Ask me to list my work skills and among others you’ll get these: writing, editing, travel
Ask for my hobbies and the list is identical
On the one hand this is incredible: I love what I do. I’m not just a professional writer, I’m a passionate one. I write because I have to get things out of my head. My brain hooks on an idea or a thought and I have to get it out. It’s almost an illness.
(Right now? My computer was taking too long so I am thumb typing this on my iPhone because I can’t wait to get it out. It’s that much of a compulsion.)
I love being a writer but it’s way more than a profession. It’s who I am at my core.
Now the bad news: It’s also my hobby, which means that while I’m having fun while I work, I’m also working in my fun time. I never turn it off.
It’s not an addiction like some and I don’t truly believe in a 50/50 balance between work and life anyway, but I do think that you need to take time every so often to make sure you aren’t giving short shrift to the things that matter to you even more than the writing ever could.
With that in mind, I’m putting some limits in place to try to remember the priorities and maintain some of the fun family times that were our entire world when we were on the road. And that meant finding new hobbies. Here are a few:
1. Dancing -I love to dance. I may look like a rhythm-less puppet but in my mind I am tearing up the dance floor. I never dance without feeling better after but taking the time out to figure out where to go and what to wear usually stop me. When I was invited to the launch of the video game Just Dance 4 a few weeks ago, I knew I’d found my outlet.
This weekend, with Ish and the kids in the safety of my audience-less living room, we took turns dancing along to the game and laughed so hard I cried.Trust me there is nothing that gets a good belly laugh going like Ish re-enacting a Nicki Minaj dance video
2. Album Making/Photo Framing – We came back from that trip with so many pictures and now they’re all trapped in my computer and the various hard drives we’ve backed them up on. Every time I look at them they make me happy, so why aren’t they out and around? The whole task is overwhelming but I’m making time, a week at a time to set them free.
3. Reading – I used to love to read. I’d pick up a book and stay glued until 3 a.m. I was that kid – the one who always has a book with them; the one who’d be under the covers with the flashlight. Then I had kids and time became this super, precious commodity and I let go of the things that I couldn’t get done before 9. (Don’t judge I get up at 4:30 a.m. people. ) I’m reclaiming it and I’m bringing the family with me. We’ll all pick up a book more often going forward.
What about you? If you had to describe what you do and who you are would the same descriptors come up? Does it bother you? Are you “balanced?”