• Reji Laberje

Playing Hooky

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

I'm playing hooky today! Okay, so technically, it's a holiday and my work is done for the week, but still. It's a weekday and I've decided NOT to dig into the many many weeds of my professional garden. They're like dandelions, aren't they? The life of an entrepreneur and an artist (let alone both at once) can be spent in nothing but the weeds if you let it.

What would you define as the weeds of your business or art?

I remember back to when I was "playing at" being a writer. I did what Hollywood taught me:

  • Observe life around me.

  • Go to a hipster coffee shop or bookstore (actually, I don't think "hipster" was a term, yet).

  • Write the thoughts that came to mind until the perfect inspiration hit, took over, and led me to an unexpected and unplanned but completed work.

Then, without any regard for what anyone else thought of my words, I would savor them.

I didn't have a business really by the definition I've come to know today. I taught reading and writing programs in schools, participated in writing festivals, and pitched to publishers and agencies under a business name, but processes, operations, pipelines, branding, mission statements, and all of that other stuff I've come to know as necessary to having a business? Yeah. None of that was in place. I wrote what I wanted to write and I was constantly filled with creative kinetic energy to write even more.

Contrast that to my peak writing production year in 2016 when I wrote just over a million original words in a single year in addition to doing all of the other "business" things I needed to do. That's the equivalent of writing the full seven-book Harry Potter series in one year. I had carpal tunnel so seriously in both wrists that I would sit typing by myself in the office with tears of pain streaming down my face. I was so tired that I would sometimes close my eyes because I physically could not keep them open. Still, I'd continue typing, basically sleep-writing words that were assigned by clients, would be approved by many others, and for which I was digging from an empty vat of energy - creative, kinetic, or otherwise.

Thank God I left that level of "accomplishment" behind. Still, even in this much more "balanced" life, I tend to wake up every morning, weekend, holiday, etc. and pull out my phone to answer emails, my computer to dig into work of some kind or other.

Do you find, as an entrepreneur or artist, that you simply do NOT take a day off?

If we never rest as artists and business owners, how will we ever recharge that creative kinetic energy? And without that energy, how will inspiration be given the room it needs to make its way into our process? Look, I could do the work of telling you all the things that a day off can do for you, but it's my day off and this blog is just what happens to be what flowed from my fingertips this morning. So, instead, enjoy a few articles I found that talk about taking a break because me? I'm off to get a cup of hipster coffee and absorb this sunshiny Good Friday.

Why & How Biz Owners Should Take A Break

Why Taking A Break Was Good For Me And My Business

Why An Artist Needs A Break

No Art Right Now

Have a great day!



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