Friday, October 12, 2007

Self-Employment Paid Vacation Time for Writers and Other Creative People

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?

It's not. Us creative types are self-employed. And like most self-employed people, we work. All the time. No breaks.

This is a mistake. A big one.

An understandable one--but unlike other small businesses, restaurants, stores, where the owners can exhaust themselves establishing and maintaining the business without destroying the business in the process, creative people need time off.

Why? To refresh, renew, re-energize our creativity. Without it, we run the risk of running on empty. Creativity is something that needs down time.

So it is paid vacation time when we take time off. Paid in terms of being more creative.

What do you do to take a break?


Nancy P said...

Arrgh. What is this thing people call a vacation? I take lots of breaks, and no vacations. I miss them. I think what I miss is the "sanctioned" part of them, the definite start and stop of them, with the freedom in between the start and the stop to do nothing but enjoy. I feel as if I'm always too nervous about my lack of progress on a book to take real, official time off. Plus, the expense when you're self-employed.
End of whine.

Conda Douglas said...

Boy, I so agree. And it doesn't help that part of the "sanction" as you so aptly call it, Nancy, is that with us creative types there's the idea that all we do is take vacation. You know, get up at noon, take a brunch with our agent, maybe write for fifteen minutes, then cocktails...uh-huh, yeah, right.
End of my vent.

Nancy P said...

The glamorous life of the writer, heh.

Anonymous said...

What you guys said. I'm actually taking a 5-day vacation at the end of the month, and am already feeling guilty about it. If I'm not sleeping or running errands or doing chores, I should be writing. Period. But it IS important to recharge batteries and remember what being slackerly feels like. We just have to be as kind to ourselves as we are to our friends.

Brunch with our agent - someday. :-)

Conda Douglas said...

Hope you have a great vacation, Beth!

And of course, I don't always take my own advice. My last big vacation was a birthday/first honeymoon in Cabo, Mexico for a week. Third day I bought a notebook and started--writing. At least it was the third day!