I have been working very hard on writing a book for about the past five months. The manuscript is now with the editor, and I have turned my focus to the elements of production and promotion. It’s all quite overwhelming, and I feel like my brain is totally fried at this point. What I really need is a break, but I can't seem to give myself one. I feel compelled to keep going, as much as possible every day, so that I can meet my deadline. Since I am self-publishing, it is a completely arbitrary and self-imposed deadline—but I will still feel like a failure if I don't meet it.
On the one hand, I'm proud of myself for persevering in the face of difficulty and mental fatigue. But on the other hand, I seem to have lost the ability to take a break. Each weekend I tell myself I’m going not going to do any work, and then I feel fidgety until I finally give in and so something.
However, we are going to the beach this weekend, and I am not taking my laptop, and I am not taking my notes. I am going to do my very best to put all of this out of my head for three whole days. I know it's going to be a struggle, but I feel like it's necessary for me at this point.
Many people I admire say that doing less is often more productive than pushing through and doing more. I'm going to experiment with that this weekend and hope that they are right! I think a lot of times we put too much pressure on ourselves. A life coach I've worked with named Carla Robertson calls it “SIMU”—“stuff I made up.” I keep thinking all of these things are vital and have to happen right away, when the truth is, they can actually wait.
I hope that you are also able to take a break this weekend from whatever you may be struggling with, or working too hard on. Give yourself some rest and relaxation. I will certainly be trying to achieve that. Ha—I’ll be trying to rest. Sigh. Wish me luck!