"One of the reasons we become writers
is to live a different kind of life,
a more creative life, more fulfilling
and hopefully, a healthier life."
The quote above is from a fantastic post by Joanna Penn called Healthy Writer Tips: Managing Stress, Anxiety and Burnout. I don't know about you, but I can use all the help I can get dealing with all three of those things. I recommend reading her entire post, so I'll just share some of my takeaways:
* She talks about NOT separating her work from her life; it's all-encompassing, and how this can be wonderful AND exhausting. For me, writing is a huge part of who I am and always has been. I used to try to separate it, especially since so many people in my "real life" often ignored my writing, thus making me feel ignored and invisible. Now, I'm getting better at being my own person, doing my own thing.
* Stress can be positive, when it pushes us to try something new, to step outside our comfort zone, whether in writing or in life. I'm working on a novella, trying to break into new-to-me magazines, and getting back into running. (Let the tears - of hysterical laughter and of pain - begin!)
* One of Penn's suggested Action Steps mentions digital fasting and cutting back on social media and news so we don't get overwhelmed by negativity and suffer from comparisonitis. I find this kind of thing helpful in quieting my mind, especially at night. I only check the news twice a day, and I have a cut-off time for myself when it comes to checking emails and texts.
* In another Action Step, she recommends paying attention to the rhythms of your energy, your life, and allowing for shifts in how you approach everything, including writing projects. I struggle with this, often trying to force a project at that time, in this way. Sometimes it works, usually it doesn't.
"We all need to stop, take a step back and
think about what we want for our lives
in a holistic sense.
Burnout happens in the writer community
when we forget why we're doing this in the first place.
We bury the joy of creation in all the things
that have to be done . . . . "
How are you feeling about your writing health? Do you struggle with anxiety, burnout, stress or anything else along those lines? How do you manage it?