In this time, we should all be looking for self care, but being an author is especially tough because our finances depend on our creativity.
Yet with so much going around, bad news, politics, family health and our own personal problems, we really need to understand self care in order to help us produce more.
Digging deep down, taking care of our mental state as author, really frees the muse.
I’m a testament to this truth. In the past year my mother and my best friend passed away.
My creativity was shattered and even though I wanted to write, I couldn’t.
I learned some hard lessons which I’m going to share with you.
As an author, especially a self published author, we make plans to write, publish and market, but we rarely make plans to take care of ourselves.
I was a single mom, working 40 hours a week, running an organization and trying to publish at least four books a year. The last thing I was thinking about was my mental health. There were a billion other things to think about and I used every minute of every day to maximize my time – including sleep.
I never slept for enjoyment, I slept because I needed to and once I was refreshed, I woke to start working again.
That sounds insane, but it’s the truth.
Sooner or later, I was going to hit a brick wall when I had personal deaths effect me, a pandemic change my life, and learning to cope with not being able to see my friends, with the world changing, I began to slow down and soon I stopped.
I hit my brick wall.
For two weeks, I was in a daze and unsure of what to do.
I needed to get back on the horse. I knew this and I wanted to share with you how I did it.
- Find a hobby outside of writing
For me it was gardening and binge watching movies/TV shows. I know this sounds lame, but I still kept productive by watching YouTube videos. When I binged, I occasionally found videos with no one talking and could look over at the screen and learn something new.
2. Don’t feel guilty when you don’t write
Guilt has a tendency to build up until you’re blocked not only with your writing, but your productivity in other facets of your life. If you can’t you can’t and it’s okay to not be okay, but you have to be fine with this. You never want to disturb your muse especially when she doesn’t want to be bothered and guilt tends to annoy the frick out of her.
I meditated, prayed and slept. My mother used to say if something bothers you, go to sleep. If it’s that’ important, it’ll still be there when you wake up but at least you’ll be fully rested to address the issue.
I slept all day, getting out of bed only for my benefit job and I felt wonderful. I could feel my muse coming back slowly and that made me feel so wonderful.
3. Can’t write? Research or think about promo ideas. How about join a writing group and talk about writing. These are ideas to do if you still want to feel a little productive.
In any case, take one day at time. Your muse will move when she wants to and forcing her will only make getting back on the horse harder.
Remember two tips:
Baby steps count too.
Keep note books close by in case you inspire the muse because you’re taking care of yourself.
Soon you’ll be writing more and becoming even more productive.
Happy writing and blessings on all your literary endeavors.