Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Hiatus?

Like many, I work two jobs.

One, my "day job", pays the big bills like heat and electricity and food. While many people would love to tell you I only work forty, forty-hour weeks a year, I can tell you I know very few teachers who keep those hours. Even after thirty-one years in the classroom, I'm still working many hours after school correcting homework and spending my "vacations" creating curriculum and honing my skills in managing a room full of teenagers.

My other "job" is writing. It's more than my creative outlet, it's my passion and my love. But writers are not born, we are made by long hours of practice and patience. While our willingness to play with words may be innate, our skill with a phrase, our understanding of story structure, our ability to create characters our readers fall in love with, all takes time and training.

What I'm getting at is that, even though I enjoy one of my jobs over the other, they both are work. And like all jobs that require work, that means occasional vacations are necessary.

So why do I feel so guilty when I spend an entire Sunday watching NCIS re-runs instead of writing or promoting my writing or preparing a manuscript for publication? I don't feel guilty when school's out on vacation, yet I feel incredibly unproductive and guilt-ridden when I step away from my writing career even for a single day.

I have a to-do list of all sorts of projects that are in-progress. Every day I try to make a little progress on at least one of the items. Today I did not. Not only did I not make progress, I didn't even attempt to make progress. And now I'm writing about my lack of progress in an attempt to justify why I made no attempt at doing anything other than watch TV. See what I mean by guilt-ridden?


Tomorrow. Tomorrow I promise to do better.
Play safe,

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