There’s a part of my writing process that involves not writing. And not only is it not writing, but it’s not doing much of anything productive at all. It’s not doing dishes and not doing laundry and not vacuuming. It’s not paying bills and not mowing the lawn and not going grocery shopping. It is basically sitting on my butt and reading, or watching movies, or playing Scramble on my phone until my thumb starts to hurt.
This, for me, is the hardest part of writing, because even though I know I need it, I have a really hard time justifying it to myself. I need downtime to be productive. I need to clear my head and give things time to percolate. I’ve come to recognize this as a part of my process. But I still feel guilty when J comes home after a long day of work, to do more work, and I’m like, “Sorry there’s a mess in the kitchen, and we have no food, but I had to watch Henry decapitate people for two hours today and there just wasn’t time.” Thankfully, J is incredibly understanding and supportive. When I’m done with this round of rewrites, I’m totally going to start buying food again, so he doesn’t waste away to nothing.
I guess, no matter what we do for work, everyone is entitled to their downtime, right? No one can be productive 24/7, and if we don’t refresh, we can’t keep going. What do you do for downtime? Do you have a guilt-complex about chilling out, or is it just me?