I take vacation time for writing projects as a matter of integrity.
My church doesn’t pay me to write.
So, I don’t write songs, books, articles, blog posts, etc. on church time. (I’d love an employment situation where I’m paid to do so, but that’s not where I or our church is at right now.)
If inspiration strikes while I’m “at work,” I sometimes stop and write. (My type of work affords that flexibility.) But I always note how much time I spent and put that back into pastoral work later in the day or week.
For example: Looking ahead at my work schedule, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot for me to be doing this week. This Sunday is a special service that another saint is planning. Most of my planning-ahead work is in process, done, or can’t be done this week. I could have sat at my desk this week and wrote—and no one would have noticed. But I’m not paid to do that. So, I’m going in for a few hours here and there to take care of necessities. Otherwise, I’m on vacation, hiding in my basement storage room and writing.
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Another reason is that I have 5 kids. After putting in 50+ hours a week on a job, there’s little time left for writing one you’re spending what little time is left with the kids.
I’m old and can’t burn the candle at both ends anymore.
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The biggest reason is that Jenny, my wife, encourages it.
She wants me to write. She supports it. So, she encourages me to use PTO to pursue this calling. She encourages me to go to conferences alone or spend a week at her mother’ house so I can write.
She’s a great, selfless blessing.
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