Posted in writer life

Self-Care for Authors

The term self-care didn’t exist when I was growing up. At least, nobody ever talked about it. I actually got an “I’m Third” award at a church camp for putting everyone else before myself. While serving others is good, there is a point that it turns into a detriment.

If you don’t care for yourself, you can’t take care of others.

Refilling your creative well is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in the author community. I’ve touched on it before when discussing getting space from your work and vacationing. There is a reason this theme is preached with such rigor.

An author that is physically and mentally drained cannot create. 

While self-care looks different for everyone, I have found two primary themes prevailing over the landscape.

Simplify your life

Remove as many of the things that cause you stress as possible. That may require planning or purging, but the more “clutter” you can get out of your life, the less there will be to hold you down.

Reward yourself

You work hard. It’s okay to give yourself a little break. Eat some cake. Take a quick nap. Get a massage. Whatever that reward is for you, give yourself something to look forward to at the end of a grueling task.

Having your mind and body in top shape gives you more energy and makes finding motivation easier. When an author finds themself in a bad place in these areas, crafting stories can be nearly impossible.

Take a few minutes to check in with yourself and see if self-care needs to be put back on the menu.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at these articles for a few ideas.

For me, it’s spending time resting. Lying on the couch with a good sheet mask and a cat to snuggle helps me recharge. What practices do you use to keep yourself in a space that is perfect to let your creative juices flow?

Posted in writer life

Two for ’22

I know I’m a little late on this one, but New Year’s resolutions aren’t my thing. While I’m a big goals setter, I feel like waiting for the end of the year to decide to change something is a waste of time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t set goals for the new year. I do, but they are usually smaller pieces of a larger goal.

That being said, I set two main writing goals for 2022.

1. Complete content edit

Some of the edits for my first novel, Batter Days, came down to the wire. This made an already stressful situation a supernova of nerves and angst. I don’t want to live through that again. So I’m proactively setting early deadlines for myself to avoid it. One of the biggest pieces of this is the content edit.

A content edit is where a professional editor sits down and tells you where all the problems are in your novel. For me, this comes after my self-edits and beta reading edits. It’s the first time an editor will see my work and will likely be the most labor-intensive of my professional edits. Once complete, the story should be more or less set with only a good prose polishing needed.

2. Hold three author events/sales

Events are going to be a big part of my strategy moving forward. I want to spend time talking to readers. Maybe even hand out some free swag. Building a relationship with your audience is a sure-fire way to get your book in their hands. That’s why I plan on doing no less than three events this year. 

I already have one on set, a book signing at a library near where I grew up. The rest are still in the embryo stage. Getting through this first event will help me understand what I need to make future events more successful.

I’m curious. What are your goals for 2022? Did you make any? Better yet, what’s your game plan for getting there?