Does anyone else ever get tired of the seemingly endless questions and comments about your health/well-being while spending your “free time” doing the writing things?
You know the ones.
You’re working too much!
No one should have to work 12-hour days!
Are you taking breaks? Sleeping? Having fun??
I get it. A lot of people work nine-to-five jobs and they get up to do that job and come home in the evening and their work day is over. Good for them! If they are able to balance work and their personal lives and they’re happy decompressing after a long day at the office, that’s great. I mean it.
But that is not how my life as a content creator is structured.
There is no “right” way. I am not wrong, and neither are they. You are not doing anything wrong if you go to sleep at night truly believing you did the best work you could and are one step closer to making your own dreams come true.
It’s not the other person’s fault they clearly don’t know firsthand what it’s like to pursue a career that can’t be your full-time job yet. They’re (probably) not deliberately trying to put you down or imply your dreams don’t matter. Honestly, they probably just don’t get it. And possibly never will.
And, true, it’s quite possible those who “nag” you about your extra hours in front of your laptop just really care about you and want to make sure you’re OK. Nothing wrong with that. Thank you, people who care about us. You’re awesome.
But maybe the constant pressure to “not work so much” isn’t the best way to express that care. Well, it is if you’re actually harming yourself trying to Make Writing Happen. Been there, survived that, GET ENOUGH SLEEP GUYS.
Maybe the best thing your loved ones can do is keep in mind that in many ways, content creation outside of a nine-to-five job, for people like us, is basically a second/third job. We might not make a lot of money doing it (if any at all) and we might not go to an office to do it and we might do it at like 10pm. That doesn’t make it any less important to us.
So yes, make sure we’re getting enough rest and having fun and feeling fulfilled and loved. But also offer to bring us snacks and sit quietly with us and be patient with us. This is not an easy road, and we’re glad you’re traveling it with us, but know we’re not doing this to tire ourselves out or not spend time with you.
We’re doing it because we would rather be doing it full-time, and that isn’t always possible. Or what we’re doing full-time isn’t enough so we have to do extra. That’s just how this works. This is the life we chose.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of people telling me I work too much. I’m sorry? I have a very specific set of goals I am trying to reach, and I cannot accomplish those goals in an eight-hour workday. Maybe you can, but I cannot. And I happen to enjoy the extra work I am doing. I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t important to me. OK?
I am doing the best that I can and I am very happy doing it. Maybe that’s really all that matters.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.