A friend of mine once shared a thought that I’ve since adopted as my own mantra:
“I no longer do for fun that which I do not enjoy.”
There are some things that are unavoidable. I need a job, at least at this point of my life; I need a place to live and nutritious meals and regular doctor’s visits.
But I have a tendency to overcommit my personal time, to view the things I’m choosing to do as duties rather than privileges.
Over the past few months, I’ve attended graduate writing classes, launched a freelance writing career, blogged sporadically, managed freelance editorial projects, and trained for ice skating. (Oh, and I had a full-time job and a loving relationship to nurture.)
I reached the point where all of the commitments I had on my free time—things that, individually, nourished me and brought me joy—were making me feel claustrophobic and unhappy. The time I spent with friends all but vanished, as my nights and weekends went up in smoke.
I’ve always known that I have workaholic tendencies. All through college I held jobs, up to three at a time. I really enjoy staying busy, particularly when it pays.
But I need to hold myself accountable to other needs as well—the need to have dinner with a friend spontaneously; the need to read a good book that’s not on The List; the need to watch silly TV with Jack, Tinker, and Kizmet.
When I overschedule my life, I turn the activities that bring me joy into work. And that only makes me unhappy.
So this summer, I’m making an effort—to stop trying so hard. No more freelance editing. No classes for a few months. Make the moments that are meant for fun, fun again. That way, I can enjoy all of the things that I do make time for.
So what does that have to do with my blog?
After thinking it over the past few months, I’ve decided to change the direction of this site. Don’t worry: I absolutely love writing about books, and my reviews and top-ten lists are not going anywhere.
But that’s not the only kind of writing I enjoy. As I experiment more and more with different kinds of freelance writing, I’d like to share those pieces with you. I want to write more about travel and food, and I’d also like to feature interviews of people I find interesting. I don’t know where this blog is going, but I sure am excited to feel like I’m growing as a writer.
I hope you have as much fun reading my pieces as I do writing them. But if you don’t… go do something else! After all, I no longer do for fun that which I do not enjoy. You shouldn’t either.