As the summer is winding down here in the northern half of the world, it’s easy to feel frustrated. Writers have a tendency to lock ourselves in our offices sitting behind our computers and getting lost in our own minds. Let’s face it. Even if we’re writing from the beach, we’re still trapped behind our laptops and usually lost in our own minds.
With just a few weeks left before children head back to school and we lose yet another sunny day, let’s take a few minutes to remember that writing can be addictive, but it’s important for our mental and physical health to step away from our computers, escape from our minds, and enjoy life.
Take walk. Sit by a pool. Heck, you could even wash your car. As long as you get outside and breathe some fresh air between projects, you’ll have a chance to enjoy of the great weather before it’s gone and you’ll feel better for it.
Now, I should mention that I am terrible at taking my own advice. I skipped going to the pool with friends and family today so I could finish a project for a client. However, I’m always first to tell people, “Do as I say, not as I do.” If I could just listen to my own advice, I’d surely be healthier and less stressed. Alas, that’s easier said than done.
Am I alone in my addiction to writing? Am I the only writer who can get so lost in my own head that you let life pass you by and need to sit back and remind yourself that there is more to life than words?
I’m guessing I’m not alone, and I’m hoping the readers of Freelance Writing Jobs will join me in helping each other step away from the computer once in a while.
What do you say? Care to join me for a drink by the pool? Let’s do this!
What do you do to make sure you enjoy the summer weather when projects are calling your name? Leave a comment and share your tricks to get away!
I’m not so much addicted to writing; it’s just the requirements of keeping up with assignments has me in front of the computer a lot—either writing or searching for topics to write about. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t need clients, it just means that as a part-time staff writer for two websites, I constantly have articles to write.
I do however try to keep away from the computer on the weekends, especially during the day. My kids help me with that by taking over my computer before I get out of bed.
And yes, a drink at the pool would definitely be nice.
Caitlin Garthoffner says
This was so me this weekend. I had a last-minute opportunity to write a chapter in a book for the CMO of a multi-billion dollar software company. I’m still building my business (website coming soon!), so I wasn’t about to let this opportunity pass me by.
That said, I work a full-time job, and do writing on the side. So I spent all day Friday at work, and all night at my computer, writing. By the time I got in bed, I was fried. I knew I could not repeat the process on Saturday.
Solution: I gave myself a break before starting to write the next day. I hit the gym, got coffee, and strolled through the farmer’s market. Then I sat down, refreshed. Later in the evening, I went for a 45-minute power walk. And really, it put power into my writing after that — more oxygen to the brain meant more oxygen to my writing. I repeated the process on Sunday, and finished the entire chapter this weekend, three days ahead of schedule.
Sooo all that to say, I hear ya, and I feel ya… and I think pre-writing breaks and scheduled breaks will fix ya.
Giving myself a break every now and then works for me as well. Another thing I have been doing is going on workations, wherein I can write by the beach. The perks of not having kids!
Mary E. Ulrich says
I can’t believe summer is more than half over. I’m trying to write every day, and read some novels just for fun. I like the romance with the Happy Ever Afters. That just makes summer special.
I had two large projects just wrap up, so I’m not taking anything new until all the kids (and the cousin/exchange student are all back in school.
Huh? Summer started already? I was beginning to wonder why the kids have been yelling for me to get snacks and to come play more frequently than usual… 😉
Seriously though, it is good advice — but taking it really is the key!
I live (and work) on the side of a mountain with grand, sweeping views of The Great Smoky Mountains, yet I spend most of my days sitting in an almost windowless cubicle punching a keyboard. So I relate to this post!
To help me resist the siren song of the great outdoors, I do allow myself some time (20-30 minutes) on my way to work in the mornings (when it’s nice and cool) to work in the garden and an hour long lunch break so I can take a nice walk, enjoy the view, breath the fresh air, and collect my mail from the box down at “the hard road”.
I deliberately chose my office for it’s lack of windows — reduces temptation. And my office is separate from the house so I’m not tempted to go lay down for a nap or do some straightening up instead of writing.
And when I complete a major project or receive good news from a publisher I grab an icy cold Diet Mountain Dew and go sit on my office porch long enough to drink it as a reward.
Monday through Friday I work. Saturday is yardwork day. Sunday is No Work day. I have to force myself to sit on the front porch at home, feet up on the rail with a good book and a tall, cold glass of lemonade. Ohhh… such torture!