I enjoy writing. I enjoy writing so much so that, if I am not careful, I will overdo thus bringing myself to a point where I find myself sitting at my desk, coke in one hand, Twinkie in the other…doing….nothing at all.
We writers have to be very careful about how much we take on. I am a freelance writer as well as a novelist and there are times when I over extend. I will accept a job knowing darn well that I have one book to edit, one book I am writing and 12 other articles in the hopper. Do I stop, rearrange and then say, sorry…there’s no way I can do all of this? No…I do all of it, even if it means working through the weekend. I need to stop doing this and if you are like me…so do you.
Just because you enjoy writing doesn’t mean you should be doing it 24-7. I am often a writer first and a person second knowing it is not supposed to work that way. I have a full life, a spouse, two young kids at home, one about to graduate high school, a boomerang kid (23 years old) who came home recently with his family of four, an older son who is thinking of moving home while he gets on his feet, two young grandkids all while working for several magazines, writing a book, editing a book and trying to stay sane. It isn’t always easy handling these things and so I tend to “hide” in my writing, taking on a lot so that I can use the excuse that I am writing to skirt everything else. Let me tell you, it doesn’t work…the extra writing just adds to the stress.
It is important to always pace yourself as a writer. Don’t be afraid to tell people no or that a project may have to wait. It is easier to tell that publisher to wait than it is to fight with the night nurse at the hospital because you ended up there with a heart attack. (They don’t make midnight snack runs and the meanest nurses are on at night…trust me) You are only human and we humans only have so much we can give right? I can go for a while at break-neck speeds but eventually it catches up with me as it will you.
Take the time to set your schedule in a way you can see it so that you don’t mistakenly over extend. Be mindful of what you have already taken on and set your deadlines in a way that is “you friendly”. And finally, despite the fact that you enjoy writing, understand that you can burn out no matter how much you love it. Pace yourself….in the end you’ll be saner for it.
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