It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another of those fun Motivationals where I try to work out one of a thousand things that is distracting me from the writing process.
This week I’m on vacation, away from home, out of state, visiting family and doing fun things! But I’m also still writing, still editing, still trying to do crits for people.
I’ve touched on this before a bit in my post “But It’s a Holiday” and I’d like to just expand on that now that I’m actually on a vacation where I’m not only away from my comfortable writing zones but in an entirely new place, away from the stresses of work (mostly), and can enjoy myself carefree for a while.
I’m somewhere absurdly high over my 1k minimum per day goal of writing for the year. This is the 217th day and I have yet to miss any days. Part of me is completely ecstatic at this, and another part of me just wants to put the fingers away and stop thinking about writing.
But I haven’t done that yet. It’s Wednesday, my vacation is half over, and I’m still dragging out the laptop once a day to get my writing in. Whether it’s during a lull in the day between activities, or early in the morning or late at night while my hosts are asleep, I’m still writing.
Should I be taking a break from writing, too? Everyone I know has been telling me I should. I deserve a break. I’ve been killing it. I have 60k words beyond the minimum for the year so far. I have the time, I’m on vacation, and I need to take a break or I’ll burn out.
I know all of these things. I feel them. Your advice IS getting through.
I don’t want to burn out in this year of writing. I really don’t. I’m also terrified to stop at this point. If I stop, will I ever start again? Is being on vacation from my day job an excuse to also be on vacation from my hobby, my passion, what I wish my career was? Until it IS my career, should I be taking a break from it?
The answer is obviously yes. Too much of anything can be a bad thing (even water is poisonous if you consume too much), but I’m finding myself incapable of stopping.
The routine is in place and it is my new addiction. I still believe, thoroughly, that there will come a day this year when I do not write my thousand words. But it’s not today. And probably not tomorrow.
All that said, don’t kill yourself for your art. If you have to take a break for some reason, don’t feel guilty about it. If you’re verging on burnout, take a break. If you have things that get in the way, that’s life. Don’t make excuses for yourself, but also don’t be afraid to use an excuse. Don’t take advantage of the excuse to be less than your art deserves, but also don’t work yourself to the bone and never work again.
Vacations are a sorbet for the body and the mind. I’m recharging the batteries for my day job and my writing will continue. It’s up to you on whether that’s worth your vacation time or your mental health.
So always remember to write the hell on, except when you need to take a break.