As writers, creativity is our natural fuel in which we use to craft our stories and characters. The worlds we create with our minds are so extended and full of imagination, it takes a lot to come up with them.
Hence, this well can run dry and we encounter something called Writer’s Block or a Creativity Block. We can sometimes work our way through it but other times, we stress ourselves to no end coming up with a solution for our stories.
However, we’re putting so much care into our stories, we’ve forgotten to care for ourselves.
I myself, have sometimes forgotten to care for myself while I’m writing and I’ve gone days without getting a proper break. I became stressed and everything piled upon me, my writing lifestyle at that moment wasn’t working. Words nor solutions came to mind and I felt myself almost starting to give up.
What happened next?
Tip #1: RECOGNISE YOU NEED SELF-CARE.
I discovered self-care and everything changed. It took time, but I learned that my body and my mind is the most important tool when it comes to my writing. It allowed me to regain faith in myself as a writer.
Also, if you think you’re an “aspiring writer”, STOP. As soon as you put words of your story on a page, you’re a writer. You are writing and someone who writes is called a writer.
As writers, we should make time for taking care of ourselves away from our writing. Through proper self-care, we step away from our writing and give ourselves time to rest and relax. We give ourselves time to sift through the problems in our mind and come back to our projects feeling renewed and ready to take them on like the badasses we are.
Think of the sessions of self-care you take as pit stops, on the road of your writing. You aren’t slowing down, you’re refueling for the journey ahead. (ok I’m low-key proud of these two sentences)
We are all trying to create the best stories possible for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean we should sacrifice ourselves in the process.
Since making time for self-care, my productivity levels have risen by a significant amount. I find that I have more to write and that thoughts come more easily to me. While I was stressed on A Mirror of Smoke, I had no other ideas because I was so stressed on working AMoS out. Now, I have three other projects that have been shelved away and I’m excited to write them.
Self-care has helped me reach a stage of my creative process that I’m happy with.
How does one commit to self-care?
Tip #2: Honestly, you need to make time for it.
On your phone, in a planner or a journal, schedule some time every day or every week for you to step away and do things that make you happy.
For me, this was reading my current read or watching some youtube videos. More recently, I’ve been trying to take care of my skin more as well with using facial washes and face masks. (Highly recommend using face masks, your face feels so smooth afterward!) I also did a bit of baking and bullet journaling which helped me put focus onto other things.
Some days, I just nap. Sleep is something I’ve also been trying to get more of and by taking a nap every so often, I wake up feeling revitalized and with my mind fresh for writing.
But, it isn’t a one and done thing. You might feel stressed once again and everything pile upon you.
Tip #3: Stick to a consistent schedule. Self-care even when it’s not needed.
Sticking to a consistent schedule is so important. By doing so, you’ll always know that you have time for self-care if you ever needed it again.
Also, practicing it even when you don’t need it is important as well. Even though you may not think you’ll need it, the time you take out of your day could mean more to you than you know. Our journeys would be nothing without these
Our journeys would be nothing without these pit stops along the way. Some tasks are easier if you pace yourself along the way, going too fast could destroy your engines. (wow, I’m sorry I shouldn’t refer to writers as cars but hahaha, blame my new job)
Tip #4: Organise your life.
If everything in your mind is cluttered, stop. Write these thoughts down and begin to slowly sift through them. If your writing project is becoming cluttered, create files and folders and have a good organisation session. I highly recommend using Scrivener if you’re writing your novel on your computer. Otherwise, a good ol’ ringbinder or Lever Arch will do! Sorting out things makes things easier in the long run! Also, if you don’t have a planner or journal, I highly recommend getting one as it can help keep yourself on task and on schedule.
I’ve committed to a method called the Bullet Journal but any planner will do. (although, I might do a post on bullet journals for writers!)
But, having an organised and clean space makes it easier for you to be productive. Everything is easily accessible since you’ve made a designated place for it!
Tip #5: Think Positively
“I will finish my novel.
My novel may be utter rubbish now, but it will be great later on.
I can do this.”
I CAN DO THIS. You can do this. Introducing some mantras into your life on thinking positively can have a massive impact on your life. I found that it’s not only improved myself as a person, but it’s also improved myself as a person.
Thinking positively helps you have a better outlook on life, and feeling like you can do anything you can set your mind to. That feeling, although sometimes rare, is incredible.
If you want to read up more on writerly self-care, here are 10 Ways to Care For Yourself as a Writer by Kristen Kieffer over at Well-Storied. If you also have any articles on writerly self-care that you’ve written or found, do let me know and I’ll add it in!
Do you practice self-care? If so, share some of your methods below! Let’s trade our secrets.