Sabbatical Stories

Justin’s Book Writing Sabbatical

justin's book writing sabbatical

Justin, enabled by his employer’s policy, takes a 12-week book writing sabbatical. Justin uses his time off to take an adventure to further explore his passion, and he discovers much about himself.

I leveled up in adventure, writing, and life.

justin's book writing sabbatical

Tell us about your sabbatical:

I just went into the desert and started writing a book.

I’ve been writing for 8 years, and it’s been primarily used as a vehicle for processing.  Dumping out all the thoughts in my head, packaging them, and seeking clarity for what’s going on in my life.  Mountains of journals working through the ups and downs of work, trying to get myself into a good mental headspace.  A lot of the writing has been a concerted effort to convert “this thing isn’t working for me” to “this is a new perspective of that thing that I can work with”.  Writing manifested itself when something sat heavy on my mind.  It served as a way to work through it.  

Writing the book during the sabbatical shifted the dynamics of writing for me. So much of the book came with a blank slate. I didn’t have anything to unpack, I just needed to sit down and write. 

I learned a ton about myself. Had a lot of fun. But it was also hard. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone. I feel more confident now. It was a very positive experience.

Activities you engaged in during your sabbatical as possible:
Lots of adventuring in nature, mostly solo
Lots of writing

justin takes time off and makes a book writing sabbatical out of it

How long was your sabbatical (in weeks)?

Did HOW you work change at all, post-sabbatical?
No major change

What kind of work did you return to?
Same company, same role

Describe any changes you made in your life post-sabbatical:
Much more positive about my life

How did your sabbatical experience change the way you thought about your employer?
I valued the friends I worked with more

Why do you think others should (or shouldn’t) take sabbaticals? Are there occasions in life where it’s particularly helpful?

It’s a great life experience.

You can connect with Justin Renfro here.

Interested in reading more sabbatical stories where people pursue their passions? Check out Marielena’s story.

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