There’s a saying that goes, “choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” that I’ve always loved. The saying really sums up what it feels like for those lucky enough to have careers that they love as opposed to the all too common situation of having a job that they hate.
I can definitely cosign the fact that when you love what you do, it doesn’t even really feel like work. There are days that I might spend 12 hours working on something and other days where I might spend just 2 hours working on something. It just depends. But what’s important to understand about being self-employed is that sometimes you don’t really have a set number of hours you work per day–you work until the job is done.
The downside of that approach is that because you’re always working, you start to place very little emphasis on taking breaks from working. For the last five years, I’ve been dropping music at a very consistent pace: Adventures in Counter-Culture (2011), Deleted Scenes (2012), Bend But Don’t Break (2013), Respect the Architect (2014), and King No Crown (2015). It takes a lot of hard work to not only release an album every year, but to do a full tour with it. I’ve also written and released three books since 2012: The Making of Adventures in Counter-Culture (2012), Word is Blog Volume One (2012), and What a Night (2014). During that entire time, I had never really taken any time off besides visiting my family for the holidays.
But when I got back home in early August from the ten-week King No Crown tour, all I wanted to do was relax. I’m a firm believer that our bodies speak to us all the time, we just need to listen. And my body was telling me to take some time to myself and chill for a bit. So, from the beginning of August until about a week ago, I haven’t really created any music. Not a single verse or a finished beat.
And you know what? It felt great. There were many moments during the last six weeks where I felt like I’m supposed to be in the studio heavy, making more music, but I never felt pressed or pressured to do it. So I didn’t. Not to say that I didn’t do anything–I did do a lecture at a conference and had a Soul Position reunion show in September–but overall I’ve been just going with the flow. I’ve been doing home remodeling projects, practicing photography, rebuilding my studio, and reading a ton. Just chilling out and recharging my batteries. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you’re reading this right now, I want you to think about how dedicated you are to whatever it is you do and ask yourself if you’re working your hardest. If you are working your hardest, then you have to ask yourself if you’re taking proper time off. No matter how accomplished we are, we will not perform at our best without proper rest and time off. We owe it to ourselves. I struggle a lot with feeling like I’m not doing enough, but I realize that I have to get over that and make sure I’m not overdoing it; that my hard work doesn’t come at the cost of my long-term health and happiness. Because what’s the point of achieving great things through your hard work and dedication if you’re too busy or too sick to enjoy them?
That said, time for me to get back to creating things!
Word is Blog.
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