Self-Care for Writers
Welcome, Fantasy Nerds! We decided to cover the topic of self-care for writers this week. Everyone needs to make time for self-care, but we wanted to specifically talk about some ways that writers can recharge our creativity.
Write for No One to See
As writers, we can get caught up in writing for others. We write for “the market” or a specific submission theme. Sometimes we tone down our writing because we are afraid it may be “too much” for our readers, family, or friends. Other times we don’t allow our child-like wishes to come out in our writing, because we think it would be cheesy to write a story where a dragon, a fairy, and a mermaid team up to rescue a princess who only ever wears purple gowns…or whatever story contains everything you love mashed up into one.
Occasionally, just give yourself permission to write whatever is on your heart. You don’t have to show it to anyone. You can just write what needs to get out in order to unblock yourself. You can write something corny that makes you really happy. You can write something terribly melancholy because it needs to get off your chest.
I do this when I feel like I am stuck. I have a job where I see and hear a lot of dark things, but in my writing and reading I usually like to escape into a fantasy. Every so often, it happens that I have things weighing on me that I need to express. Sometimes these dark moments or themes do make it into my stories, and other times I just vent them on paper and no one else sees them. Give this idea a try the next time you feel stuck.
Most writers tend to spend a lot of time in our heads. Too often, our heads are not an encouraging environment. It takes effort to switch from frequent self-criticism to self-love, but it is a worthwhile pursuit. Taking some time to remind yourself of your positive qualities and successes can be a big help, especially if you do this before a writing session. Try to catch yourself when you have a negative thought about yourself or your abilities, and see if you can turn it into a positive thought.
Connect with Other Writers
No one is going to understand the joys and struggles of writing better than other writers. It helps to have people who will cheer on your successes and allow you to vent your frustrations. Both of us have grown as writers by working together and learning from each other.
Even if you don’t know any writers, you can easily find groups online. We have a group for fantasy writers called Clever & WTF’s Fantasy Nerds, and we would love to have you join! Clever is also a moderator and guest speaker for a wonderful group of women writers called Creative Central. You can also look for local writer’s associations to join, if you prefer in person meetings. We encourage you to make an effort to find at least one other writer you can connect with.
Get Excited About Your Story
Keeping the excitement alive is a key to creativity, but sometimes we writers can forget that. Take some time to bring the fun and joy back into your writing process. Create drawings of your characters or a map of your world. Make a collage with actors who would play your characters and places that remind you of the setting. If you aren’t much of an artist, you could even pay someone on Fiverr to draw fan art of your main character. Find a way to celebrate your story that speaks to you!
Reconnect with Your “Why”
Why do you write? This is an excellent question to ask yourself if you’re in a rut. Reflecting on what inspired you to be a writer, as well as why you continue to write is so helpful. Getting back to those roots can be a great way to rejuvenate yourself!
Read for Pleasure
As a writer I sometimes find it difficult to get lost in a book like I used to. In a strange way, it’s a reminder of what I’m lacking in myself. I’m sure we’ve all felt this way at some point, but remember why we read! To enjoy an incredible story, escape into new worlds, and to gain an attachment to characters is a feeling like no other. It’s healthy to take a break, and read just for the pure joy of it! It can also help you feel refreshed, especially when you’re experiencing someone else’s writing, and not lost in your own!
What Do You Think?
What are some self-care practices that help you? Do you like our list? Let us know in the comments below! Self-care is important for you as a person, and a writer! As always, if you enjoy our blog feel free to buy us a cup of coffee, we promise to share!
Thanks so much for reading!
-Clever & WTF