How to Take a Creative Hiatus When You’re a Pro

creative-hiatusI’ve only notified my clients at this point, but here is my formal announcement – I’m taking a 7-day hiatus from 2/10-2/17. I’ve made no secret of my chronic pain battle, and on the tenth I’ll be going under the knife again. (Hopefully for the final time.) I’ll be getting a hysterectomy after fighting the medical industrial complex for the last eight months.

I don’t want children. I never have. What worries me most about the procedure is the thought of going under (I have severe anxiety about going under anesthesia), and the thought of going seven whole days without work.

7 days of no email. 7 days of no discovery calls. 7 days of radio silence. 7 days of obligatory rest and relaxation while my body heals.

I’m actually having the operation 7 days before it was originally planned for. (Super convenient this is the same week Rings came out, eh?)

Let’s be real, folks. I am terrified.

Here are the steps I am taking to make the thing less scary for me. I hope that you never have to take a similar hiatus, but if you do, hopefully this breakdown is useful for you. I want to keep my creative business afloat while trying to stay sane and give myself time to recharge.

Letting Clients Know You’ll Be Gone

Pending projects for February have pins in them until I am back, and everyone I’m working with knows why I’m gone. I don’t expect to need longer than the 7 days the doctor has given me to recover, but since it is a medical procedure I’ve let them know so if I take longer to recover then I will be able to take the time without guilt.

A One-Size Fits All Autoresponder

I’ve drafted a badass autoresponding email. It is for my clients, my potential clients, and for interview/review inquiries for all my journalistic pursuits. It links to relevant onboarding surveys and my call schedulers so I can set up work for once I return, and things will run seamlessly once I’m back.

Do it Scared

I don’t know why you need to take a break. Maybe you’ve just had a baby. Maybe you have a chronic illness like me. Maybe you just need time to relax or recharge after a long period of working too hard for too long. Whatever the reason, take the time you need. It’s terrifying to stop working, even for a little while, but if you need to you can. Your people will be there for you when you come back. If you have a real, human connection with your customers/brand, then they will understand when things happen.

For the record, I appreciate those of you who have been patient and continued to read along with me. I have taken something of an unofficial break from contributing to the blog because client work has taken up most if not all of my spoons the last few weeks. I’ll be back (and hopefully better than ever) soon and will hopefully have a load of fabulous content to make up for my absence. If there’s something you’d like to see, hit me up! (Hey, drop me an email after tomorrow and see my rockin’ Autoresponder. 😉 )

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