Writing Update: Writer self-care

Clearly, I\’m not the best at keeping my blog updated, at least not lately.

I have had to make some tough decisions the last few months and had to pivot my priorities. I had major surgery, the pandemic, governmental changes, emotional upheaval, burnout, surgery recovery, losing a pet, family stressors… all these things played a role in me taking a brief step back from my writing and realizing that I can\’t do all the things I want without first taking care of myself.

I\’ve spoken about mental health and self-care before, but it seems I constantly need to relearn how important it is.

I am currently undiagnosed (I will be pursuing a diagnosis soon) with what I believe is ADHD Inattentive and I want to do ALL the things. I want to write multiple books at once. I want to be a successful author. I want to grow my business so that I can do this full-time. I want to have a good personal life, and take care of myself physically. I want to have my cake and eat it too. The problem is, I just end up overwhelmed.

There are things I can\’t NOT do: work my 8-5 job, take care of myself, and take care of my family (human and fur). So when things get rough, other things begin to fall to the wayside. I often slack on my sleep, but for my physical health and recovery, I can no longer do that. And I\’m working very hard at taking care of myself physically. So what\’s the next thing that gets sacrificed? My writing.

Of course to me, writing isn\’t a hobby. It is a second job that I spend hundreds of hours on a month. But my 8-5 job is what keeps my mortgage paid and food on the table. It\’s what pays for my writing. So my second job takes a back seat to EVERYTHING else in my life. And I hate it. But it\’s my reality.

If I want to even have a glimmer of hope at making it full-time as a writer, I HAVE to take care of myself. If I\’m getting adequate sleep and nutrition and exercise, as well as taking care of my family, etc., then I will be better able to focus on writing when I\’m able.

Kingdom of Mist & Chaos was a beast to write. I started it back in October and wrote most of it during Nanowrimo in November. But then I burnt out. I stopped taking care of myself. And I had surgery looming which was causing me major anxiety. So I barely wrote through December and quit all together in January. By February though I was beginning to feel better and I finally finished writing the book, but then my cat died. It has been a struggle to keep editing through the grief but I\’m doing it. It comes out on March 26th, and I\’m slowly learning to adjust my own expectations for myself. I may think I\’m Wonder Woman and can do all the things… but alas I cannot.

So I apologize for my absence these last few months as I battled burnout and returned my attention for what feels like the millionth time back to my self-care. It\’s working, and I\’m finally diving back into writing, but it means I won\’t publish on the same schedule as before. It means I may take more rest days, I may not write as often or as much. It means I may only publish 2-3 books a year instead of 3-5 in previous years. It means I will be a better person able to write better books.

So thank you for sticking with me. It means the world.


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