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Why Writers Need Breaks

I've participated in more than 50 theatrical productions. About 90 percent of those took a dark night.

For the non-thespian readers, a dark night is not when actors dress up like Batman. During a dark night (a night during the week of rehearsals leading up to the performance), actors and production staff (stage managers, the director, etc.), do not do any work on the show. They rest. Sabbath. Nap. Whatever you like to call it.


Because by that point half the actors have contracted some sort of sickness, someone's about to break a leg (literally) if they haven't already, and everyone just feels . . . tired.

Shocker. I guess rehearsal until four in the morning four nights in a row could do that to a person.

Everyone and every occupation should require a dark night. This explains why companies allot a certain number of vacation days.

But for the freelance writer, this almost doesn't seem to exist. With having to update platform daily, writing daily, editing daily, and doing everything, well, daily, writers leave little room for a rest period. We become the cities that never sleep.

And no, blinking does not count as any shut-eye time.

As for writing (ranging from platform building to actual, well, writing), I have gone nonstop until this past week. Every week comprised of:

  • Contributing articles to a Roulette of five publications (with the occasional sixth or seventh)

  • Agenting duties: editing, sending out submissions, reading submissions, negotiating contracts, teaching at conferences, etc.

  • Doing a weekly book review for ECLA Libraries

  • Copy Editing for the Echo newspaper

  • Updating platform daily on all social media platforms

  • Marketing for Den

Oh, and of course, I'm also a full-time student, so add that into the mix.

Hear me out. I love what I do. But, I can only do so much of what I love before I lose energy.

This past week, Taylor let out us for Thanksgiving "break." Excluding travel days, this really only meant four days in exchange for the number of work we've put in the semester (I cheated and came home a little earlier). But during those blink-of-eye days, I managed one dark night.

One day of not updating social media, not checking email, not reading submissions, not writing for any publications, not doing homework, not marketing Den, not editing newspapers . . . I could go on.

I needed that dark night. I honestly can't recall the last time I had one (perhaps sometime in the summer).

Because even the Tony award winning actors need a break sometimes (they have swings and understudies for these reasons). And even writers need to sleep, if only for just a night.


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