I love writing. I do it because I love it, because I have stories and characters running around in my head and whispering in my ear things that need to be put on paper. Over time it has become my career. Last night I reached my breaking point. Nearly 3 months ago I had my second child and life hasn't stopped for even a minute since then. I can probably count on one hand the number of quiet evenings I've had with my husband, just vegged out on the couch relaxing. The nights that were quiet, you could probably find me sitting on the couch with my laptop, still writing away at 9, 10, or 11 PM.
Now, I don't think I work harder than the next person, or that I'm some kind of super woman--obsessive, maybe. Super, absolutely not. But there comes a point in anyone's life when you're "working" from sunup to sundown that you're going to burn out.
I spent some time talking to a friend last night and she said something that really got through to me:
If writing wasn't work than anyone could do it. No one would have to take courses or work shops. There wouldn't be contracts or promotion or even editing needed. But it's not like that. It takes energy and effort. And you can love your job and I'm glad you do, but it's still your job.
So, thank you friend (you know who you are) for saying what should be completely clear to me--but isn't. And for making me realize I needed to make a change in my way of thinking.
Will I still be found more often than not sitting on my couch at 10PM with my laptop open to my latest work-in-progress? Probably. But that's on my time. Job time is between the hours of 9 and 5. So when I feel like I need a break on a Monday night, I can take that time for myself. There is no room for guilt during me time. There is no room for pressure.
We all need a little balance every once in awhile.
Do you have a job you love? Do you have a hard time putting it aside? Tell me your thoughts or experiences :)