Self Care for Writers: How to Care Well for Your Writing Life
As you may know if you’ve followed me for any length of time, I believe that there are specific ways you can support yourself in your writing career and that you NEED certain things in your life if you are going to seriously make writing a habit. But often we don’t take very good care of our writing life. I think it’s because we don’t know how and we don’t where to start. In this post, I list three important steps for writers to take care of themselves.
Step 1: Find a supportive writing community.
If you want to thrive as a writer, you need other people around you who understand the writing life and who can cheer you on when you need it. Try not to skip over this one. It can be easy to shrug off this need and say it’s not absolutely essential. But it is! And it’s easier than ever to find a writing community. Join the Inkling Facebook Group, start your own online group, find a group of writers on Instagram, or check your local library for a group. You can also look into several paid membership options such as Hope Writers. Check out my resource library for a few of these. (And let me know if you have any suggestions of good groups I can add to that list!)
Step 2: Create space in your life for writing.
I don’t mean on the schedule, though that’s essential. I mean make a place to write in your house and make sure that your writing takes up physical space in your life in some way-that might just be a notebook on your nightstand or your writing goals taped to the wall with cute washi tape. Or it might be transforming your guest bedroom to a writing retreat. Go big or small as it suits your space and needs, but make sure there is a place you go to write with your tools and goals all laid out and ready to go.
Step 3: Choose to be a writer.
Many writers struggle to believe that they are a “real” writer. They have lots of self-doubt, the self-criticism train runs pretty much their entire session, and they constantly feel like they have to explain, defend, or prove that they are worthy of the title of writer.
As a result, they struggle to write. It’s no surprise. Their writing time is fraught with emotional pain. I wouldn’t want to write either.
Deal with this immediately. Don’t dismiss it as part of the writing life. It doesn’t have to be this way. Decide that you are a writer and then don’t let your internal critic tell you otherwise. Print out writing affirmations (there is a beautiful printable in the Inkling Secret Library) and hang them in your bathroom and read it while you brush your teeth. Read Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Take the Build Your Writing Life Course where we spend three sessions dealing with this and kicking those doubts to the curb once and for all.
Use these three areas to guide your own writing self-care. Make sure that you are caring well for yourself and your writing life in these areas and watch to see how your writing life is impacted! Got any ideas to add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Do you struggle to make writing a regular habit? I hear you friend! That’s why I created the Build Your Writing LIfe Course--to help writers like you reach your writing dreams by tackling head on the one struggle we all have: Getting words on the page on a regular basis! You can learn more here.