Monday, October 29, 2007

Let Me OFF The Crazy Train!

I don't take weekends off but I'm going to try to start at least sometimes. For me, an ideal weekend would be having one lighter workday for my family and myself and the other day spending time on mostly my own writing. As a freelance writer, I write mostly for other people. When I started dreaming of writing for a living that dream revolved around my own novels, not seo articles and blog posts. I love my work but wonder if I will ever get that novel done if I spend 7 days a week on my job instead of my own writing.

This weekend was a bad one... I nearly had a meltdown more than once and almost burnt the house down because of my crazed state. I put out about 20,000 words, launched a big travel project to my team, proofread about 25 articles written by others and dealt with a bunch of headaches and queries and with a missed deadline by an AWOL team member.

I also made a big dinner for my inlaws yesterday in the midst of all that. As I was dissapointedly scraping the burnt yorkshire pudding out of the muffin tins on top of the stove, I couldn't figure out why oil in the pan was still bubbling so viciously . Little did I know, I still had the burner on underneath the muffin tin on the stovetop and suddenly my yorkshires were on fire. I very calmly said to my husband, "I have a fire in here" and stepped back from the stove and left him to tend it. I think I just stared off into space as he dealt with it. He was very perplexed looking at me and my seemingly calm state. A box of salt put it out and the rest of dinner turned out great. My husband and I chatted in the wee hours about my lack of a reaction to a kitchen fire, however minor and I told him I was zombified.

After dinner, I finished editing an e-book and worked until 1:30 am this morning, got up at eight and started my new day. I couldn't even sleep last night because I was so wound up. This was not healthy and I have to minimise this type of weekend otherwise I will suffer a burnout. The only reason for this post is to remind others that writing should be fun. While you might have the odd occasion like I just did, you should try to keep them to a minimum. I needed to have that kind of a weekend to make up for a financial gap but as a result will be making sure that this weekend is much more subdued. I may even take almost a whole day off!


Lillie Ammann said...

I think one of the hardest thing about working from home is that you can't ever get away from the work. When I owned a business that was located about five miles from my home, I could - at least to some extent - forget about work when I left the office. Though I often worked long hours, I always had some time off. Now as a freelance writer working from home, I have to force myself to take a day off. In the long run, I think we're more productive if we don't work all the time ... but it's hard not to. My policy is to take Sunday off, though sometimes I end up working if I have a deadline.

Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Girl, you need to slow down. I think your plan of taking some time off is the best thing for your long term health.

suewrite said...

Hope you have a brighter week this week Dana.

Dana Prince said...

Yes Sharon, that's a definite. I had a crazy/busy week and then an even crazier weekend. Too much of that would definitely cause burn out and illness! I'm happy to say that the week has started off much calmer.
Thanks :)

Thanks Sue and Lillie for stopping by too. Lillie, I hear ya! I worked a lot of hours with my old job and often brought my laptop home but freelancing definitely takes it to a whole new level. Most days it doesn't feel like work because I love it so much but the last few were definitely too much for me :)

Courtney - Web Writing Info said...

I totally sympathize. I started to try to take off weekends a few weeks ago, and it just managed to make me more frazzled on the weekdays. There seems to be no perfect solution....but I agree with Sharon. Schedule in some time off or you'll work your way into a health crisis like I did!

MLH said...

Like others have said, it is so hard to step away when your work is right in the next room. The way I step away is to leave the house. If I am not near my computer, I can't work so it makes me feel better. Hope you get that break this weekend!!