The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Modern Day Oracle Meets the BIT Tarot Method

Self-Care for Writers and 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 or even parts of a book proposal.

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:

Tree Sky 2 Physical:

• Drink more water
• Sit outside, on the grass
• Take deeper, longer breaths
• Cut back on coffee
• Get moving or walking
• Don’t “push through” aches or pains
• Make more food “from scratch”

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 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

Rainbow water 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 Starbucks (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 yoube 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!

-- Janet

Comments

Artistsroad.wordpress.com

Hi Janet, you've got some good tips there! There seems to be nice timing here. I've been reflecting a lot on finding time for my own writing, it's related to the post I just did about managing social media (part of that management meant I didn't get to this post immediately).

Your opening line made me think of a blog post I read earlier today by @wordstrumpet about writers loving to write. I commented there that some writers love being writers but don't like the actual process of writing. I think there's something to that.

Account Deleted

Hey Janet, great post. Living in Phoenix, I tend to drink plenty of water. But sometimes I DO forget to eat. Ha. Glad to know I'm not alone in my obsessive ways. Thanks for the tips and the helpful reminder to take care of ourselves. One thing I find helps me when I'm feeling overwhelmed or run down is a long walk with one of my dogs.

Janet Boyer

I forget to eat, too! I get so wrapped up in reading, researching, Kindling, etc. The other day, after having my head buried in my Kindle for an hour or two, I got up quickly...and not only got dizzy, but started to shake. I had to lunge to the couch to keep from getting seriously hurt (I had banged into a radio and pile of books). Turns out, I forgot to eat breakfast. The sad part? This was AFTER I wrote this blog post! Argggh! (And I haven't drank much today, either. *sigh*)

Thanks so much for stopping by, Jessica! Walking the dog...what a great way to relax and decompress. What kind of dogs do you have, by the way?

Janet Boyer

Very interesting! Isn't it cool how there almost seems to be a "topic of the day" on Twitter where everyone seems to be thinking of/dealing with the same thing? Can you share a link to your managing social media post? I could use that bit of wisdom, too! Thanks for stopping by. :o)

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