I worked as a freelance writer and editor for a long time. I loved it.
It was exhilarating to me to live the lifestyle of a freelancer. I got to write. I got to edit and help direct a community spotlight magazine from the planning stage of each issue through to production. I got to interview tons of very interesting people from all walks of life. I did stories on olive oil production and sourced an olive oil producer who lived in Italy. I reported news as it happened to community members who were affected by the goings on of city councils, university administrators, researchers, and so much more. Those projects were things I would work on past quitting time because I enjoyed them and was driven to do the best writing and reporting I could do. When I added fiction writing to my group of endeavors, everything got more intense, just trying to fit more into an already hectic life.
Doing those things I loved kept me supercharged. Even so, when my husband and I prepared to move to another state, I felt relieved that I would be able to focus on my fiction writing. I let go of all my clients and savored the idea that I would be able read for pleasure, hike, and chill on the couch with my family. But what I didn’t know was that my mind and body wouldn’t automatically relax into my new life. The supercharged nervous system and the active mind I’d been living with continued. Like the muscle memory of a golfer’s swing, my body and mind remained tense, ready for reacting to whatever may come up.
It’s true that writers are always working. We’re open to input of any sort, knowing we may find something very useful for our writing. My mind does that naturally, but my work enhanced that capacity until there was little rest.
So now it’s been a little more than a year since I cut back my work, and I’m still on task almost all the time. I’m working on short stories and a new series that I’m enjoying. My head is full of more ideas for writing. I have no plans to quit writing. But I would like to be able to relax thoroughly. I’m not complaining about the great opportunities I’ve had to do the things I love. And true to my passion to express myself in writing, whether on a blog, in a journal, or in a novel, I have new news to report.
That news is it takes time to learn a different, less driven life. This was unexpected. I want to stay productive and let my body and mind know it’s okay to let things be. To take some time to refuel in a new way and naturally float in spaciousness. But it’s going to take awareness and finding a new balance. I think I can do what I love and find peace.
What do you think?