Maybe you recognize this. You’ve been rocking along with your freelance writing career and seeing growth with improvement in both your writing and your income.
All seems fine except you begin to notice the ideas for things to write about don’t seem to come as easily as they used to. You find yourself slogging to meet deadlines that used to be a breeze or close to it. Clients you used to enjoy you now find tiresome. You catch yourself staring out the window, not creatively, but with a longing to escape.
These and similar symptoms are certain signals you need some time off!
Why time off is good for you
I’ve come to love the word, recreate or recreation. Time off is what allows us to re-create ourselves. It takes rest away from the pressures of work, yes, even freelance writing work, for our minds to return to their normal, creative ways of thinking and perceiving . Without some regular re-setting as it were of our minds abilities, we tend to get mired down and stuck.
You know the feeling of being refreshed because you broke your usual pattern and did something else. Or maybe had it broken for you.
Unexpected time off
Yesterday, for example, I allowed Windows 10 to update itself without realizing it would be a multi-hour process. At first I was confused and used my iPad to search out the problem. That’s when I discovered I was stuck. First I was furious, then I relaxed, realizing I really didn’t have anything I absolutely had to use my desktop computer for. Stopping for a moment, I looked around and decided I’d trim up my spider plants.
I have three, one in the kitchen and two others in the living room. I rescued them from Walmart years ago and they’ve hung in with me through good care and benign neglect, and this latest Santa Ana wind condition we’ve been having.
One by one I took them to the kitchen sink, used the sprayer to add water a little bit at a time so it would soak in, and began to trim off their brown leaves. They really needed rescuing again!. I had simply not been paying attention and it showed.
By the time I’d finished the second one, Windows 10 decided it was updated and gave me back control of the computer. I snubbed it.
Carrying the third spider plant into the kitchen I proceeded to do to it what I’d done to it’s fellows – provide ample water, including leaf washing, a nice trimming and time for drying before I returned them to their spots.
Time spent? Maybe two or three hours including my fussing, and setting up some irrigation outside and admiring my winter tomatoes. Gain in sanity and creativity? Priceless. And that feeling is extending well into today. Plus I feel delighted and virtuous when I look at the plants. Time off pays off.
A couple of hours or a couple of weeks
There’s no rule about how much time off you actually need. Learn to recognize the signs and give yourself a break.
Sure a couple of weeks travel can truly be uplifting. So can a couple of hours puttering around your house. Even thirty minutes with a novel and coffee or tea can pay big dividends.
The time away will more than make up in happiness, joy and creativity any time you think your losing.
Treat yourself well, including the time off you need. You’ll be a better writer and better person for it. I promise.
Write well and often, and take time off!