About a year ago, I decided to take a break as an author from what I call my ‘big book’ writing projects – the ones with lengthy deadlines and hundreds of thousands of words. Much as I loved working on these projects, as a writer I was becoming a bit of a one-trick pony. Whereas before I had been working on different projects as a ghostwriter, these types of books were too time-consuming to take on much else, and I began to feel jaded by the long-lasting process. When the last ‘big book’ hit the shelves, I felt the time was right to explore other areas.
After much soul-searching, it occurred to me that I needed more variety in my working life. While being an author working with a brilliant publishing team was great, I realised that I missed meeting new people, working on different types of projects, and writing in different styles. In short, I missed ghostwriting and the diversity it brings.
Thanks to my decision to take a ‘big book’ break, I have worked with a psychologist on a book about fatherhood, consulted with a Silicon Valley executive about an upcoming book on education, collaborated with an author on his war novel, ghosted blogs on behalf of leading figures in education, signed up to ghost a business book for a well-known management consultant, and co-founded United Ghostwriters – a marketplace profiling the UK’s leading professional ghostwriters.
The whole experience has taught me that while I like working on the big projects, I also need variety in my working life to feel fully challenged and engaged. Apparently I’m not the only one. A study conducted by professors from Duke and Wharton universities showed that, overall, we tend to be happier in the workplace when we are working on a variety of tasks rather than the same old ones.
There is a reason for the proverb, ‘variety is the spice of life’. Taking on new projects, meeting new people, or trying new things challenges us, makes us more confident, and overall happier in our working and daily lives.
So, if you’ve always wanted to work on a new project, or reach out to someone you admire, or even do something to enhance your reputation like write a book, then now’s the time. You’ll be surprised how motivated and productive you become when you add a little variety to your life.