As a writer, I can often find myself collecting bad habits like Pokémon. A cruddy sleep schedule (gotta finish that chapter), living on caffeine, imposter syndrome, the infliction of self guilt for not writing enough, and the list goes on and on. If you face similar unfortunate circumstances, then perhaps you can use this post as a checkpoint in your writing journey to take inventory. Have you been taking care of yourself lately?
★Avoid screens for a little while.
Chances are, you’ve been staring at one for awhile is you work using a word processor. Maybe consider having a “screen cleanse” day where you try to not look at a screen at all (unless necessary of course). If a whole day feels too long, try setting a timer from 1-3 hours and just reset your eyes by not using a screen within this time.
★Create a morning routine.
It’s easy to wake up ten minutes late, look at your phone first thing, or skimp on breakfast. But doing these habits on the regular can often make it even harder for you to start your day, especially if you have a lot of writing to get done. If your brain doesn’t feel refreshed and ready to get to work, it can often lead to writer’s block. Take a minute to write out your current morning routine. Make adjustments as needed.
★Fix yourself some coffee, tea, hot chocolate or maybe just a simple glass of water.
We all have that comfort drink. Why not fix yourself one? And if you haven’t drunk any good ol’ H2O in the last couple hours, then for the love of your brain and body, please go get yourself a glass.
★Don’t neglect your physical health- look up a workout online and start moving around.
This is something I probably have brought up before though I think it’s super important. Especially since it’s one that I struggle with personally. Especially if I feel uninspired and blobby. But a quick walk or workout has a way of resetting my brain and I know for a fact that it usually works. It’s often a matter of doing it.
Journaling is a wonderful way to reflect and track your current habits, writing related or otherwise. Sometimes journaling can simply be a way for you to dump out all the thoughts that are preventing or distracting you from whatever project you are currently working on. Either way, I definitely recommend pulling out a journal every now and then and getting to writing.
★Read. For fun.
Try to let yourself slip into the reader’s mindset. Try to not analyze everything you’re reading. Just read and let yourself bask in the words for a while.
★Pretty up your writing space.
My favorite way to do this is by adding some lighting or greenery. Or maybe both! Plants do a lot for brightening and livening up a space and fairy light…well, they just make me happy. They look so magical, what can I say! Don’t judge me, sometimes I just gotta satisfy my inner toddler. All she really wants are sparkles and glitters and I’m not about to tell her she’s wrong.
★Go to bed early.
I haven’t met a writer yet who wasn’t a night owl, so I might be biased. But let’s be honest here- couldn’t we all improve our sleeping habit? Maybe just a little? If not, then you have your life far more together than I do and this tip isn’t for you.
★Congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come already.
Your journey as a writer has probably been wrought with imposter syndrome or fear of not measuring up. Or perhaps you find yourself comparing your drafts to the finished drafts of other writers and fear that you have fooled everyone into thinking you’re a writer but are you really?
We’ve all been there. So maybe take a second to reflect on how far you’ve come as a writer. Even thought you might have written some really cringy stories in high school or middle school, by golly, you still did it. And it’s become a part of your journey to grow as a writer. And that’s something worth being proud of!