Feeling burned out? Take a vacation

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Footbridge in Scout Island Park - Williams Lake BC

Footbridge in Scout Island Park – Williams Lake BC

I’ve just returned from a three-week vacation. Therefore I’m as in-touch with being in holiday mode as I’ve ever been.

I spend much of each workday on writing and writing-related activities so it was from these thing I wanted a holiday. I was ready for a break by the middle of June!

I decided this year, as never before, to vacation with no guilt. To make that possible I worked extra hard before our July 8th departure date to meet all deadlines. I also scheduled the blog posts that I wanted to publish while I was away.

The first few days of being on the road I was so keen to escape I felt an aversion to even the sight of my laptop. Thus it wasn’t hard to take a hiatus from technology. I didn’t respond to non-urgent work emails, check Facebook and Twitter, look at my blog stats, or read any of the emails and blogs to which I subscribe. My stupid-phone isn’t connected to social media so it was the only device with any appeal. I used it for making dinner arrangements with friends.

We had planned a full holiday and it wasn’t hard to take a complete and extended break from writing. We spent the first hectic vacation weekend at the Gospel Music Celebration in Red Deer. That was followed by two weeks with our daughter, son-in-law, and four grandkids in northern B.C. It was easy to find ways to fill up my time. From folding mountains of clothes, to playing with play dough, supervising the baking of muffins, going to the beach, and looking on as the grandkids were wowed by their first visit to the circus, every day was busy and exhausting.

Of course I found time to read (even though that is often work-related for me). Once I finished reading the book I had committed to review, I read a novel just for fun.

Another rejuvenating practice for me is to spend free time on leisure activities that are totally unrelated to writing. During past holidays I’ve done crochet and knitting projects. This year I brought along a book of Sidoku puzzles and am now creeping through the last hard four-star ones at the back of the book.

There were times it was so easy and relaxing to not be writing I felt jabs of worry. Maybe I was really burned out. Maybe the yen to put pen to paper and fingers to the keyboard would never return. But gradually I sensed my writing well was refilling.

One day I read a few of the poems that get delivered daily to my email and my imagination began to stir. On another I returned from a walk with my mind full of images and phrases… the first glimmers of a poem. I spent over an hour the night before we got home reading posts on the writing blogs I subscribe to.

And now I’m home and happy to be at my desk writing this blog post. Later I’ll compose that review and maybe answer a few emails. After a writing-free, guilt-free holiday, I’m back and eager to do more of this activity I love!

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This post was written as the August 6th post for the Inscribe.org blog on writing, but for some reason failed to publish there.

4 thoughts on “Feeling burned out? Take a vacation

  1. Thanks, Violet, for this down-to-earth blog about taking time away from writing and coming back to your normal joy of writing. Blessings on you, your family, and your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon! I love it that the year has cycles and rhythms like this. I’ve found in the past that when I try to soldier through the year without taking a break, I always suffer in some way. Hope you’re enjoying a nice break yourself. 😉

      Like

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