NaNo Day 15: Pause

This has possibly been the least productive day in the history of least productive days.

So far today I read like a hundred pages of a book for fun, watched endless cooking videos on Facebook, got my Book Creators post up (which really just involved pressing the publish button), critiqued a couple of essays for friends, got my NaNo writing done for the day, aaand… that’s basically it. I’m yet to even glance at my homework. Or work on any other work, for that matter.

On the upside: bumming it for a day can be nice?

Either way, I’m back to the grind tomorrow. Here’s hoping I haven’t put myself too far behind on things.

Goal for Today: 1,000
Overall Goal: 26,000
Current Word Count: 26,181

Anyone else hitting pause on life at the halfway point this month? I think we all deserve a good nap.

~Julia

Wordy Wednesday: Don’t Burn Out

This week’s Wordy Wednesday is a writing process post.

Happy Wednesday!

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I wrote a post for The Book Creators on balancing writing with school. Since then, I’ve found it’s a topic a lot of people are invested in* (because, let’s be real, SCHOOL). I’ve also been finding myself a little tiny bit extremely stressed by my schedule for the semester.

I’m not going to go into all the details of what I’m up to, because a) that would be boring and b) it would likely result in me rolling around on the floor moaning. But I will tell you that yesterday I was either doing homework, at class, at a meeting, or working from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM. Straight. And I honestly should have done more when I got home last night, but I hadn’t had a break since Saturday afternoon, so I decided to hang out with my roommate for a bit then crash early instead.

The last part of that paragraph is important. I’d been working nonstop for about three and a half looong days. And although I enjoy (most of) what I do, after that I was tired and out of it and heading in the direction of depressed.

In my Book Creators post, I mentioned avoiding burnout. Last night, I needed to take my own advice.

You can only do so much before you’ve done too much. It can be hard to justify taking breaks to yourself and others when there’s still so much to be done. Like, last night I was wondering why I deserved to go to bed early when I should’ve been reading for my internship, or working on homework, or—at the least—cleaning my sorta gnarly room. However, this kind of thinking is toxic. I was at the point where my brain NEEDED rest.

Let me say this plain: If you NEED a break, you DESERVE a break.

It doesn’t matter how often your best friend or your boss or that really annoyingly successful kid from your high school takes breaks. Everyone’s bodies and brains work differently. You take a break when YOU need one.

And everyone relaxes in different ways. You might like going for runs, or hanging out with friends, or binge-watching Netflix alone in your room with a plate of nachos. It doesn’t matter what works for you, as long as you’re aware of what it is and make time for that activity.

I’m doing a lot better today. After going to bed early last night, I naturally woke up early too, so I decided to work out before my shower. Also because I was up early, I had time to make my lunch before leaving for the day, and because of THAT, between classes I had time to hike all the way out to the Arb (our local nature preserve) to eat by the river and relax. And even then I finished eating earlier than I otherwise would have, so now I’m fitting in this Wordy Wednesday at 1:00 PM instead of midnight.

Today is a really good day, and it’s happening because I let myself take that break last night. And the funny thing is, even though I still have all that work looming over me, I’m far less stressed about it now than I was at 10:00 PM last night.

Burnout is real and it is scary. Don’t let it happen to you.

Now, I’m off to hike a little more in the Arb before I have to leave for class. Because that’s a way I relax and you know what? I deserve it (and you do too).

Thanks for reading!

~Julia

*The wonderful and talented Joan He and Ava Jae have made awesome reaction posts/videos with some of their own tips. Check Joan’s post out here and Ava’s here.