It was 4 am when the puppy decided it was time to get up, followed by the cat deciding that I could not go back to sleep until I fed him, despite the early hour.
I read some submissions around 6, later tried and failed to go back to sleep (after I fed everyone at the correct time, Mr Cat)
And then I decided to do something. To take the day off. Like. For real.
For those of you who do this, you understand. You see I have two jobs: the one that pays for things; the one where I make books.
Which means my days off of one are days on for the other. And yes. One of those I choose for myself. Most of its stresses, deadlines, and todos are of my own doing.
But when I made this hobby public, started publishing, involving other people it was no longer a hobby, it was a business. One I love. One that I enjoy. One that still stresses. That still takes my time.
So I took today off. Of everything. And did something I’ve only done once this year: I read a book for fun.
So far the only novel I’ve read in 2020 is Mexican Gothic, which I highly recommend. I’ve not had time. Or energy. There is emotional labor in reading submissions. And it can drain you as you go through them.
Add on the time it takes to go through a packet of nearly 1,000, the time and desire to read can be nearly empty.
(Funny enough, I still seem to buy new books…)
I’ve had a few readers over the years and one thing I try to do with them is help manage this—it’s burnout, let’s not dance around that. The thing is, I’ve not done a great job with myself.
I frankly don’t have that luxury most times. The magazine is mine, and, for now at least, my labor is how it exists. No amount of burnout changes that.
So I took today off. No emails. No computer. No submissions. Sunlight. Some tunes and a book—The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo.
Get the well filled up even just a little to keep going because LampLight is worth it. The writers in LampLight are worth it.