Writer's Self Care
Refilling the Creativity Well

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?

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)

bmo recharge gif

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!

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Do you practice self-care? If so, share some of your methods below! Let’s trade our secrets.

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  • Ashley Lloyd Smith

    July 10, 2018 at 10:32 am

    I couldn't use scriviner as my writing is always done a million miles from phones and the internet!

  • Ashley Lloyd Smith

    July 10, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I approached my first novel as a bucket list (last year I decided I would run a marathon before work, some things are impossible I'm sure but I knew I could do that - at the time! - and I knew I could write a novel if I just kept my mind open and kept writing.) I went on a writing retreat last week, writing in the blazing sun and getting a tan for once, but even though in that heat (static caravan was even hotter inside!) I could write plenty quickly enough and got 7000 words done in probably less than 8 hours after all. I just had to look after myself so I didn't fall asleep or something. It's important, thanks for giving tips.

  • Ana

    April 24, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    This. All of this. RIGHT HERE! Thank you so much for this post. I love it. As a working mom with two young children, there is never enough time to do much of anything for myself, including my writing. And you included BuJo! Yaas! My BuJo is the one thing keeping my head from spinning off my shoulders.

  • Heidi @ The Meddlesome Scholar

    December 30, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    So good. I'll stop having cookies for breakfast. And I suppose I could finally do my laundry. No, but I really liked the part about our rubbish novels being good later, because I totally feel that! What is it about a first draft that is just so... utterly awful? Great article!

  • Sophie Li

    September 22, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Hello! I absolutely love these tips. Because I also have a full-time job, a dog, and other hobbies, I find myself scraping together time to write every day. This means that when I have 1 hour of spare time, I force myself to write, even if I don't want to. I may need to take some of your tips into consideration, like taking the time to nap or to read a book :) Cheers, Sophie

    • Joel Rochester
      to Sophie Li

      September 24, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you so much, Sophie! It's definitely hard trying to find time to write, but I definitely wish you luck on your writing journey! Hopefully, you'll be able to fill your creative well back up soon!

  • Grace Osas

    September 10, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Yeah boy! Face masks are pretty awesome. Korean skincare is enticing but I don't have a job right now so it'll be put on hold for now :( Thanks for these tips! (Though I need to do the opposite now and actually start writing again) REVEAL YOUR BULLET JOURNAL

    • Joel Rochester
      to Grace Osas

      September 13, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      Korean Face Masks? Definitely will have to try those. And don't you worry Grace, I think I might write a post up on it!

  • Cal's Constant Raving Reviews

    September 9, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    That gif from Adventure Time with the cute lil gameboy encapsulates self care perfectly! So!!! Cute!!!

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Hey friends! I’m Joel, the main writer here at Fictional Fates. I’m a reader and writer who advocates for more diversity in literature.

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