Today I want to share about self care for writers. None of the writing professionals I have come across talked about self care. Their focus was exclusively on the book. But books don’t exist in a vacuum. Books are one of the components of a relationship between a writer and their book. It’s a bit like the mother and child relationship. If you focus only on the child, the mother will deplete and soon the child won’t be care for properly.
So let’s treat ourselves as the carers of our books and make sure we look after ourselves. As a healer, I have come across hundreds of depleted women whose bodies have broken down for giving too much. There are specific risks related to the writing life and I would like to offer my three top tips for writers today.
Tip #1: Use the pomodoro technique
Only write for stretches of twenty five minutes at a time. Set a timer on your phone. Stick to it. And by stick to it, I mean both switch off the phone and distractions but more importantly: do not exceed that time. You will start to become less efficient. There is a lot more to the pomodoro technique to this but if you start with that, you will already be ahead of your game.
At the end of your twenty five minutes, get up, have a good stretch, do five to ten minutes of yoga. Or go do something completely different. Again, put a timer for this so you don’t get distracted. But if you only have twenty five minutes to write per day, then great, you have already achieve your daily goal.
Tip #2: Take up a physical activity that will get you toned
As a writer, it is very important that you have well toned core muscles and generally be fit. Agreed, for most writers, this is probably bottom of their priority list. But I am urging you to think differently. Even if it is just going for a half hour walk every day, you need the physical activity to get you out of your head. Writers live in their heads. They often neglect their bodies. This is no long term strategy. Your body is your friend for life. Neglect it now and you will regret it later. Bitterly. Besides, if that was the only reason to do it, being fit will help you think better. I get my best ideas whilst running. And some writers even dictate their books whilst on a walk. Break down the myth of the writer bent over their computer in a stuffy room.
If you already have back problems, I highly recommend Somatics. Click here to find out about downloadable classes that can help you correct your posture and do away with back pain or RSI. (Note this is not an affiliate link – I do not get paid to share this).
Tip #3: Embrace another creative activity
Sign up for a calligraphy class, a gardening class or a crochet club. Do things with your hands. It ties in with tip #2 but in a different way. To get creative you need to get our of your head. As a writer, you have a higher chance to get stuck in your head because your head is your tool. You need to spend a lot of time there to write but you can also get lost in it. Trapped. To get you out of that trap, play with crayons, take up painting. Do something that does not require thinking. Or you will run the risk of overthinking everything. Your writing will be enriched by it. Who knows, you will then have the necessary experience to describe what your main character, a painter, is going through because you will have first hand experience. Writers need to be curious. They need to do research. The more activities you try, the broader your writing vocabulary will be. And by vocabulary, I don’t mean just word. I mean real life experience.
Voila. Here are my top three self care tips for writers. I would love for you to comment below and tell me if this article was useful of share your personal self care tips as a writer.
Self care is one of my speciality as a well being professional. If you would like to have a coach that helps you look after yourself better and maybe support you emotionally through your writing journey, why not book a session with me. You can pay for it here at an introductory price. Please note that I only work with female writers.
To your writing,
(c) Ange de Lumiere 2017