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Self-Care For Authors: Strategies for Balancing Creativity and Well-Being

Self-care. 


It’s a phrase that gets tossed around a lot. It may conjure images of relaxing in fuzzy slippers and eating bon bons, but it’s way more than that. Self-care is maintenance for our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental well-being. 


We are each responsible for our own self-care… hence the “self.” That doesn’t mean relationships don’t play a role in these areas of our lives, but it also doesn’t mean we should leave the duty solely to others. We must take care of ourselves.


And authors are no different. 



Self-Care An Ounce Of Prevention...


Many authors are working day jobs while filling their downtime with writing, publishing and marketing endeavors. Or, if you’re a full time author, you're most likely rolling full steam ahead to make a go at the publishing life. In either case, you might find yourself burning the candle at both ends, and that can quickly lead to burnout.


The self-care solution?


A proactive approach to self-care is the best way to prevent burnout.


"Build self-care into your daily routine," says Sierra Kay, author of six thriller novels. "Everyone's writing routine is different, so your self-care will look different too."


This can be a morning devotional, making lunch time sacred, taking a walk after work or making time for friendships. Building self-care into your day, gives you the well-being and fuel to focus when it comes time for writing.


When Burnout Happens


Even with our best laid plans, writers are susceptible to burnout. How can we read the signs that burnout is approaching?


"Listen to your body," Sierra Kay says. "It's easy to get caught up in the groove of the story. Your mind may be willing to keep writing, but your body will let you know if you've been sitting too long." There comes a time when your body reaches its limit, no matter how ergonomic your chair is designed.


The self-care solution?


Step away from the screen & Into Life


Whether it be for thirty-seconds or 30-days, stepping away from your screen and writing can make a huge difference in your physical and mental state. Take that time away to self-care.


"Stepping away from the screen is important. As an author I write better when I am experiencing life. Go outside, do things, be with friends. It may feel like you're not being productive unless you're in front of the computer, but time away can actually make you more productive."


the Blank Screen Conundrum


Taking care of ourselves is not only good for our well-being, but also our creativity. If you've found yourself frustrated with a blank screen, it may be time for a mind and body refresh.


"If you don't self-care you're going to have a struggle; creative or physical. It can manifest in many ways," Kay said. And this goes for anyone, not just authors.


The self-care solution?


Space.

"Giving my mind space is an act of self-care," Kay said.


This can come in many forms such as going to the gym, taking a walk, a bubble bath or gardening.


"Talking to someone who you know is going to make you laugh is self-care," Kay said. "Laughter is the best medicine."


Putting yourself in a more relaxed space will not only refresh you personally, but it will also allow creativity a place to grow.


"Many times the answer I seek comes when I am doing something else," Kay said.


Take note of this the next time you are in the shower, on the treadmill, laughing with your friends or enjoying a delicious meal. Allow yourself to relax. Allow solutions, answers and creativity to blossom in the blank space.


Sierra Kay Take-Aways


What are some signs that an author has reached burnout status?

  1. Your writing no longer lights you up.

  2. Your creativity seems lackluster.

  3. You resent having to write instead of looking forward to it.

  4. Your body is tense.


Incorporating self-care and making it a priority can turn things around fast. Here are some examples and ideas you can use to get you started:

  1. Step away from the screen; no matter how long.

  2. Exercise. It's hard to get started and easy to stop. Find a good routine.

  3. Take a bath. Soaking in water can calm your nerves and spark creativity.

  4. Drink more water. Staying adequately hydrated is important.

  5. Take a walk. Movement works the body and stirs the spirit.

  6. Get fresh air. Open a window.

  7. Engage in a hobby outside of writing.

  8. Spend time with people! Friends are a blessing.

  9. Find a way to let and go. Laughter is the best medicine!


What Sierra Kay Take Away are you ready to implement? Comment below, we'd love to know!


Click the hashtag for more #writingtips


Self-care for authors

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