Nurturing Your Well-Being on the Writing JourneyNurturing Your Well-Being on the Writing Journey https://www.readerviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Writing-and-Mental-Health-1024x576.png 1024 576 Reader Views Reader Views https://www.readerviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Writing-and-Mental-Health-1024x576.png
by Sheri Hoyte
Writing can be a fulfilling and rewarding journey – why else would we do it? But it also comes with its fair share of challenges – especially on your mental health and well-being. Let’s look at a few practical ways to nurture yourself on this journey.
Acknowledge the Impact on Mental Health
Writing is not just a mere act of putting words on paper; it is an emotionally intense experience that can deeply impact one’s mental health. The power of words lies in their ability to express the depths of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, often delving into sensitive and vulnerable areas of our psyche. It’s crucial for writers and those who engage in other creative processes to recognize and validate the profound effect it can have on their mental well-being. By understanding the emotional intricacies of the creative process and implementing meaningful self-care practices, writers can nurture their mental well-being and embark on a writing journey that is both fulfilling and sustainable.
Writing deadlines, self-imposed pressure, and the quest for perfection all contribute to stress. To manage it effectively, incorporate stress-reducing techniques into your routine like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, physical activity, journaling, or unrelated hobbies. Find what works for you. I like to walk every day while enjoying an audiobook, but I have to go early – it’s blistering hot already here in Austin, Texas!
Balance Work and Life
Maintaining a balance between writing and other life aspects is essential. Independent authors often juggle multiple roles, leading to potential burnout. Setting boundaries, crafting a writing schedule, and prioritizing self-care outside of writing is key, even more so if writing is your second gig – you could be pushing your wellness limits by spreading yourself to thin. I’m calling myself out here as I’m currently striving for better balance. What can I say? I love you guys too much!
Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Friends, family, or fellow writers can offer emotional sustenance. Online communities, forums, or social media groups are great platforms for support. Additionally, professional therapy or counseling can help navigate emotional challenges.
Self care is vital for independent authors. By recognizing mental impacts and seeking support, authors can enhance their well-being and creativity. Take care of yourself mentally (and physically) and you may even see a heightened productivity level. Remember, self-care isn’t a luxury but a necessity for sustained success and fulfillment.
Agreed. We all need self-care and balance in our lives. Writing can be mentally draining. Even after publishing a book, I find that there is this feeling of emptiness. Perhaps because I have worked on a project for so long, and now, that project is out there, somewhere, and no longer a part of me. Also, I find that when fellow writers share the difficulties they face, I feel like I’m not alone, and that others have similar struggles.
Thank you for sharing. You’re absolutely right, authors can go through a grieving process after publishing a book because there is a big hole where your days were once consumed. The characters you worked with every day are suddenly gone -like empty nest syndrome for writers. Take Care, Sheri
All sound advice. Writing my memoir had me diving deep into upsetting events and trauma that I’d simply moved past—but never reconciled. It was stressful and depressing. I walked away for about a year and retuned with a healthy distance where I could now see the value in telling these stories. And in sharing them. This wasn’t my intended path to publication but I’m grateul I didn’t rush it.