Photograph © Holly Bowne
I have a confession to make. I haven't been the most productive writer (or blogger) this summer. (Yeah, yeah, you've all probably picked up on that last part!) I completed a few corporate writing projects and added a couple of new articles to my published repertoire but for the most part, my writing production slowed W-A-Y down.
I didn't plan for this to happen. And I’ve read loads of stuff about how freelance writers should take advantage of summertime. While everyone else is slacking off, we should hit the green grass running, cranking up our writing production as much as possible. But I just haven’t been able to do it. I know I should feel guilty about this, but honestly the more I've thought about it the less guilty I've felt.
Maybe it’s because I got worn down from all the end-of-the-school-year graduation stuff that surrounded my daughter. Maybe it was the sudden realization that our days with her were numbered. Maybe it was a compilation of all the stress we've endured between job insecurity and health concerns over family and friends. Or…maybe I'm just rationalizing here.
But this year, instead of spending long hours at my computer, I've allowed myself to revel in the slower, languid pace that summer brings with it. I've basked in golden mornings of bird song and dreamy days of sunshine. I've hiked and biked through lush green woods. Taken time to appreciate the soft rustle of weeping willow branches as they swayed overhead. Enjoyed vivid Lake Michigan sunsets, the whimsical dance of the fireflies at twilight and the endless beauty of starlit, moonlit nights.
Instead of pushing myself to drum up new work and generate article ideas, I’ve focused my working hours on personal writing projects like my novel and covering stories about topics for which I have a passion. And let me tell you, it's felt great. This summer has re-energized my passion for writing and reminded me why I decided to become a freelance writer in the first place.
I think we all get so busy with work, taking care of our families and rushing to errands and appointments we forget we all need times in our lives to just sit still. Stop moving at the hyper speed of light required during the rest of the year. Take time to breathe in the heady scent of nearby blossoms and fresh-mown grass and appreciate all those whose lives intersect with ours--recognizing that they are really what makes life worth living.
Hard work is good. But slowing down is good too. And breaks from our "To Do" list are good. So you know what, I refuse to feel guilty! It's all good. Summer is the Sabbath of the year. So go enjoy the rest of your Summer Sabbath.
(Now, just for fun and because I really like this song...)
Fireflies by Owl City