My day job has a “use it or lose it” policy when it comes to end-of-the-year vacation time. At the end of the year, any unused vacation time just expires. Thus, between my unused vacation time and the holidays, I found myself with almost two weeks off for Christmas. So, I gave myself some much-needed vacation time.
And when I say vacation, I mean vacation.
I didn’t intend to when I started my vacation, but I ended up taking a vacation from almost all of my other duties. Not just work, but also my personal projects as well. I did very little writing, dropped off the face of social media, didn’t blog, didn’t do much of anything. I didn’t even really go out with my friends too much. I just gave myself two weeks of essentially alone time.
It was wonderful.
I know that some of my fellow authors would see this time as time to work on their projects, and get a ton of writing done. I didn’t though, because while I enjoy writing and the writing process, it is still, in a lot of ways, work to me. It’s fun work, but it’s still work. And you need a break from work sometimes. You need to get away from it, put some distance from it, and get a new perspective. I did the first two, and we’ll see about the latter.
I’m reminded of something Kristen Lamb said in her book Rise of the Machines, where she talks about authors being good little worker-bees but often not accomplishing anything. She says that authors need to work smarter, not harder. The obvious implication of that is to avoid overworking yourself, and do things that help you succeed. But I think part of that involves taking breaks from your work. We cannot fire on all cylinders at all times. Sometimes, I think, we need to be lazy in order to work hard later. So, that is what I did.
And what I tell myself. You may disagree, and feel free! But I can only speak for me. And two weeks of being lazy around the house was just what I needed.
This new year promises a lot of changes for me. I hope to have a publishable version of my first novel by the end of it, and start the process of querying letters. I hope to have taken steps to further my career. I hope to be that much closer to where I want to be.
And I hope to enjoy the ride there.