Monday 15 November 2021

Making Time For Fun - The Creative Process


We are now half-way through NaNoWriMo 2021, and I wanted to do something today that would both help spur you all one, but would also talk about something that's been on my mind a lot recently, and that is making time for fun amidst all the writing.

As you all know, I'm disabled, chronically ill, and I don't really get out much. I write as my job, and I don't have many other commitments when it comes to my time. That said, I don't really have a lot of free time for fun things. There's an occasion where B, my best friend and carer, will be talking about doing something away from home, and being the way I am, I'll usually explain it's a writing day and that I'm busy. It was really only when I went on holiday in October to Cornwall, that I realised how isolated I'd made myself, and how little time I made for fun alongside the writing.

I know that for some people, they can only squeeze writing in between other commitments, and that because they want this to become their day job, they don't want to risk taking time away from that precious writing time to do other things. There's nothing wrong with that, working hard isn't a bad thing. However, never taking time out, never spending some time with friends and family, and never doing something fun that might cut into the writing time is a cause for concern.

I'm pretty lucky that my writing time usually happens first thing in the morning, before everyone else has woken up, and so while away I was able to have two writing days. I thought about doing more, I'd taken along everything I needed to do so, but B, and my mum, were strict. I could write first thing on the two days I'd planned to, but otherwise, this was a break, there were sights to see, and a hot tub calling my name. And they weren't wrong.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, either as someone with a day job, or someone who's a full time writer. There's this idea that if we're not working, then we're doing something wrong, we're wasting time, when that couldn't be further from the truth. With a challenge like NaNoWriMo, you'll find that a lot of people are having to squeeze in time around other things so that they can end the month with 50K. It's all well and good for one month out of twelve, but sometimes, I notice that it doesn't stop there.

We are human, we all need breaks. Whether that's spending a week in a cabin in the woods with a hot tub, or whether that's going out and about with friends and family doing things that you also very much enjoy. Whatever the reasoning, it's important to have that downtime and have those breaks, because otherwise we're all going to end up burned out, or worse, hating what we're doing and quitting it altogether.

I've heard enough horror stories of writer and author friends who just get to the end of their tether and up and quit because they just got burned out to the point where telling stories no longer appealed to them. I don't want that to happen to any writer, unless it's what they want, so I'm here to tell you that it's okay to take time off, it's okay to take breaks, it's okay to make time for fun along the way.

Writing is hard, it's isolating, it takes a lot of energy and brain power, and there will be times when you need to push through, but there are more times when taking a break, leaving the writing to sit and heading off to have some time, is the right thing to do. Self-care is not a bad thing, and it's something that I will never tire of saying. You need breaks, the writing will be there when you come back, recharged and ready to pick it back up again. You may even find that you've managed to solve a plot thing, or even come back with more stories to tell.

In the end, having fun is an important part of being a human being, so make time for it, and go out and enjoy yourself.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments down below.

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