Creative Leadership - Tough Calls Must Be Made
The Gap Between Ideas and Execution

Self-Care for Writers (and Other Obsessive Creatives)

Pencils Hard to believe, but not all writers love to write.

Me? I usually have a notebook (er, many notebooks) on hand to jot down ideas. I’m not picky: I’ve been known to write down ideas on book jacket covers, bookmarks, grocery lists, receipts, Kleenex…

Some of these ideas turn into full-blown blog posts, reviews, social media postings, portions of eBooks, parts of a book proposal or even a book proper.

But what if you write (and read and think) so much, you neglect your well-being?

If you love brainstorming and writing and much as I do, you may be swept along in “creator’s high”—a place of exhilarating, tantalizing “what ifs” and the magical birthplace of readable, usable, helpful content.

As I sometimes joke to my husband, “I’m only alive from the neck up”.

And that can present a problem. Or two.

Here’s a recent example: I was experiencing unusual fatigue and sleepiness over the weekend. This lasted two, three days.

My husband said, “You’re dehydrated.”

Glass waterWhaaa? Me? But, but…I drink three cups of coffee a day! And ginger ale! And sweet tea (decaffeinated!), brewed with loving hands with fresh mint from the garden!

“How much water do you drink?”, he asks solemnly.

No sooner than he asks me this, the other half of the Boyer health police comes barreling in from the other room: “She never drinks water! I even filled up a bottle for her!”

Sigh. Just write me a citation and leave me the hell alone.

Then, Ron mentions a health article he had just read on the symptoms of dehydration.

Lethargy? Check.

Fuzzy thinking? Check.

Yikes.

Isn’t it funny how we tend to ignore our loved ones, even with they are the (divine?) messengers of health and well-being?

What’s up with that? Do we not trust their observations and wisdom? After all, they know us better than anyone!

So today, I’m contemplating how I, as a writing-loving writer, can take better care of myself. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:


Physical:

• Drink more water Tree Sky 2
• Sit outside, on the grass
• Take deeper, longer breaths
• Cut back on coffee
• Get moving or walking
• Don’t “push through” aches or pains
• Indulge in my love for cooking and good food

Mental:

• Take time to just “space out” and daydream
• Read just for fun (no reviewing in mind)
• Allow thoughts to attach to clouds, then drift by
• Watch old black-and-white movies or cozy mysteries with Noah
• Any ideas that arise, write them on note cards for later consideration

Emotional:

• Cuddle more with the kitties
• Pursue peace and joy in the moment
• Put on feel-good music of choice
• Take time to “feel” feelings (Aquarius Moon here!)

Spiritual:

• Check in with my values. Am in living in alignment with them?
• Practice loving-kindness meditation
• Talk with The Helpers
• Actively contemplate a Tarot card or sacred object
• Bless others who are brought to mind


In just 24-hours after writing this list, I’ve already referred to it—and used it—twice. It may not stop me from drinking Rainbow waterStarbucks (I’m on my second cup of Colombia at this typing) or working marathon hours every time, but at least by mindfully considering this self-care for writers prescription, I can ameliorate some of the drawbacks of being a writing-loving writer and obsessive creative.

What about you, dear reader? What areas of life might you be neglecting? What steps can you take to increase your own well-being? What self-care tips and tricks can you offer to your fellow writers and obsessive creatives? I'd love to hear your insights in the comments section below!

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