Downtime… How Necessary Is It?

Cynthia Herron Downtime 5 Comments

Image Credit: MrsDKrebs/PhotopinCC

Image Credit: MrsDKrebs/PhotopinCC

A few weeks ago, I realized I’d landed in a horrible rut. I was sleep-deprived.

For months I’d put my well-being on hold and worked ’round the clock writing, revising, editing—you name it.

Since I have a very strong drive, a diligent work ethic, and the desire to meet specific goals, I’ve sacrificed downtime—including sleep.

Now, you know I’ve often preached about the importance of downtime here, here, and here and probably in a dozen other blog posts, too.

Why then so busy?

Well—I have a lot of irons in the fire.

I read. I write. I blog.

I’m a wife, a mom, and a daughter.

There are church activities, and until recently, school activities.

With several projects and responsibilities vying for my attention, I’ve multi-tasked and juggled, convinced I could accomplish all of it because of my get ‘er done attitude.

But as I’ve said before, I’m not Superwoman. I don’t keep up with the Dynamic Dans and Super Sallys of the world. I don’t have agendas. I refuse to do something just for the sake of doing it.

My biggest competitor is me.

I’ve never wanted to do it all, be all, or have it all just because today’s world prompts that ridiculous mindset.

My reasons to soldier on despite exhaustion indicators have more to do with past experiences and personal life goals than anything else.

Still—downtime and rest are necessary components to leading happy, healthy, productive lives. (See Michael Hyatt’s thoughts about getting proper rest. #6 is what I’ve committed to doing more. Also check out his great post about naps. Made a believer out of me! I would love to include a power nap in my day.)

Downtime prevents:

  • Burnout
  • Resentment
  • Stagnation
  • Health problems

Downtime promotes:

  • Sense of well-being
  • Positive energy
  • Renewed productivity
  • Good health

In light of this, I’ve decided to pare down some of my usual busyness this week.

I’m taking a mini-break from blogging until Friday.

See you then!


Additional posts you may like:

A Little Pep Talk for Your Writer’s Heart

Top 20 Ways Writers Spread Joy

Waiting, Writing, and Why You Must Not Quit

Individual or Group Blog: What’s Right for You


Do you ever find yourself in a rut?

What works for you?


Why rest and relaxation are integral components to our health: (Click to Tweet)

Writers are no different. We need this, too: (Click to Tweet)

Have a super week!

Blessings Always,

Comments 5

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    No downtime for me – don’t remember what it feels like. All I know now is physical sensation I would prefer not to describe, beyond saying it hurts.

    All good, though. Purpose to everything, even if we find after we’re dead.

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  3. Shelli Littleton

    I’ve just caught up on your last three blog posts! I’ve been editing my MS, hopefully for the last time. Right?!

    By the last chapter, my eyes were crossed. I needed to take a longer break before approaching that last chapter. So I guess I better take a break from it, and look at it again.

    You talked about settings … my setting is our five acre treed property!

    And I do need to find a good crit partner. How do you find someone you can trust? I’m praying over that.

    I still don’t have all my strength back from my surgery. Hard to believe.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Shelli, sometimes it takes months to recover from surgery. Give yourself time. =)

    If you’re a member of ACFW, there are various online critique groups that members can hook up with. I prefer a smaller group—two or three seasoned writers—though some people like larger networks. For your critique situation to be the most beneficial, I think it helps to have at least one partner a little further in her writing career, as well as your partner(s) being familiar with the genre in which you write.

    Praying for your continued strength, as well as your writing!

  5. Shelli Littleton

    Thank you for that advice! I definitely need a more experienced fiction crit partner. I can give advice on writing interviews, but writing fiction is brand new to me! Trying to learn all I can. I hope this work is not something I’ll look back on later and cringe over … but I’m grinning! 🙂

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