Like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything you want to, plus work on your book?
Something has to give, right?
Not necessarily. And this is something I've only just discovered. See, I was one of those people who had to be working on something, anything, every minute of the day. After five straight years of this, I was a mess.
Things reached critical mass with this last book I had due, on the tail end of a previous book that had been due. I had a deadline to meet and there was no pushing it back. I forced myself to meet insane word count goals, lost touch with the family and went nowhere but the library (after I got home from working the day job) for two months straight.
When I hit send on that book, I think I slept for a week. After I woke up though, there was this weird urge that I should find something else to dive into. But I didn't want to. I really didn't want to. In a 'stubborn two-year old digging in their heels' didn't want to kind of way.
It was that very moment when I realized, I didn't HAVE to. I could choose not to write a single word for weeks, or even months, and the world would not end. I didn't HAVE to write a thing until I got revision notes back from my editors. I didn't HAVE to spend all my down time in front of a Word doc.
Suddenly, without the pressure, I found that I actually wanted to write again! But I was really enjoying spending my evenings and the weekends with my family again, so
I decided that I would not write at home for this next book. That gave me exactly one hour a day, on my lunch hour at work, to write.
So far, its been amazing. I have a 1000 word goal each day and this WIP is up to almost 20k. I don't feel anxious or stressed or pressured. I get to enjoy making dinner with my husband, or playing Scrabble, or hanging out with my boys, and not feel guilty that I'm not writing.
It's an amazing feeling, and one that has taken me way to long to discover. I've always had a hard time with balance, but right now, in this moment, it feels like everything is working out.
At least until edits are due again. ;P
Do you give yourself breaks, or do you find it hard to slow down?