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Writing at Full Speed

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When my dad was about 45, he entered into a partnership with another farmer. The partnership details were: the other farmer will work my dad's fields, using the equipment and infrastructure my dad had in place. My dad got a fixed monthly income. It was a good deal less than what he could have made if he kept working the fields. He effectively retired from being a farmer.

It was an unorthodox decision. It raised several eyebrows. My dad was served two years as an elected official, to appease the social norm of 'people must work', and then he stopped. He read books. He went hiking. He cooked meals. He travelled around the country (it's not a very big country), visiting friends and family.

I think my dad had it nailed. If you can afford not to work, why do a job that stresses you out and reduces your quality of life? I mean, this is the dream, right? Everyone dreams of success, and the point of succeeding is that you don't have to do anything you don't like anymore.

I've been debating this notion lately. I can afford not to work. I don't want just to hang out, like my dad did, as that's not my style. Besides, I have two children in primary school, so I have a routine whether I like it or not. Over the last couple of months, I was "taking writing seriously" and setting goals like 'write every day' and 'write 1500 words every work day'. I've gotten a LOT done. I wrote upwards of 17,000 words since the beginning of the month. I don't think I ever wrote so much in such a short time.

But I can't sustain it. It's taking too much of a toll. I usually finish my writing while the kids are at school, but I don't have time to do anything else, and I end up reading instead of spending time with my kids. Not to mention we've been eating pasta for two weeks. If I HAD to, I could sustain it. I've worked much harder than this when I was doing my PhD. But I don't particularly want to. I want to have time to read during the day and spend time with my family when they randomly come to visit me and stay over for ten days.

So, even though I feel like I'm quitting, I'm going to lower the gear. Does it mean I'm taking my writing less seriously? Some might think that, but I don't. I still have writing books I'm reading and applying to my work. I'm still going to write. But less. Maybe even not every day.

And maybe in September, when the summer visitors stream will subside, I'll pick the pace up again. Or maybe I'll try and read more. We'll see.


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