I advocate writing every day. It’s important. But I also think not writing every once in a while is a good thing too, and here’s why.
If I’m always “on”, there’s a good chance that I’ll burn out. That serves no useful purpose for me. And I’m not suggesting stopping when I’m in the middle of writing a first draft. Being connected daily to my current story is important. If I stray too far out of that story’s world, it can be difficult to get back into it.
I’m talking about taking time out for myself and my family. It’s all too easy to get caught up in all the other minutiae, apart from writing, that comes with self-publishing: the blog posts, the social media presence, graphic design, typesetting, self-promotion, producing collateral, bookkeeping… the list goes on.
Today, my wife came into my office and let me know that my son needed my help. I was completely unaware of what was transpiring elsewhere in the house, as I sat at my desk trying to come up with something to write for today’s blog. I had nothing. I was feeling exhausted and was coming down with a bad cold. The windstorm outside was cutting power to my computer so regularly that productive work was impossible. The world was giving me a sign, and it said “stop.” So I shut things down for a few hours and it was exactly what I needed. Nature, and family, provides.
I’ve been “on” for quite some time now. It feels like I’m working two jobs. But the break today allowed me to help my son sort through some tough homework and I made dinner. It was the process of stepping away from things that inspired this post.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” No truer words spoken, even if that person was a fictional character (from The Shining [affiliate link] by Stephen King).