The Importance of Caring for Writers (Even You)

Well it certainly seems like I’ve gone inactive, but I promise I haven’t. The month of June was honestly pretty terrible for my writing, editing and plotting. I don’t honestly know how to explain it, other than an overload of television (binge watching Supernatural, acquiring Netflix), bad diet, sleeping habits, and just good old fashioned stress – or maybe it’s just my natural creative cycle. I pushed myself hard to finish both the first draft of Liliana and another collaborative writing project, so for a while I was writing at 3 AM, or 7 AM, or 10 AM, or whenever inspiration hit.

That’s the tough part about being ruled by inspiration. It comes and goes. I burned out around the same time I really fell in love with SupernaturalĀ (I started catching up on ten seasons in April and finished in June), so I latched on to the TV show pretty tightly. With my man and I in a long distance relationship currently, trying to find ways to work our relationship around his work schedule and the obvious problem of long distance has been a fun dance that I don’t think I’ve handled all that well. It’s old hat, but notĀ the hat I want to wear right now.

All of that above angst just really didn’t have me taking care of myself in a proper way, in terms of making sure I was on a steady sleep schedule and had enough to eat. I went from eating small meals around the clock to eating maybe one or two large meals a day, and those meals were haphazard at best in timing. I also substituted water for a lot of the food I ate before, not as part of some fad diet, cleanse or health regimen but because I just didn’t feel like eating. Lack of nutrition, plus lack of sleep?

Yeah, nothing creative got done that way.

I’m trying to rebound and slowly, I’m feeling that power come back. That’s what I call the creative process: power, because that’s when I feel the most powerful. That’s when I feel like I could conquer the world with both hands tied behind my back. There is nothing greater than being able to put words to paper (or the screen) for me.

What’s really funny (or just sad?) is that I share a lot of positive writing images to other writer friends, yet I’m not applying the same principles to myself. I’ve mentioned several times before that JK Rowling is one of my main influences. This image has been kept in mind for a while:

JK-Rowling-Be-Ruthless-About-Your-Writing-Days2

Yet, I wasn’t following it. I could come up with a thousand excuses, about how my computer fan stopped working and my computer was only working at half-capacity because it had heating problems (which happened), how I was meeting up with old friends I hadn’t seen since I left Texas for Florida (which happened), and all of the angst above. Yesterday I looked back at all of the chaos that happened in June and just asked, Why? Why was nothing getting done?

This is why it’s important to care for yourself as a writer. As writers, the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal is our brain. If our bodies suffer, the brain does as well. I starved my brain of nutrition and decent sleep, and as a result my creative process dried up.

If June brought something good, it was an outline for a revamped Hunter/Hunted. I have nine chapters of the revamp plotted, which are vastly different than how I originally saw the idea. I’ve also been plotting for the next full trilogy. I had trouble pulling the pieces together until I pulled together a solid casting and backstory for my characters and the world that happened before the story started.

The creative process never stops, but it might slow itself to a mere trickle if it’s mistreated. That was what I did during the month of June, I mistreated my body, my mind and my creative process.

Here I am to take that power back.

PS: Blog image from Pixabay

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