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Self-Publish Your Novel – Writer Self-Care

Friends, you don’t know how much I’ve been looking forward to sharing this post with you. Writer self-care is one of my favourite topics, and one of the most important, overlooked ones!

Not overlooked by other blogs, mind you. Overlooked by us ourselves – writers are notoriously bad at taking time off and looking after themselves!

Which is why I’m going to talk about writer self-care today. This series simply wasn’t complete without it!

Writing, publishing, marketing, promoting, and editing your book is a tough business, so there’s absolutely no harm in it if you treat yourself from time to time. In fact, it’s essential!

Did you know I have a page in my bullet journal dedicated to all the things which help me recharge? Ironically, I’ve neglected it and haven’t finished it, which tells you everything you need to know about how bad we are at this.

I bet you’ve got lots of ideas around how to spoil yourself, too, but actually finding the time for it? Well, that’s another issue, isn’t it?

Find Make the Time

I think the top reasons we’re so bad at treating ourselves is because we’re waiting for an open window to just…appear.

But that’s not going to happen, friends.

Because, as with anything else in this business, you have to make the time to look after yourself.

I know how you feel; I struggle with this daily! Do I take a morning off, or do I edit another twenty pages? Twenty pages is kinda a lot of progress. Doing nothing achieves, well, nothing. It’s not really a choice, is it?

However, that reasoning is flawed. Looking after yourself doesn’t achieve nothing, it achieves a happier, healthier you. You can’t run a business or edit those twenty pages if you burn out, or if you’re so deep in the thick of it you can’t see what actually needs to happen!

Sometimes, running a successful business means stepping away and binge-watching your favourite show on Netflix.

So, stop looking for opportunities to spoil yourself to drop by. It won’t happen. Create those opportunities yourself, take care, and remember that your mental health isn’t something to be neglected.

The Little Things

Everything above is easier said than done; I get that. Often, deadlines mean that we simply can’t take time off, no matter how much we need to.

But here’s the good news: you don’t have to spoil yourself in a big way. The little things can be just as effective–in fact, my incomplete bullet journal spread is comprised of small things!

Doing your nails, buying a new book, having ice cream for breakfast–it’s all valid, my friend. Whatever works for you! If it brings you joy, indulge.

And the Slightly Bigger Things

When you work for a company, you might have Christmas dinners or annual mini golf tournaments*. When you work for yourself, however, you’re in charge.

Now, you might think ‘Great, something else to organise. Thanks, Sarina.’ And you’re welcome, my dear!

Because you can do whatever you want, eat wherever you want, and play mini golf all you want.

Since money is an issue for many of us, I recommend you save those big treats for achievements, like publishing a book or finishing a first draft.

If you fancy eating at your favourite restaurant and you’ve just finished the first draft from hell, go for it!

If this book has been especially hard to write and edit, book a spa day!

*We were all sad at my library when they were suspended. Boo.

Your First Draft is Perfect

The most common complaint I see almost daily is that writers hate their first drafts. I see some of you tempted to give up, because you haven’t written a single sentence you like all week. You feel like bad writers, unworthy of the title.

Come here–

Enough of that nonsense. Your first draft is perfect. Oh, don’t get me wrong–it sucks. All first drafts do! The reason your first draft is perfect anyway is because all it needs to do is exist. If you’re trying to get it right on the first draft, then that’s probably why you’re struggling.

Don’t worry about getting it right the first time. No writer ever does. That’s what the edits, critique partners, beta readers, and your editor are there for later.

Later.

Not now.

Write on, churn out the worst shit you’ve ever written, and know that your writing improves the more you do it. First drafts aren’t supposed to be good. They’re just meant to be there.

You might also like these posts:

I’m really excited about the post I’ve got for you in two weeks. Raise your hands if you love bookish merchandise? You know, bookmarks, mugs with quotes, tote bags, etc… I’m going to show you how to create your own 😉

Be VERY excited.

What does your writer self-care look like? How do you treat yourself? Make a tea, get some cookies, and talk self-care to me!


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Published inA Writer's Musings

4 Comments

  1. I really needed this post today. <3 Sometimes it is hard to take care of myself when there are more "productive" things I could be doing.

    • sarinalangerwriter sarinalangerwriter

      We’ve all been there, Jenn. I always know I need a breather when I feel like every minute lost could be a disaster. If my schedule is that crammed, I’ve overdone it–*nothing* deserves that kind of stress! Make a tea, watch the clouds while you drink it, and get back to it.

  2. Even if this may sound completely absurd, the thing that relaxes me the most is actually… writing! When I’m in the zone, completely immersed in the characters and the story, nothing beats writing. One of the main reasons I write is actually to keep troubles at bay, the world outside my door shut off from me. Writing is my safe harbour and my safe place, but I need to be in the mindset – which I usually am, and once I finish something I’m all ready to hop on the next project, unless I’ve been working on something so personal and heart wrenching for me I can’t just keep myself away from that particular mindset. This has only happened to me twice, once during a particularly bad health scare I was going through, and which shows in the book I wrote at the time, the other very recently with a novella that is far too personal for my own liking ahahahh. The way I usually treat myself is actually by… sitting down to write! Weird and perhaps not good at all, I know. I also have a VERY hard time allowing myself to spend money on me. The very little I may from my books is usually spent in buying food, or underwear for my ever growing kiddo, but never on me. This month, as I was browsing around an antiques fair, I saw a ring and it sang to me. I didn’t think twice, bought it, and even though it was such a bargain, I’m still beating myself for having spent that money on something so unnecessary!! How do we get out of this mindset???

    • sarinalangerwriter sarinalangerwriter

      Whatever works for you, Ruth! That feeling of inspiration when you’re immersed in the story and it carries you is worth every bit of frustration leading up to it.
      I’m so happy to hear you treated yourself to a new ring! Don’t feel bad, you definitely deserved that. I know how hard you’ve been working and how cheap that ring was, it’s well deserved <3

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