Writing on the Sabbath

In my house growing up, we had a fairly strict interpretation of the commandment, “keep the Sabbath day holy.” It included not working on Sunday, not shopping and spending money, planning ahead so only the most necessary household chores were performed on Sunday, not watching violent or crude movies (or sometimes any movies at all), and keeping the day quiet and respectful, spent with family.

As I’ve become an adult, many of these habits have followed me into my own home. I’ve only had one job that forced me to work on Sundays, and I didn’t stay there long. I occasionally spend the Sabbath with close friends, but it’s always in someone’s home, doing activities that I still feel are “Sunday-appropriate” based on the standards I grew up with.

One thing that has followed me, however, is my writing. I have always written on Sunday (including during Sunday school, the teachers from my childhood would inform you).  Perhaps it was simply the extra freedom I had on Sunday, free from school, work, or other activities, but writing has always been a part of my Sunday mentality.

This changed somewhat with our book contract.

You see, I am no longer writing just for fun. Ever since our editor contacted us with the offer, I have striven to be professional in all my authorly dealings. It’s been a change in mindset. Once we signed our contract, there was money involved–and I have considered our book and my writing, a job. Imagine what a wrench this threw into my habits! I am so accustomed to writing on Sunday, yet it’s no longer just a hobby, it’s a job, and how do I balance that with my desire to avoid work on the Sabbath?

I have come up with a compromise.

Traitor’s Gate, our contracted book, is off-limits on Sunday. This is my work. However, other projects–new ideas, other stories which I am not paid for–those I allow myself to work on during these open Sunday hours. This is my play. I think if I tried to stop writing on Sunday altogether, I might go insane! I had to decide how I could respect my own beliefs, while still fulfilling my need to write as well.

Have you encountered any similar challenges?

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About vmech
Writer, Taekwondo instructor, and adoption advocate. Author of THE TALE OF TELSHARU and THE SCOURGE OF NARAK.

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