Summer Care for Authors

Taking care of yourself is important, especially when you spend most of the days in your own head. I don't know about you, but my head can be a pretty scary place after a couple of murder scenes and general soul crushing developments. If not, then good on you, you probably have your life together. For the rest of us plebs it's important to counter it.

So, how does one make sure you don't gut the next fucker who asks "so you write romance then" when you tell them you're an author? Here are some suggestions:

Take regular breaks. Make sure to take breaks every day, even when writing. 5 minutes here and there to breathe a bit is always good. When you've completed a large project and you're letting it rest before you get to editing, take those days or weeks and do something else.

Go on vacation, and don't write.

I know, right? But hear me out. When you have vacation on a 9-5 job you don't work when you go on vacation, right? Being an author is your job, which means you should consider your vacation and actual vacation. Chill and recharge and make sure you're able to si down and keep writing when you get back. Remember that being an author is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to last for decades, not just a few years, if you want to actually make being an author your career.

Take a hiatus from social media. Is the constant demand of putting out content and "staying relevant" causing you anxiety or burning you out? Take a week or two off social media. If your audience is actually interested in you and your work they'll be respectful and understanding and be there when you get back. If not, then they're not the audience you want either way.

Switch up your workplace. For some people writing in the same place every day works, but for others it doesn't. Figure out which one relates to you. Do you feel stifled sitting at your desk every day? Perhaps move to the couch for a while, or why not actually go to a café? Try it ut and see if it works for you.

Ignore the "you should be writing" posts. They mean well, but for some authors it causes more problems than they're solving. A good push here and there is perfectly fine, but I personally can't stand the people who scream it at others every other day. We all know we're supposed to write, but sometimes life just won't let that happen, wether it's something that has happened in your life, anxiety or other mental illnesses you have to take care of first, or something else. Take care of yourself and write when you feel that you can.

Allow yourself to be sick. Again, when you're sick the 9-5 work doesn't expect you to still put in the hours (hopefully), and as an author you shouldn't either. If you have the flu, then rest up. If you got a cold, then lie on the couch and watch Netflix all day. It's okay. Being an author doesn't mean you should push yourself to the point of burning out. You're not a slacker just because you're not writing every day, sometimes we just need to rest.

But, most of all: don't forget the sunscreen.

Have fun!