My main business is writing and editing. This comprises 90% of the work that I do. The other 10% is reserved for side projects. And this is just my formula for lucrative (ahem, payable) projects. I always have personal side projects going on as well.
And I think that's a really important aspect to anyone's professional career. As much as we should immerse ourselves in the work that we do, I think, in order to keep perspective as well as flex our creative, passionate sides, we need to have other projects that we are working on in the background.
For me, that involves writing books. My ultimate goal as a writer is to have a published book, so I just keep plugging away at different ideas, different genres of writing and general creative workouts. I also love crafting, and I often have 2-3 larger projects that are going on somewhere in my office. These are the things that allow me to exercise my creative side but in a way that isn't stressful - there are no expectations and no deadlines. It's solely about what I want to do when I want to do it.
And I think it's these side projects that really help me stay sane as well as stay sharp.
So find your side projects and keep them tucked in your back pocket.
Jennifer Cox is a regular Suburban columnist and blogger, and writes for daily newspapers as well as national magazines. She's a social media guru, a Suzy Homemaker wannabe, and the mother of a 3-year-old son.