Give it a rest

You should see my email inbox. The tabs I have open in my Chrome. The amount of words lacking in draft one of my second novel. I have so many things to do, and I like to talk about them. Don't we all like to talk about how busy we are? You might be tempted to say, "Amy, give it a rest." And I'm trying.

I'm trying to give myself a rest, now and then.

(I know that's not what you really mean when you say "Give it a rest", but let's pretend.)

I recently signed up for an online course through the Australian Writers' Centre on building your author platform. Today, I did module #1.

That doesn't sound like you're giving it a rest, you might be thinking.

I think so too.

This is the problem with being a writer: there is always something you should be doing. Even if you have no deadline, no looming presence telling you something must get done, there's always a voice in your head that says "What are you sitting around for? Write. Research. Create. Plot. Outline. DO SOMETHING."

Seriously, I cannot remember the last time I felt like I had nothing to do. I vividly remember as a kid making a list of all the things I could do if I was bored. I'm sure it was something my mom asked me to do after she got tired of hearing me say, "I'm bored."

One of the items on the list was play volleyball on the stairs. That's right, I used to stand at the bottom of our straight basement stairway and hit a volleyball up to the wall at the top of the stairs and let it bounce back down to me. Then I hit it again. I could do this for hours.

Sometimes I think about that kid and wonder, bored did I have to get before I would resort to playing volleyball with myself? And yet, sometimes I would kill to have that level of boredness back.

Give it a rest, Amy. Life's not so bad.

It's not. To be honest, overall I love how busy I am. I love that I just finished making tweaks to my first novel and sent it back to my agent, and then immediately dove back in to editing the 50,000 words of my second novel that I wrote last November.

I love that I have a job I go to five days a week where I can write and create and present solutions that help a business grow.

I love that I have an exercise routine that I enjoy doing 4-5 times a week and that I care enough about my health to take the time to shop for real groceries instead of just stocking up on frozen dinners.

And I love that between social media, my blog, contests, and fiction -- there's always something to write. Always.

But sometimes I do need to give it a rest.

I've written about this before, about the importance of saying no. And I've also written about how sometimes you need to stop talking about doing stuff and just do the thing.

Life is about balance, right? That's what I'm trying to achieve.

Today, balance meant watching two movies in the morning and not getting on my computer until 2pm -- some sort of record for me. It meant reading If I Stay, the YA novel I'm in to at the moment, and listening to a podcast in the bath while I soaked my sore neck instead of doing the edits that are hanging over my head. It meant going for a casual walk in the sunshine rather that doing my hardcore HIIT workout.

Sometimes, you just need to give it a rest.

Whether you're a writer, artist, entrepreneur, or any other person who always has some sort of side project going, don't forget to give yourself a break now and then. Watch a show on Netflix, go for a walk, do some shopping, or just lie down for an afternoon nap now and then. The work will still be there when you get up, I promise.