Friday, June 18, 2010

Writing, you are always on my mind

Tip of the day: Need a book to read? Here's a 40% off coupon for Borders - go buy a YA or MG book you've been dying to read!

Most of the time, I love being an author. I love writing, I love hearing from readers, I love talking with other authors.

But one of the things I don't like very much is that it's really hard to turn the job of author "off."

If I'm not writing, I'm thinking about the book I'm working on. Or I'm thinking about what I should be doing promotion-wise. Or I'm thinking about how I need ideas for the next book. Or a million other things.

The problem is, I rarely take a day off. Because Saturdays and Sundays are good writing days since I get up early and my family sleeps in, so I can get a few hours of good writing in during that time. I may not do much else the rest of the weekend, unless I'm on a deadline, but nonetheless, I'm still doing some work 7 days a week.

I'm beginning to realize that this is not a good way to live. I have to start designating "days off" for myself, and stick to it! It's hard though, at least for me. Because even if I say - okay, no working today (which of course I do tell myself from time to time), it's hard to turn the brain completely off. It likes to drift... back to the story, back to the characters, back to the world I've chosen to leave behind.

I think I need to take more longer vacations, because that's when I can really relax and leave it all behind. Fortunately, we have one coming up soon, at the happiest place on earth. I can't wait!!!

So, I'm wondering. Is this just me? Do you have the ability to shut it all off and really take a break from the job of writer?

~Lisa, Miss Crafting a Career


C. K. Kelly Martin said...

I'm having the exact same issues you describe here. I desperately need to plan more time off too but because I'm slow I always feel I need to work longer to make up for it. But that won't work in the long run and will just lead to burnout.

I'm expecting a revision letter next week and will be working on that for a month until I go away on vacation where I will do not a tap of work (hooray!). But I really need to learn to relax more when I'm at home too. I have yet to figure out where my off switch is!

Lisa Schroeder said...

C.K. I'm also expecting a revision letter next week. We can be in revision hell together!

And here's hoping we can find that elusive off switch. :)

Emily Marshall said...

I'm not even a full-time writer and I struggle with this alot. It's so hard to have the "off-switch." When you leave the house and have set hours at a job it's much easier to take breaks when not at work. But with writing it makes it much harder to relax. I think you just need to give yourself more of a schedule and days-off. If you do it enough, I think it will become habit.

Good luck Lisa!

C. K. Kelly Martin said...

I'm glad to know I won't be in revision hell alone, Lisa! Good luck with your revisions and here's to us finding that off switch - although after the revisions are done of course ;-)

Julie Musil said...

I'm with you...I never shut my mind off! When I'm on vacation, I'm thinking of scene details. When I visit the happiest place on earth, I'm watching for quirky things kids do!

Andrea Mack said...

I've been known to stay at my computer for hours, writing or telling myself I'm doing writing-related stuff (like blogging). But lately I've been giving myself time limits for how long I work. I find it helps my writing, even if I have to leave it in the middle of something, because I'm always excited to come back to it.

amanda said...

I agree! It's so hard to turn your mind off of writing when you're in the groove. I've found myself coming down to my computer in the middle of the night more and more lately, to quick write down ideas that have come to mind so I won't forget them. Then, suddenly the sun is coming up, and I haven't slept! Best to you in your writing, and enjoy your vacation~

DeenaML said...

Lisa, it's so true! I wonder if it's like that for other people who work from home?