From the President: The Well-Being of a Writer
Your physical and mental well being as a writer is as important as promotion, networking, or learning the craft of telling a good story. In fact, I believe a writer’s mental frame of mind is paramount to the writing process. Have you tried to work when you are tired? Have you tried to force a story when it isn’t coming? Have you stared at a blank screen, the cursor blinking and blinking?
Most writers face situations like the ones above. We hit walls. We become physically and/or emotionally drained. How do we write when that happens? What if we have a deadline? What if an agent or editor is expecting that proposal?
Don’t block your own success
That is why we writers must take care of ourselves. As we strive to write, we need to take time to rest and rejuvenate.A good night’s sleep, exercise, and nutritious meals will all help you stay in top physical and mental condition.
Take the time for a walk or go to the movies with a friend. Read a book. Do whatever relaxes you. If you don’t, your mind will get so tired it can’t string words together in coherent sentences. Learn to say no when you have too much on your plate. If you have to, practice saying no.
Build in manageable goals
Give yourself a day off. Sometimes when I’m under deadline, I find myself writing seven days a week. That’s okay for a couple of weeks, but any longer than that can affect your abilities.
If you have a word count goal, you think of having a weekly goal instead of a daily one. That way, if on Tuesday you don’t make your word count, you can forgive yourself and make it up another day.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is take quiet, private time to spend with the Lord. He can give you peace. He can help you remember why you are a writer. He can be your strength when you don’t think you can write another day.
You are the only one who can really take care of yourself. It is not something you should neglect. To do your best work, a clear head and a healthy body can make that task so much easier.