You wouldn't expect to make it through a long hike going, going, going nonstop, so why should you expect to speed through story after story, novel after novel, without ever taking a break from writing?
Taking a writing hiatus (be it short or a bit longer) can have so many benefits, and I don't just say this because I'm currently taking a writing hiatus (novel-writing, that is).
1.) Replenish the Creative Juices
If you're just constantly writing, pumping out novel after novel, or short story after short story, or whatever it is that you prefer to write, you're using up a lot of creativity. You may not realize it, but you're drying out your well of inspiration. You're using up all of your good ideas and not giving yourself any time to restock your supply.
So, take a break, go for a walk, visit with people, watch movies, read books. Just absorb the world around you. If you do this, I'm sure you'll start restocking the idea pantry, if you will. (My metaphors are just fantastic, aren't they? XD)
2.) Revive Your Social Life
Yes, yes, many of us writers are introverts, and we quite enjoy our alone time. I mean, if we've been stuck in our writing cave for long enough, we may have even forgotten that the outside world exists. But hear me when I say that it has not ceased existing. It, in fact, is still crawling along without you, crazy as it may seem.
And- please don't send an angry mob after me when I say this- it might be a good idea for you to, on occasion, revisit this constantly-moving world. Your friends, I'm sure, miss you. Your family probably wonders if they've lost you to the depths of the writing coves for good. So, go. The words will still be there when you return.
3.) Attempt to Regain Sanity
I'll admit it. While slaving away in front of the computer, typing furiously, locked inside an ever-shrinking room, only venturing out to retrieve the occasional morsel of food, satisfy our body's need for water, and go to bathroom, it can be a teensy bit possible for us writers to begin to lose pieces of our sanity, little by little.
A little fresh air, a few conversations, and several good books and movies later, though, our sanity has almost come back in its entirety. Yes, yes, that first conversation or so may be a little tough to get through, a little incomprehensible to say the least, but you won't regain anything if you don't practice a bit. Believe me when I say that immersing yourself in the real world is not only beneficial to those friends and family mentioned above in #2, but it's also beneficial to you.
Alright! That's all I've got for this post. Bottom line: go take a break. Reward yourself for all your hard work. Now, what tips and reasons do you guys have for taking a writing a hiatus?