The countdown has begun. I officially have twenty-two weeks and a day until my novel “The Pariah Child & the Ever-Giving Stone” releases. To sum it up, that’s five months and fifteen days. Needless to say, I am feeling the pressure and I am completely exhausted. All I really want to do is crawl into my bed and sleep through all the madness that is to come. Sadly, I do not have that luxury nor is my sleeping skill at that level (I’m still training).
Still, this got me thinking. Being a writer is a stressful job. Whether you write full-time, part-time or whenever you can manage to find the time, this is not a road for the faint of heart. However, like anyone, we writers sometimes need to take a break. We need to refuel our creative chi and show ourselves a little bit of that TLC. If you don’t, you’re likely to have a complete shutdown, hit writer’s block, have a general freak out or maybe all three.
With this in mind, I’ve come up with a short list detailing some of the ways I relax when the writer’s life just becomes too much.
First, sometimes you’re going to have to take a break from your writing. I know that sounds like terrible advice. You want to finish your novel. You want to publish it, so, the world can see your genius and you can finally kick your feet up and let the royalties pour in, right?
Well, not to be a downer but the publishing process is so much more than writing. Honestly, writing is just the first step among many. So, even though you think taking a short break from your work-in-progress is going to set you back by a lot, it won’t. After the writing, there’s the querying (if you’re taking the traditional route), the editing, the betas, the marketing, and etc. Therefore, it’s not as big a loss as you think.
Not to mention, that taking a break can make your writing better. Have you ever read anything you wrote when your mind was a cloudy mess? It’s not pretty, is it? So, this means step away from the keyboard and breathe. It makes your writing better when you can approach then manuscript with a clear head and it’s just good for your health. Stress attacks are not fun.
Another way to show your writing-self some TLC, is by watching inspirational movies. Specifically, inspirational movies related to writing or literature are really helpful. The reasoning behind this is pretty simple. It’s the same logic that makes us seek out inspirational quotes to read on all our social media. We need a reminder that there are those who came before us, struggled, and succeeded.
Personally, I am inclined toward the movies “Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story” (it’s no longer available on Netflix sadly) and “The Dead Poet’s Society.” If you know anything about J.K. Rowling, you’ll be familiar with her backstory and how she went from rags to riches. Seriously. The movie depicts her struggles with writing, as well as some of her more personal challenges in life. Every time I watch this movie, I get geared up to take on the world. Honestly, by the end of the movie, I feel so unstoppable and so moved. Highly recommended.
Now, “The Dead Poets Society” may be a bit of a shocker. I’m not sure if many will consider it inspirational and it does get pretty dark at several points. However, the movie is about comradery, love of writing and reading, it’s about the classics, and leaving an impression on the people you meet. Basically, I am a total fangirl for this movie and it’s one of the reasons I decided to pursue my dreams of writing. I want to inspire people the same way Mr. Keating (played by Robin Williams) inspired his students.
My third tip is to hang out with other writers. Of course, this one can be a bit challenging because when you hang out with other writers, you want to talk about writing. There’s nothing wrong with talking a bit of shop but here are some suggestions on what you could do instead.
Take a short writing trip to reconnect with your muses: Nothing inspires like travel my friends.
Book Conference: At his/her core, every writer is a lover of books.
Movie Night: Suggestions above.
Okay, here are my last two pieces of advice. They’re very simple. For some writer TLC, you need to go outside. Writing can sometimes be a very lonely job and you’re often cooped up indoors all day. As lame as it may sound, fresh air really will do you some good. And if you’re an introvert, you don’t necessarily have to go outside with people. Lone hikes are a great way to clear your mind.
Lastly, reading! Sometimes you write so much, you forget why you started writing in the first place: Because you love to read. ‘Nough said.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell me how you lovelies relax after a long day of writing? What writing/literary movies inspire you?