more of a note than a blog, but just in case any of you who read my blog struggle, as I do, with the not-working thing (also called days off, rest, holiday, free time, whatever), you’re not alone …
So, I’ve JUST realised that when the Ngaio Marsh/Duffy Money in the Morgue comes out next March (I’m on the final edit now), I will have had 3 books out in 18 months (and yes, a 4-year book gap between 2012 and 2016, but still …) plus being sick & surgeries & Fun Palaces.
Seriously, I JUST realised that about the books. That they were so close. Hmm.
Several things :
1. I am glad I get to work, a lot, and that sometimes people want my work. (I’m very glad that, mostly, I like my work. I know that’s a very fortunate thing.)
2. I like that some of what I work at (Fun Palaces for eg) works for other people, is of value to them, supports them to create value.
3. I also want to not-work a bit more.
4. I’m working on 3.
As someone about to start a freelance writing career, do you think there’s something about being worried that opportunities will dry up if you don’t take them or that you’re not the same person unless you’re working?? I find it so hard to rest because I feel like there’s so much to do. Mindfulness really works for me because it’s a ‘thing to do’ that’s about doing nothing but being present! Maybe that can help with number 3!! X
yes, I absolutely think it’s about fearing that if I say ‘no’ to one thing, then people will stop asking. I have been freelance all my life – I’ve never had a ‘proper’ job, and therefore no sick pay, compassionate leave, holiday pay etc. This means I have always worried about the work stopping if I stop. But I’m getting to a stage in my life where I simply have to trust that this is not the case. Partly because it’s not healthy to keep working at the rate I have been (emotionally or physically), but also because I think it’s buying into my own fear. Perfectly valid fears as I didn’t grow up with family money or support to fall back on, but perhaps less useful now in this last third of my life!
and yes, have been dipping my toe into mindfulness for a couple of years and am now taking part in an 8-weeks course with daily practice. I def agree about the ‘something to do’ that is ‘nothing to do’! And hope to get better at it …
Good luck with your freelancing. It’s scary, but it’s also brilliant.
I completely understand where you’re coming from. Nothing to fall back on does make you want to keep going even when you’re exhausted I think! Thank you and good luck with the mindfulness course. My 8 week course changed my life!