Writing & Self-Care

As someone who has struggled with depression most of my life I was immediately intrigued when I came across an article in Writer’s Digest by recently published novelist Jamie Raintree on the relationship between self-care and creativity.

In the past year consciously practicing self-care has become an important part of my life and has certainly helped me manage my mental health. I really enjoyed reading about the link that Jamie draws between the practice of self-care and it’s impact on how it can boost your creativity as a writer.

She does great job advocating for the importance of self-care as a writer when she says that:

Most writers are squeezing writing in around day jobs, are juggling family and household responsibilities, and often struggle with chronic health issues…

…the more you have on your plate, the more important self-care is to your well-being and ability to not only write, but to continue to juggle those demands.

The world constantly makes demands of your time and attention and the reality is that you only have so many mental resources to go around. It’s easy to get worn out and spread thin, but practicing self-care is an important and necessary bulwark against finding yourself completely drained.

Jamie also makes it clear that there’s no one size fits all solution; self-care is incredibly personal:

The thing about self-care is that it is completely unique to the individual and is defined by one thing: it gives the writer the time and ability to rebuild their energy stores after it’s been depleted by outside needs.

She goes on in the article to outline that self-care is important for both the mind and the body and offers several suggestions as to how to practice self-care as a writer that accounts for both.

I really appreciate how she equates the practice of self-care to writing in that you just have to make time for it:

the simple fact is that, like writing, you just find a way. Too much, writers put themselves last. Since writing isn’t a “real job,” it gets pushed to the back burner “if there’s time,” either consciously or subconsciously. But writing in itself is an act of self-care. It’s self-care for the soul, and if you don’t make it priority, along with self-care for the mind and body, you’ll find that all aspects of your life begin to suffer: most notably, your writing.

Check out Jamie Raintree’s debut novel, Perfectly Undone, and you can learn more about her writing and her other great advice and support to writers at her website.

Let me know in your comments what self-care you practice for either your own mental health or for your writing. We’re all in this together. Happy writing!

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