Robert Frost, from The Road Not Taken
As writers, sometimes the path we are on is downright painful: no publisher or editor is interested in our work or we constantly/consistently get the familiar not quite right at this time. We may even hit rough spots where everything we write is garbage (at least in our own judgment). Job of Old Testament fame described exactly how I feel at times: …I cannot pass, and darkness [is] in my paths. Two things to consider from this story: first, it worked out well for Job in the end and, second, Job really took the path less traveled and it made all the difference.
As writers, sometimes that path less traveled is not writing, but reading or critiquing or editing or just participating in a writing group or organization or conference. I have found that I need to take a break from writing – not very often or long – to keep writing and to keep writing well. Why? Publication, fortune, and fame? Maybe, or just plain World Domination.