The most solid advice . . . for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. WILLIAM SAROYAN
You’re overwhelmed, overworked, writing till the wee hours of the morning to catch up. You get things done but your exhausted, some days you never step out side. There isn’t any end in sight as the days march on and the mountain of work never diminishes.
There’s a problem with living this way. As artists it’s hard to turn down work or manage our time in a organized fashion. But the reason you need to is simple.
You need to live life.
Living life doesn’t mean working yourself to the bone. It means going out to dinner. Going outside. Taking a day off. Playing with your kids. Playing basketball. Not letting the days pass in a fog but being in the moment and enjoying the moment.
Taking a day off doesn’t mean your lazy. Writers need days off as much as any other human being. Maybe even more! Getting away from the words will recharge the brain. Have you ever found you solve a writing problem after you’ve stepped away from the page? I solve more plot holes on walks than I do staring blankly at the immovable words.
You need to get a hobby.
Seriously. I’m not talking macrame or stamp collecting. A hobby is something, that isn’t your job that you gladly spend time doing. It can be anything. Hobbies use a different part of your brain and that’s important. If you’re only a writer all the time, that will lead to burn out.
My hobby is being an Aunt. I have two nieces and I make an effort to go see them, to plan activities for them. It’s never dull, always fun and if you want to learn how to be creative, hang out with a four year old. I also practice yoga, bake and travel.
All of this makes me a better writer. It’s good to use different parts of your brain. Sure, you still have to manage your time so that it’s not a 24 hour niece yoga baking party on the beach. But life is about balance.
What is your balance between writing and life?