For those who have not yet ventured into trying to write as a career, either part-time or full-time, there’s a common misconception, one which even I held for much of my life…writing is something you never need to take a break from. At least, not if you truly are passionate about it and love it with all of your heart.
Believe me, writing is my greatest passion. I called my blog “A Writer at Heart” for a very good reason :) Nothing else gives my life meaning as much as writing does, nothing else makes me happy in the way writing does. In fact, if I go too long without writing, I start to get very grumpy or even depressed.
However, when you write literally every single day, it can begin to wear on you. I think this is probably true whether you are writing only part-time or full-time (My friend M. H. Lee can weigh in on this, she spent over a year writing full time.)
For me, I have not been able to write full-time. My income from writing has not even come close to reaching a point that I can quit my ‘day job.’ But when I sat down and figured it out, I realized that when there’s nothing interfering with it, I put in about 20 or more hours per week on writing-related activities, and that definitely qualifies as a part-time job.
Mind you, not everything I do in those 20 hours is actually directly writing stories or developing them. Writing this blog, for instance, is part of it. Creating covers when I’m ready to publish a new novel. Marketing. Book Signings. And things I still haven’t gotten around to doing, such as interfacing with book stores (I still haven’t talked to Tattered Cover!) and getting on the RMFW IPAL list, arranging interviews with online personalities (I swear, every time I sit down to contact Presley Alexander, something happens to interrupt me… :-/ )
I also haven’t even begun to record an audio book! Something I have a very intense desire to do, but is extremely time intensive.
Long story short? It gets overwhelming. It’s a lot of work. And doing it on top of my full-time job means that I come home from work to go to work. And as much as I love it…
I haven’t picked which week yet, but sometime in August, I’ve decided I’m going to take a week-long vacation from all things writing. 7 days of no blogs, no story writing, no marketing. Come home from work, and do something different to let my creative juices recharge. Play video games (Dragon Age Inquisition is calling my name,) read books (I have so many!), have a Lord of the Rings movie marathon.
And my advice to all of my fellow writers? Take at least one vacation per year from writing. No matter how much you love it, it is still work, and you can burn yourself out if you don’t. Allow yourself that small break like most other professions do.
After all, how can you write about what you know, if all you know is writing? Go experience life! :)
Thanks for reading! I promise, the next article will be more substantial ;)