Has anybody felt pressure to write during quarantine and felt bad about ignoring it? Or have you thrown yourself into major productivity to distract yourself from the world’s problems? (me) No matter which path you went down – and may still be on – it is important to note that we as writers must practice self care, despite and because of what it happening around us. Today I am going to outline three things I do regularly – and not so regularly – to take care of myself and prevent burnout.
First and foremost is listening to myself. It’s crucial to know when to push yourself and keep momentum going and when to stop. Sometimes you want to take a break because something isn’t working or because you want to scroll Instagram. In those cases, ignore the urge! Other times, however, you need a break because you can’t make anymore concrete progress if you don’t. Take some time to learn the difference. Have a conversation with yourself whenever you want to quit. Are you getting scared or is this pause necessary for growth. Understand when enough is enough and don’t push yourself past your limits.
Second, set deadlines. What? But doesn’t that directly defy number one? Yes and no. Personally, deadlines keep me on track and are a form of self care because they keep me focused. When I lose direction or take too much time to complete a task or try doing too many things at once, I get discouraged and my mental health plummets, as well as my enthusiasm for any projects I’m working on. Deadlines hold you accountable and lead to concrete success that you can celebrate.
As well, make time for reading. This one is so crucial as a writer and is the one I’ve neglected the most since I started pursuing my author career seriously. Our own stories do not provide the same escape as other books because we will always percieve them as work on some level. Immerse yourself in other worlds often. Not only is it a great way to relax, but it strengthens your skills as a writer.
Lastly, follow your heart. We may listen to advice from others and feel like we should write certain things because of trends and whatever or be influenced by family, but at the end of the day, listen to yourself. This is your book. This is your author career. Your life. You won’t find happiness if you create something that isn’t true to yourself. You’ll only regret your decisions and be less inclined to try again. Own your creativity and don’t let anyone drag you down.
So, I hope you guys liked these probably unconventional self care for writers tips. Let me know any and all thoughts in the comments or drop me a line on Instagram at emmathewriter.
My next post will be about Street Teams. If you’d like to be notified as soon as the post comes out, subscribe to my newsletter!