I don’t think that anyone who even casually follows my adventures here or on facebook or Instagram would have missed the fact that 2016 has been a massive year for me. From writing a book in a few months, planning a number of overseas workshops, redesigning this site, launching two SketchingNow courses, and a non-stop 8 week trip to Europe.
If it sounds like a lot of work I can assure you that it has been, and in a word, I’m exhausted. I am tired of working 70 hour weeks which I have done consistently for the last two months or so – long weekdays and Saturdays. There has been a lot of sacrifices that I had made this year in order to achieve all this, and while I have been content to make them, it’s certainly not sustainable. There have also been costs that I’ve not been happy about.
It’s easy to say “just don’t work so hard, take a break, just work 9-5, five days a week” but when you are trying to support yourself as a single person, doing what many people think of as a hobby, there is a lot of pressure to say yes to everything, especially in the early days. I now say ‘no’ to a lot of really incredible opportunities and I now try to schedule down-time but I’m still constantly overloaded. I love what I do so much and I’m happy to work long (flexible) days so I know that working 9-5, five days a week is very unrealistic!
In the process of researching ways to work smarter I came across a really great idea of a Small Scale Sabbatical. I got this idea from Sean McCabe from Seanwes who gives his whole team every seventh week off. This Sabbatical week is primarily for rest or to pursue secondary interests that have been sacrificed in the other 6 weeks of hard work. It sounds perfect for me, so that is what I’m going to start implementing.
So next week, my first Sabbatical, there will be no new articles here. I might post the odd image to Instagram, but then again, I might have a total break there too. I’ll see what I feel like at the time.
Thank you for all your support this year. It has been insane, even by my standards, but the encouragement and inspiration I receive through your comments has really spurred me on and helped me to keep going! I hope you all have a wonderful week too.