An award-winning journalist and bestselling author explains why it’s necessary for to have the space and time to think.
My sickness in early July meant that I didn’t really have the time to think about plans and goals and achievements and misses for the first half of the year, but the moment I was back up on my feet again, I decided it was time for a half-yearly review.
I am, as is to be expected, happy with certain things, not with certain others.
In July, I started making the transition from writer to entrepreneur and the decisions we made and the risks we took required a lot of stepping back and thinking of the big picture.
Here’s the thing, though. You can’t think of big pictures without actually having the time and the space to step back. You need to do this without clients calling you every three seconds, without the to-do lists that weigh heavy on your shoulders, and if you can afford it, a retreat might actually be the best way to do it.
We couldn’t afford a retreat this year in time or money, but I found a few other ways to disconnect from everything and take the time to think about the overall scope of my business and my career.
Here are a few.
1. Go for a daily walk or run
I’ve become lax at this lately (I blame the sickness) but this is usually the time when I step back from everything and just take in what’s going on around me in a disconnected sort of way. I actually go to the park to run instead of jumping on the treadmill or hitting the gym because the scenery and the fresh air make the activity more stimulating.
2. Take an hour before bed
You could just clean out your office and disconnect mentally if not physically. It’s a time when you don’t actually do any work, but think about the plans and the goals. Don’t write anything down. Just let your mind feel free to explore and make random connections.
3. Go stay with parents or friends
My parents live in the middle of nowhere, which means that when I go over to stay with them, the scenery is as different as could possibly be from my noisy city neighborhood. It’s a change of pace, and sometimes that’s all I need for my mind to be able to disconnect.
It doesn’t have to be to Bali, it could simply be to the next town on the train. The point is to get out of your head and your life and be surrounded with a new experience.
How to Pitch: Pitching guidelines for 200+ publications
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Natasha Khullar Relph
Publisher, The Wordling
Natasha Khullar Relph is an award-winning journalist and author with bylines in The New York Times, TIME CNN, BBC, ABC News, Ms. Marie Claire, Vogue, and more.
She is the publisher of The Wordling, a weekly business newsletter for journalists, authors, and content creators.
Natasha has mentored over 1,000 writers, helping them break into dream publications and build six-figure careers. She is the author of Shut Up and Write: The No-Nonsense, No B.S. Guide to Getting Words on the Page and several other books.
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