Self-Care for Writers – Pain

Headache

Headache

So I did a really stupid thing last night and tried to sleep through a fairly strong headache. I don’t usually take anything for headaches, but maybe I should have…

Even so, I managed to get some sleep (and had some wild dreams). The one thing that helped me sleep was EFT tapping. I’m so used to it that I can tap just feeling the tapping points and thinking the words.

I don’t recommend that for beginners, because EFT really works faster if you put your emotions behind it and speaking the sentences out loud – even cursing at times – does make it easier.

So anyway, I tapped on the pain and stuff that bothered me, and pretty soon I was yawning and falling asleep. I had to repeat that in the middle of the night, but other than that, I did get most of the sleep I need per night. (Although that darn headache still isn’t entirely gone.)

There are a few tricks to tapping on pain that I want to share with you today. Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Vacation

Good self-care includes breaks.

Which is why I am on vacation this week. I’m visiting my Dad and enjoying his company very much. However, he doesn’t want to be on social media, so I’m just sharing the cosy spot on his balcony where we share meals when it’s nice and warm.

Give yourself breaks. This is a very low-cost one (just the train tickets, really), and it’s incredibly restorative.

I’ll be back to posting full articles next week.

Dad's balcony

Dad’s Balcony

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Self-Care for Writers – Walking

Walking

Walking

I’m going to stay just a little longer with that terrible word: Exercise.

But since I believe that gyms provide a most unnatural way of exercising and  are about the most evil invention ever (granted, they are helpful if you need to strengthen some specific parts of your body), you won’t ever get a recommendation for gym work from me.

Instead, I want to suggest something else entirely:

Walking.

Humans evolved as hunters and gatherers. Which means that walking (and sometimes running) are the most natural kinds of moving around. And walking is safer than running, for your joints and your heart, and in combination with dogs. Ahem. Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Moving

Dancing on the Spot

Dancing on the Spot

I think for many writers there is a nasty four-letter word that’s spelled with eight letters: Exercise.

I mean, we usually sit at a desk in front of a computer (like old-fashioned me) or somewhere with a laptop or even cell phone, but usually we sit, and the only parts of our body that really move are just our fingers.

Exercise simply takes precious writing time, especially if you’re scraping out your writing time from work, caring for a family and having other obligations.

So for now, I’ll just say “moving”. Because that’s a form of exercise that doesn’t sound as dangerous, does it?

There are lots of ways to get moving.

Now I’m in the happy position that I can walk to my day job, which takes me roughly 20 minutes each way. That is pretty good, and yet I’m not really in good shape. But if you can add 20 minutes of walking at a good clip to your day, you’ll already get a lot more movement than most writers. Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Insomnia

I can't sleep

I can’t sleep

There are few things worse than trying to fall asleep and failing. Getting angry at not being able to sleep, which of course makes everything worse. And feeling bad for not getting all the nice sleep you scheduled after reading last week’s post.

I’ve been there.

In my case, it was made worse by a snoring partner (those days are gone, though), and by a lot of worry. I think worry is actually the thing that is behind most of the times when we cannot stop the brain from thinking.

My brain serves up anything from worry to character dialogue to old incidences that still bother me to imagined disputes with imagined people, trouble with the electricity company… you’re probably nodding because you know all this.

Well, most of that stopped after I discovered EFT. Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Sleep

Getting enough sleep

Getting enough sleep

Today, I’m escalating the rest topic, and will talk about getting enough sleep. I know so many friends who are so busy that they don’t get enough sleep. Or cut their sleep time short on purpose as a habit. It scares me. I don’t even think that pulling an all-nighter to meet a deadline will yield good results. I will explain below.

Let me start with a little memory:

At a coaching event, one of the speakers described her new method to become an even more successful business owner: Limit her sleep to five hours per day, and use the new-found time to get even more done. She was serious and quite proud that she had trained her body to get along on just five hours. And she suggested that everyone could and should do that, and stop wasting so much time on “useless sleep”. Anyone getting more than five hours of sleep was a slacker in her eyes.

I was appalled.

This is the most self-destructive decision and suggestion I can imagine. Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Rest

Rest

Rest

Let’s start with the big and obvious one: Rest.

