2014 is the most amazing year of my writing career. I signed with a great agent and contracted four series with my dream publisher. Of course all of these great tidings translate into long hours in the writing chair while the world pulses with life outside—kind of leaving me behind. I’m not complaining, but I’m at the stage where I’m so keenly focused on my career, I almost forgot to take a break.
For the first time in nearly two years, I voluntarily stepped away from the computer (minus checking email and other necessary work-related functions) for two weeks.
And as I expected, at first, I experienced writer’s guilt—yes, it exists. And if writing is a drug, possibly withdrawals. But I resisted the urge and spent quality time with my father and brother-in-law, both visiting from a place we Alaskans proudly refer to as the lower 48.
What did I discover?
The museum, local cuisine, the zoo, animal refuge, reconnected with the outdoors, 4-wheeling, hunting, dinner with friends, great conversation, and daily games of Scrabble with my dad. Fun and relaxation. A breath of fresh air. I abandoned the writer’s chair and actually survived and enjoyed it. And in the process, learned a valuable lesson. Passion and enthusiasm for our craft is what drives us, makes us pursue our dreams and succeed.
Blocking out the world to finish projects week after week is not a healthy practice. So I’ve recommitted to striking the perfect balance—writing wonderful stories, but not forgetting where I draw my inspiration. The beautiful world outside and the people I care for and love.
The moral lesson: If you’re anything like me, working crazy long hours, it’s okay to abandon the writer’s chair for a little while. I promise, it will be there when you get back.