#TXReads: South Texas Author Says Take Time Off, Pursue a Slower Way of Life

by Lili Cardiff on May 14, 2020 in Entertainment, Living Texas, What I'm Reading,
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Author and Texas lover John Fitch is easy to celebrate, however book lovers should definitely celebrate him during the month of May – Texas Writers Month.

Texas Writers Month began in 1994 as an effort to get Texas bookstores and media outlets to feature their local authors more prominently and a way for the community at large to celebrate the craft of writing and the work that goes into publishing books. This year, the statewide celebration is being brought to you by the Author to Influencer Accelerator, a DIY book publicity membership community.
Texas Writer’s Month is being celebrated a little differently this year due to COVID-19, but it is no less important.

A tried and true south Texas native John Fitch, the co-author of “TIME OFF: A Practical Guide to Building Your Rest Ethic and Finding Success without the Stress,” grew up farming and ranching in El Campo, TX, home of the rice birds. He also graduated from UT’s 40 Acres and is so grateful for that beautiful campus. 

Fitch grew up reading books written by Tom Lea, another Texas author, this time from El Paso. Lea’s novels “The Brave Bulls” and “The Wonderful Country” captivate Fitch just like watching western movies fascinated him as a kid. Tom Lea is mainly known as an illustrator and artist, but Fitch finds his writing to be world-class.

Having a background primarily in design, Fitch relates to Lea because he is now breaking into writing as another form of expression. Fitch applauds artists who have a range of mediums, and Lea has motivated him to do the same. Fitch is starting with non-fiction but hopes to weave his rural upbringing into some of his other writing. “When I read Tom’s work, I become more proud of the beauty found in the Southwest,” says Fitch.

Texas author John Fitch’s favorite things about Texas are “old dance halls, truck tailgate happy hours with cold beers, the friendly waves you get on a daily basis, the smell of Texas soil, and how each small town spread across our vast state can seem like its own little country.” Courtesy photo

In Texas, Fitch lives out one of his favorite quotes from his grandfather: “Where I hang my cowboy hat is my home.” This son of the south now lives in Austin and loves walking into South Congress Books to touch books way older than himself. “It is a humbling reminder that our ideas can live much longer than us,” he says. 

As many of us experience an enforced change of pace due to stay at home orders, “TIME OFF” hits a chord as it looks at how modern society is confusing busyness with productivity, and offers solutions to help us all prioritize our “rest ethic” and be more creative. 

Amidst a culture that, in normal times, worships “busyness,” Fitch and fellow millennial and co-author Max Frenzel want us to unlearn workaholism by learning the “noble leisure” of the past and developing a quality #RestEthic.

Author of “TIME OFF” John Fitch now lives in Austin and loves walking into South Congress Books.
Photo courtesy South Congress Books

The AI researcher (Frenzel) and entrepreneur (Fitch) have collaborated to share the history of how we value time and work, show us that a little time off will go a lot further than we may think, and that it doesn’t have to be a vacation or even a full day. 

Science supports that time off (whether that be walking on your lunch break or saying no to drinks with friends to work on a passion project) is a critical factor for anyone who wants to achieve a fulfilling life, both personally and professionally. “TIME OFF” is intended for knowledge workers, creatives, entrepreneurs and business leaders who feel overwhelmed, giving them the knowledge and tools to hone the essential skill of taking time off work before it’s too late.

Inspired to read more? Then, check out these other Texas authors with newly released books: 

Judy Gaman –  Love, Life, and Lucille 

Chrysta Castaneda –  The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens

Douglas A. Burton –  Far Away Bird

Ruby Walker –  Advice I Ignored

Douglas FergusonBeyond the Prototype

Jill GrimesThe Ultimate College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness  

Now, join Marika Flatt from PR by the Book in this video celebrating May: Texas Writers Month.

Cover photo courtesy John Fitch

Lili Cardiff is an Assistant Publicist at PR by the Book and an honors graduate from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Communications and Journalism.