A Weekend Off and the Creator’s Dilemma

Venting post ahead, you’ve been warned. :)

Despite having a mountain of Things to Do™, I took this weekend off. I haven’t had a completely lazy weekend since… hmm. I don’t remember, but it’s been months.

Mr M was off yesterday, so we had a three-day weekend. We did a little bit of house stuff, but mostly we slept in and played Borderlands 3. We bought the game back in September, but we never got a chance to play because we were too busy. It’s fun! If you liked the previous games in the series, you’ll like this one, too.

But while I took the weekend off, my brain didn’t. All weekend I felt low-level guilt for taking a break and having fun rather than doing something productive. I think this is a creator’s dilemma. There is pressure, both internal and external, to do more, faster.

For a while, that pressure can be harnessed to produce content. But live it too long, and it’s a one-way ticket to burnout city. I’m not there, but there is a certain dread every time I open up Scrivener. I know I’m behind and that gets in the way of writing, which puts me further behind. It’s a vicious cycle.

And I know I’m supposed to be writing a proposal for a new series, which should’ve been done months ago and isn’t. Argh.

So while I’m technically not under deadline anymore, my brain thinks I am, and I can’t relax. But the only way out is through* (for me, something else may be better for you!), so I’m going to turn on some music and make some words for our Rogue Queen. Wish me luck!

And lest you think it’s all doom and gloom in house Mihalik, I have two pieces of good news to end with. :) One, we got an offer on our old house the day we listed it. Yay! And two, my editor just sent me an all-caps squee about the changes I made to Chaos Reigning. She likes it! Huzzah!

*Or become a hermit. But since I like our new house, I’m going to go with through. :)

6 Replies to “A Weekend Off and the Creator’s Dilemma”

  1. It’s certainly a dilemma needing some down time but not be able to reap the benefits of it because you’re worrying about work.

    I had the similar last year where I had to take time off sick from work to try and sort myself (been a bad couple of years) but all I did was worry about deadlines months off that I knew I wasn’t working towards.

    For me help came from some advice I got from a therapist which was when things get tough the first things to go are the pleasurable activities, leaving you with all the other things like work or housework which as you said just then spirals. So you need to give yourself permission to have a day or weekend off. It really helped me having someone else validate that it was ok to have me time. Which usually consists of me being in pjs all day reading or binging box sets!

    Hope you manage to pull through! :o)

  2. Hope you can train your brain to stop worrying and just enjoy the time off. Finding some balance after so many hours of writing and edits is definetively important – and well deserved anyway!

  3. But time off allows you to come back fresh, so it should be a win-win.

    Tell your brain we the fans want you around for a long time so it needs to let you rest and recharge (if only it were that easy, right?)

    Congrats on selling the old house. And please do take time to enjoy your new one.

  4. I think that you must make taking whole weekends off a habit so that your brain gets accustomed to it. Please don’t get burned out! I really enjoy your books and both buy them for my personal library and request my county library to buy them as well. So happy about your house news! That means you presented it and priced it correctly. Congratulations!

  5. If you were working on a ‘normal’ job, even a busy one, you’d expect to get at least some weekends off! Just ‘cos you’re working for yourself, it doesn’t mean you don’t get to leave the office occasionally.

    Hope you had a lovely weekend. Take this one too. Then open Scrivener on Monday with a happy heart ;-)

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