All the Way Off

For a few weeks in the summer, I like to turn all the way off in terms of teaching or speaking or writing books. I take a break from creative work. It’s a necessary way to recharge and store up energy for the fall semester. I do all kinds of other work, but creatively speaking, it’s a way of resting.

I used to feel panicky or lazy or confused about this essential rest. Was it OK to have an off-season? Was it right to completely hibernate from certain kinds of creative work? It’s vital. It’s a resetting of sorts. Most creative people I know work like this. Otherwise, they feel drained all the time. They struggle with burnout. They aren’t working at optimal creativity.

So turn all the way off. Think of the faucet that continues to leak. You want to turn it all the way off so no energy leaks out. This might last a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months. Some people even turn off for the whole year to prepare for the next year. In this time, you might read more, pray more, walk more, bake more, or do anything but work on your creative project. Then, one day, you’ll turn back on.

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