways you could replace what you are making through writing? If you calculate your hourly rate for writing, you might find (like I had) that writing is actually one of the least profitable things you do.

Even if you get many of your clients through writing (something which doesn’t get reflected in the hourly rate), it might be feasible to take a break. Your break might have to be on the short side but even a week or two could still be enough to reap the following benefits:

How Taking a Break Can Help Us Grow As Writers (And Humans)

1. Making space for creativity, learning, and growth

As writers who are humans (as opposed to AI), we need space and time to grow. In today’s hectic world, it’s easy to forget that.

Think of all the parents who are filling their children’s days to the brim with activities, hoping to give them a head start in life. While they have the best of intentions, they forget that growth requires rest.

Boredom can stimulate creativity. Breaks are necessary to maintain focus. Taking a breath is what allows us to take all our learning in.

2. Encouraging a productivity that’s actually original (and not derivative)

Many people claim their best ideas come in the shower, not when they are trying to be productive.

Why then are we treating ourselves like a machine as soon as we start writing? Suddenly, we expect ourselves to crank out one article after the other, even if we don’t have anything useful to say. Even if we are depleted. Even if there are more important things to focus on (such as, you know, life).

If you have ever wondered why the majority of articles you read online sound vaguely familiar, it might be because people force themselves to create in the name of consistency.

The demand to create non-stop lures us down a path where we imitate existing work (our own or someone else’s).

When we do that, our writing become an assembly line product — everything looks the same. In other words, our creations become derivative, not original. For while you can force yourself to be productive, you can’t white-knuckle your way to originality.

After all, originality is antithetical to rigidity. And what is a creative treadmill but a rigid schedule we impose on ourselves?

3. Avoiding the hidden danger of consistency

A content creation strike helps us avoid the downsides of consistency. I described this above as detrimental consistency.

We have all heard that consistency is important as a writer (and in life in general), so we try to be consistent, no matter what.

However, while consistency can be useful in reaching our goals, it’s not a value in itself. Take the ultimate teacher — life. Given that life on Earth has been around for far longer than our species (let alone online business), it stands to reason that there are some things we can learn from it.

Turns out that a lot of nature is consistent in an inconsistent way:

    • The tides come and go, as do the seasons.

    • Some animals hibernate for months

    • Trees gain and lose their leaves (the ones that don’t are so unique that we have a name for them — evergreens).

Let’s imagine an ambitious oak tree in, say, rural Pennsylvania decided that losing leaves was for losers. Come winter, this tree would probably have a pretty hard time, wouldn’t it?

While the seasons of our life are not as clear-cut and obvious as the seasons in nature, some principles are similar.

For instance, it takes a lot more energy to create when you are burned out, in the process of moving, or have just had a child (personal season). And good luck on getting an American audience interested in your fascinating treatise on improving customer relationships on Thanksgiving (collective season).

You’d be better off just going with the flow and taking a break.

In other words, don’t be that overly ambitious oak tree for the sake of consistency! Don’t be afraid to lose your leaves so you can grow new ones in more favorable conditions.


You can take a break from creating. You can honor your own seasons.

You can, in fact, be consistent in an inconsistent way!

Take the next step in your writing journey

If you want to grow as a writer, I invite you to schedule a writing feedback & coaching call with me:

Writing feedback call


View posts by Louise
Louise is the founder of Leader for Good. She's a former lawyer and academic who moved from Germany to the United States where she started her own business. Today, Louise loves helping her coaching clients and students connect with their passion and purpose. You can find out more about her coaching business at
Scroll to top