Today's Treat is my new Friday segment in which we look at the two basic fundamentals of:
1) treating yourself like a writer a
2) putting yourself in situations where others will treat you like a writer.
Readers of this blog know that this week was a tough one for me. I was having a difficult time balancing life (my real job, social engagements, cooking, cleaning, race training, etc) with my writing. This caused me to have a "freak out" in which I didn't get anything done. I was paralyzed. Therefore, I posted asking for advice on how to deal with this. (Anyone notice that I posted the Wednesday's Weigh In on Tuesday?? I was that mixed up this week!!!)
Many of you suggested that I make writing a priority and treat it like my job. It was also suggested that I find any little time available (while commuting, before bed, in bed, in the shower etc) to write so that those writing projects get done. These are great suggestions, but...I am going to take the opposite approach for Today's Treat.
If you are going to treat yourself as a writer and therefore treat writing as your job...you need to find time to "clock out". Otherwise you run the danger of being a "workaholic". What would you think if someone close to you was constantly answering emails from work, checking work related stuff on the internet and doing work? In bed, on the way to work, in the middle of the night...not healthy!
I propose we take a stand right now to deem some areas of our life sacred. These areas are places where working is not acceptable. Yes, creativity comes to us at weird times...I know the shower always does this for me. But write it down and then move on. Come back to it during regular business hours.
Working constantly is not healthy...even if you love your work. For your own health and for the loved ones around you...take time to take care of you.
I took a hard look at my schedule this week and I assigned ONE writing project for each day. Therefore, I am sure that everything will get done in its time...but I can also rest assured that I am not overworked and overwhelmed. I also deemed after 6pm (evenings and dinner time) as sacred. Once my boyfriend comes home from work my work day is over. If I have any creative flashes during this time I will note them on paper and move on. The evenings and dinner will be my time to unwind.
My challenge for you this week is to carve out some time in your busy schedule as "sacred"...meaning NO WRITING! Maybe if you are feeling incredibly overwhelmed or scattered you could actually benefit from a "personal day"...or as we used to call it at my career job, "a mental health day". But in any case, taking a break from work can actually fuel the work you do when its time.
Perhaps for you its mornings or afternoons or all day Saturday. But find that time. Then and only then are you treating writing as a REAL job.
When can you take time this week? Please share your thoughts below.