I have sat down to write at least 15 times this last week. Truth is, the book + move + Knit Camp + photoshoots + too much work has resulted in terrible burn out. I’d been struggling for awhile, angry, frustrated and resentful before I put my finger on exactly what it was. Its not a surprise, really. I have worked flat out for 2 and a bit years and hitting a wall was inevitable.
One thing I have learned about burn out or creative blocks is that one really has to just wait it out and be gentle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t sit in a room doing nothing, I still turn up, meet deadlines, and keep making, but there is a quiet acceptance that I can’t do everything I want to in the way I would normally want it done. Things take more time. Not every design can be a home run. And its ok.
In some ways, its actually quite freeing. Burnout gives a certain clarity to things. The work that makes my gut churn with resentment is always the first to be dropped and then questions asked about why I was doing it in the first place. You see, I am a terrible freelancer. I say yes to every single piece of work that comes my way because I am terrified of work drying up. My motivation for starting my business was because we ran out of money when I was made redundant and that fear still drives me, worrying always that I won’t be able to feed my family.
But making decision based on fear (or guilt for that matter), rarely ends well…hence the resentment. And so, this week has been about cuts and refocusing and, actually, just getting through.
Just getting through is deeply underrated, I must say. Strict tea breaks have been adhered to, evenings saved solely for family and time every day for being outside. Burnout could be worse. *wanders off for another cup of tea*
In the list of things I am rubbish at, “Taking Time Off” is close to the top of the list (followed closely by baking, growing houseplants and playing video games of any sort). However, with the realisation that I was losing my mind and beginning to hate my work, taking time off has moved to the list of Things I Need To Improve.
And so practicing time off started this weekend. I still worked at the edges- early morning, after bed time and a bit of crochet in front of a game of hot wheels, but on the whole, the weekend was spent in the garden and with the little ones.