Four Self-Care Tips for Writers
by Suzie Eller
Are you waking up, only to realize that you have “worked” all night rather than actually slept? Is that deadline taking over your life? Are you stressing because you aren’t where you want to be in your writing career? If your answer to these questions is a resounding yes, it may be that you’re out of balance.
In today’s Tuesday Tip we’ll take a look at four self-care tips for the writer.
1. Balance your writing life with real life
Many beginning writers struggle to create space for their writing. However, as time goes on the opposite may occur. That deadline takes over your life. The desire to succeed creates unhealthy boundaries. You pile on every good opportunity, whether it’s your assignment or not.
As you take on new opportunities, weigh them. Pray over them. Ask these questions:
• What are the real requirements for this project?
• How much time will it take — per project, per day, per hour?
• Is this doable in this season?
• Is this my assignment?
2. Create a start and stop time
When our brains are exhausted, we probably aren’t creating great content. Creating a start and stop time allows you to work at a solid pace, and then offer yourself a definite stop. Your brain can rest and refuel.
What if you are in the groove? That’s only something you can determine, but the truth is that “groove” can be exhausting after awhile. We start using our creativity as an excuse to shut out rest.
TIP: If you have a couple of thoughts you still want to explore, write down those thoughts in one paragraph and then turn your computer off.
3. Go outside
Go for a walk. Sit on the back porch. Play with the kids. Walk with a friend or your spouse. Allow your brain to clear. This tangible break allows you to walk out of the deadline or urgency of writing to simply experience the moment.
4. Connect with other writers
I meet with a handful of writers, who have become good friends, once a month. Sometimes we talk about writing. Sometimes we encourage each other in our writing. Sometimes we share writing news or tips with each other. Sometimes we just eat sweet rolls and laugh or cry.
If there are not writers in your area, create a small group online where you and a handful of writers can get together on a regular basis. Pray for each other. Talk about writing. Meet face-to-face in a Google hangout or by Zoom or through another means of face-to-face connection.
Last, join COMPEL Training. We aren’t just training you how to write and publish, but we have a powerful community of writers who have become friends.
Take a moment to consider the reasons that balance is so important as a writer. Leave a comment on the COMPEL Blog about an area where you are out of balance and what your plan is to refuel so you can prayerfully carry out the assignment God has entrusted you with. Take a moment to also adjust your expectations or goals to fit your real life.
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Most mornings, I visualize myself placing my project and my plan at the foot of the Throne. It’s my offering to God. Sometimes He takes it as it is. Sometimes He tweaks it and gives it right back. Sometimes he holds it for a season and then returns it to me. And all too often, I hold it tight to my chest and insist I’ll do it my way (which doesn’t usually work out for the best).
That beautiful Shirlee. I’m working on discerning the voice of God. I think one change I need to make is to be still and listen.
[…] a moment to consider the reasons that balance is so important as a writer. Leave a comment on the COMPEL Blog about an area where you are out of balance and what your plan is to refuel so […]