October is winding down and that means National Novel Writing Month is peeking around the corner. November can be a great month to be a writer, but preparing for the month-long writing marathon can be a bit daunting. Personally, I never attempt to achieve the goal of writing 50,000 words during November, not with Thanksgiving celebrations and prep-work for Christmas shrinking my free time during the month. But I do enjoy being able to connect with other active writers who chase that difficult goal. NaNoWriMo is a great time to discuss writing strategies, conquering writer's block, planning vs pantsing, and a wide range of plotting, setting, and character topics.
As one of those people who has limited time to work on my personal projects, taking a working vacation has become a regular occurrence year after year. For me, this means taking my camera and laptop along on my trips so I can work on two of my hobbies at once, photography and writing. This year will be no different.
Many of us who engage in creative pursuits on top of having a day job and various social/family obligations can often find it frustrating trying to eek out enough free time to devote to our projects. When we do get free time, sometimes we struggle to utilize it. Creative blocks often come when we just don't have the energy to focus on our creative goals. But when the stars do manage to align and we have both the free time and the energy to create, we can fall into another problem. Sometimes we can become so immersed in our projects that we forget to take time for ourselves.
Holidays can be an overly busy time with little wiggle room to relax and take care of oneself. There are social events and associated preparations to be made on top of typical work and home life. For those inclined to creative pursuits, we run short on free time. Long-term projects often get put on hold, but sometimes smaller projects pop up in the way of making gifts or helping others with their own giving.
For me, this weekend has proven that having multiple interests and hobbies helps boost my productivity. At times I have struggled to balance all of my hobbies within my limited free time, but that was not the case during the past few days. I'm still heartbroken about my current job situation, and such feelings often kill my creativity. But I refuse to let my sorrow take over this time.
For those of us engaged in creative pursuits (writing, music, photography, visual arts, etc.), free time is not often free. For us, free time is a valuable commodity that we rarely have enough of to satisfy our minds and desires. While some of us are known to procrastinate more frequently than we'd like to admit, when we are in a creative burst, there is no safe way to get between us and our passions. However, life sometimes demands that we take a break.