Whether you are feeling overwhelmed or not, self-care is essential. As writers, we can feel the drive to continue writing even when tired because our work is not necessarily labelled as a job, it’s something we enjoy, and the completion of our goals usually begins with finishing the first draft. So, even if we work in another profession during the day or feel overwhelmed by world news, we continue to write.
To continue to get the most out of our writing lives, we must show up to the blank page feeling well. Being burned out, experiencing overwhelm, or anything in between can seriously impact our creativity and ability to write words. So, how can we practice self-care as a writer?
First of all, what is self-care? Well, it’s taking care of your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs. This can look like taking a walk daily, asking a friend for support, giving yourself time to meditate, or engaging the services of a coach.
Now that we know that, how can we apply this to our writing lives?
Keeping a writing journal is a fantastic way to apply self-care to our writing lives. This means taking some time for you and your thoughts and writing your writing process and journey. It’s an act of creative writing in itself and can be inspiring, fulfilling, and can even show you how much progress you have made in your writing life.
Stepping away from the desk.
Writing is sedentary, and we often sit in front of a blank page for hours. Remember to take a step away from your desk. Taking a deep breath, stretching your limbs, walking around the neighbourhood – all these things will help you feel more relaxing, more inspired, and more open to writing.
Reading helps us become better writers in so many ways, but the very act of reading is also incredibly relaxing, as we allow ourselves to slip into other worlds and explore new realms. Remember to read often, even if it’s only five minutes a day. Your writing life will improve because of it.
Engaging in community.
Socialising with other writers is such a fantastic experience. I just ran The Writing Week Retreat, and every single person on it said that the community was one of their favourite things. It gives you the chance to talk through your feelings on your writing, gain feedback on your work, and understand what you excel at. Don’t discount the power of chatting to other writers – it can change your output, keep you accountable, and give you the gift of strengthing your prose.
Speaking to a writing coach.
It’s rare in life that we have the opportunity to sit and talk to an active listener about what we want to work on and how to move forward. Coaching is powerful because of exactly this – you are given the opportunity to talk, be listened to, and find solutions to your concerns. Coachingcan make you a happier writer and give you the tools you need to take the next step.
Actively working on your mindset.
Mindset often holds writers back from sharing, creating, and generally being their best creative selves. Working with a coach will help you understand that your thoughts are not fact, banish imposter syndrome, and stop that tricky comparison game. Want to begin? Check out these coaching questions here.
Viewing yourself with generosity.
How would you speak to another writer? With enthusiasm, joy, excitement about their work, and care. You should talk to yourself in the same way. You are doing an incredible job, writer, and a reader is waiting for you to share your story.
Anything you want to add? Let me know here.
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