After completing a few writing boot camps and even survived my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November) with a 50,000+ word count manuscript at the finish line, I was too exhausted to even appreciate and celebrate my accomplishment. I realized I focused too much at my goal at the expense of my health. I took up a bad eating habit (who has time to cook?), stopped exercising (isn’t exercising my brain to write, enough?), and didn’t sleep well (if only, I can add a few more words…). I realized this pattern has to change.
I must change.
Does it have to be this way? Yes and No. The choice is yours.
Whether you will be one of the novelists working on the 50,000+ words masterpiece, writing on your dissertation (probably over 50,000 words), or even working on your first blog, the writing process can be transformative beyond the words on the page and into your spirit. You just need to be healthy enough to reflect and to enjoy it.
1. Change the mindset.
Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is vital to ending the vicious cycle of love-and-hate of writing and our true nature. The entire writing process can be a retreat within the vicinity of your own body. Through writing, you can know oneself on a deeper level, be reflective of your own senses and allow your awareness to direct your writing. Neglecting your body’s calling during the writing process is a missed opportunity to familiarize yourself with a healthy self, and the true self.
2. Restructure the writing schedule with self-care.
Make your own wellness the priority and then assign a block of writing time around that. I block out “health appointment” for myself. If we go to our writing fortress with a well-nourished mind, body, and spirit, you will not only finish the writing project with minimally disrupted events but also end with a well-designed body and mind.
3. Create accountability.
As you track your word counts, create a method to keep track of your wellbeing. Join an online writing community as well as meet-up groups with a common interest in health and wellness. Join an online writing community or meet up with a local writing group. Participate in a class and meet other writers to work on this wellness journey together.
The writing process can be an inspiring journey for self-discovery on and off the page. Writing through the empty spaces is like hiking into new terrains.
Write Strong. Live Well.
Good Luck Fellow Writers for National Novel Writing Month!