Why a vacation might be a good idea for Mr. Sanity

July 22, 2009

“She’s turning her life into something sacred: Each breath a new birth. Each moment, a new chance. She bows her head, gathers her dreams from a pure, deep stream and stretches her arms towards the sky. It is here where she must begin to tell her story.” ~ Monique Duval


One of the hiking trails I adventured.

I’m back from vacation!Given my current funemployment status, escaping the city for a week of hiking, boating, camping and swimming in Georgian Bay was the ultimate treat. Okay, maybe minus the last part. The water is so cold there it’s like a brain freeze in your feet! And when I say camping, what I really mean is staying in a cabin with cable and a real toilet…

But throughout my Indiana Jones adventures, I came to the realization that freelancers really should embrace holidays. Unlike most professions, when you’re working for yourself, it’s easy to hit burnout. Freelancers tend to work longer hours and push themselves beyond their limits. And we’re probably closer to losing our sanity than any teacher I know. I’m sure I won’t be the first or last person to tell you – when you put down the pitches, interviews, writing and re-writings – your world will not end. Your clients will still be there when you get back. And it’s crucial that you recharge your batteries if you want to maintain the quality of your work.

  1. The ‘F’ in freelance should stand for flexibility, not freak-out. One of the reasons many people cite their love of freelancing is because of the flexibility it affords. So why kick it to the curb for the sake of overworking yourself? You might as well return to the cubicle from whence you came, as Shakespeare might put it. Giving yourself a vacation from time-to-time is a healthy habit to get into. Even if you’re not sailing away to some tropical island for a couple weeks, a short-term no-work period or long weekend can do wonders for relieving frustration and revitalizing your spirits.
  2. A change of scenery will perk up your creativity and provide you with a fresh outlook. Sometimes writer’s block can spawn from simply being in the same working environment day-in and day-out. Whether you’re hauling your laptop to Cancun or the local coffee shop, a ‘vacation’ from your familiar writing space can spark inspiration and innovation. Being physically active and outdoors for an entire week instead of doing the zombie slouch in a cramped, musty office space helped me to generate a lot of new ideas.
  3. Sometimes your friends and family could use a little undivided attention. They’re used to your deadpan stare focused on the computer screen, your constant need to surrender to the beeps of your Crackberry, or those late nights you spend frantically typing away when you’ve got a project deadline to meet. Occasionally, they could use a little TLC, without the interruptions of your typical day in the office.

Many freelancers fear taking vacation time because the need for income overshadows the temporary flight from responsibilities. For a busy freelancer, this can take some time management, planning and juggling. But it is possible. Multi-tasking should come easily to you anyways, right?



  1. Nothing like a change in scenery to lift the spirits, eh? Glad to see you’re posting again!

    • For sure! Thanks for checking in Stacy.

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