A couple months ago, we realized that we've worked essentially continually on Future Proof Games for years. The two of us have had day jobs, and have tried to maintain a work/life balance, but nights, weekends, and free days still felt like they were, by default, time for FPG work.
That doesn't match our values. We were burned out. Melissa was in a meeting for their day job when they were reminded that many European companies take weeks or months of vacation, often all at once, to rest and relax and break up the otherwise-eternal cycle of work. Meanwhile, we'd increasingly found ourselves dreading even routine FPG work and getting very little done each week.
So we talked about it and ended up taking the entire month of September off of FPG. We handled any server emergencies, but beyond that we resolved to stay away and get some breathing room from our work here. We spent some fun time playing the excellent Warframe and got more space to work on personal projects. It was a very nice change of pace.
I wish I could say that we resumed immediately in October with renewed energy and commitment, but there's been a gradual adjustment period back into regular work, and it hasn't always been easy. Still, I think the break has given us perspective and rest, and we're continuing our work with a new willingness to adjust our practices as needed and focus on the things we like about game development.
We hope that, if you have dream projects or side gigs, that you treat yourself the way you expect bosses to treat their workers. Healthy labor practices don't only apply to large companies; they should apply to all the work you do, even if it's for just yourself. Take time when you need it and treat yourself with love and kindness.