This year was going to be the year of my becoming a prolific writer. I was to blog regularly, to write fiction as well as non-fiction, and to embrace the life of an author that verbs her Life.
Well, that didn’t happen.
Mostly, the issue was Life happened…over and over. My mother ended up in the emergency room, then a month stay in the hospital and a nursing home. My father was going to get cochlear implants to help his deafness, and I volunteered to drive down to Washington D.C. That ended up a convoluted and much bigger chore than I anticipated. Three more visits and road trips, my father ended up leaving without me, drove himself, got lost, and led to overwhelming stress for me. My time was drawn in many directions with my anxiety taking over whatever place I intended my muse to reside.
My muse is not happy with me at all. Who could blame her, right? I ignored ‘self-care’ and found myself wallowing in self-pity, so now that I’m at the end of stresses (at least, I hope I am), I wanted to post a few things I learned from the experience.
1. Self-care is important. Stress, anxiety, and depression can kill creativity. It sucks out all motivation. This is why self-care is vital to a budding author. How to do self-care?
Ask for help. There is no shame in asking others to help. This can be taking on a few of your responsibilities, or lending a shoulder to cry on. Help can be words of encouragement or lettings others take care of your for a while.
Pamper yourself. My pampering included a nap or bought myself a new video game (for me, games are incredibly cathartic to abate depression and stress), and treating myself to chocolate now and then. It included a hot bath, a moment to myself, treats, and once my mother was home from the hospital, telling her I needed a week off of helping her to recharge.
2. Write about it! Some authors write about experiences they endured. Stephen King once saw a dead body, which ended up in his short story “The Body”. Jack London took many of his experiences and incorporated them into his novels and short stories of the Yukon territory. John Green wrote from his experiences with anxiety and obsessive thoughts in Turtles All the Way Down.
Personally, I don’t like writing about things that bother me at the time, but I can see writing at it later could be emotionally releasing.Even journaling offers therapy to work out emotions and provide clarity to your feelings. Sometimes I write to myself, letting myself to write back to offer insight and comfort as if I were a best friend. It helps.
May begins a new month, so I plan on writing and adopting the phrase ‘do it anyway’.
So does Life interrupt your writing goals? What do you do to fix it? Write in comments or share ideas.