If you’re a bit like me, you work pushing yourself, trying to get stuff done, finish the book, the editing, the formatting… and you ignore the effect all that focused work has on your mind and body.

Here’s an easy test:

Close your eyes for a moment.
Be aware of how that feels.

When I do that and get the sense I could keel over and fall asleep right away – then I know it’s beyond time for rest. It’s a quick way to check in with your body, especially if you – like me – live practically glued to your computer and the never-ending activities that demand attention.

Rest can take many forms for me, and you need to figure out what works best for you.

Just to give you a range of options, this is what I do: Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Permission

Permission to relax

Permission to Relax

Before we get into what you can do for self-care, and all the little things that make life better if you actually do them (ahem), I want to take one step back with you.

Because before you can actually really work on self-care, you have to give yourself permission to do so.

If you don’t, you’ll go through the motions and still feel bad about it. You’ll need lots more willpower to keep exercising, cooking meals or getting enough sleep. It will be hard – and it doesn’t have to be if you take the time for this small but fundamental step.

I’m quite serious about this, and I often do this with clients.

You see, modern culture has a tendency to value money above everything else. We also measure success in money earned. And in order to earn that money, we have to spend time creating our products – our books, pieces of art, and possibly working in a day job on top of that. A lot of time.

And any time we do not spend being productive, working on something that will bring us money, can be seen as wasted time. Continue reading

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Self-Care for Writers – Introduction

Love your body

Love your body

Most of us are either freelancers or people with a day job who write when we make time for it. And I know how much time writing can take – especially when a story is flowing well and exciting things happen, or when you’re getting ready for a launch.

And I can be honest with you: I find it difficult to maintain good self-care in times of stress as well. So I know how that goes…

Of course, we also all know that it is important to get regular, healthy meals, get some exercise, get enough sleep (!!), and keep a healthy mindset going.

All of that takes time away from writing, however. And from making money.

So we tend to cut it short.

Eat at the desk while checking FB.  (Or on the sofa if you use a laptop.)

Decide to exercise tomorrow. Or never.

Skip meals or eat oatmeal all day.

Tell ourselves that sleep is overrated…

And in the long run, this kind of behavior exacts a price.

Now, I live in Germany, a place with health insurance, so things usually don’t get completely dire. But we have our own little obesity epidemic here. We generally lag behind American trends, but they usually show up here, as well. So yes, the warning signs are there.

The simple truth is: We need to take good care of ourselves.

And this is why I’m creating this blog series. In the next months we’ll explore beliefs and blocks to taking good care of ourselves while we write. We’ll take a look at family system dynamics which do have an influence on our health and health habits. And I’ll give you lots of tapping suggestions to help you shift your habits into healthier ones.

Because I want you to keep writing and stay productive for a long time!

Here’s some tapping to help you pay more attention to self-care and staying healthy.

Even though I hardly find enough time to write, and I can only do so by cutting into my time for sleep and self-care, I’m okay the way I am, and I’m now open to the possibility of finding a better balance between writing and health.

Even though I learned to live on little sleep and it’s okay for me, so I can write, I’m okay the way I am, and I now choose to take a good look at how healthy my life really is.

Even though all I want is to write and get books out, and finally earn money that way, I’m okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to take a step back and look at how I treat myself – and possibly change that.

Your Turn:
What comes up when you hear or read “self-care”?
How hard do you push yourself every day?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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The Publishing Author’s Mindset – Conclusion

My book

My book!

Today, we come to the end of the blog series about the author’s mindset when publishing. And I can tell you from experience that the whole process is not for the weak-minded.

(Insert long story of mix-ups with Amazon and CreateSpace, delivery of wrong books etc. I might eventually tell it…)

The one thing all authors need when embarking on publishing their work is resilience.

Because there will be setbacks. There will be errors, days or weeks or months with no sales, bad reviews, and nasty readers. You will lose money over ads, or maybe a cover design. You’ll freak out about spelling errors. There will be days when you ask yourself if it’s really worth it.

All of this is enough to stop someone.

And you can’t let it stop you.

Or you will no longer be an author. Continue reading

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