Writer on a Deadline: Self Care

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I have two books due by the end of the year. Well, actually one is due Dec. 3. I haven’t even started the second one yet. (Research is done, and I know I will get it done on time.) I have a full time job. Normally this would mean I am big ol’ stress puppy shedding cortisol like fur.

But today I woke up in a very “take my sweet time about everything” mood. This is totally not me. I live my life in fast forward. But I’m allowing myself to enjoy this dream-like state. Its what I imagine Luna Lovegood feels like all the time.

I think part of the reason for it is that we are at our peak fall color here in St. Louis. Normally that happens three weeks earlier, but the weather this year has been crazy warm. So now when I wake up and look out the window, I see beautiful orange-red trees; when I sit at this computer I see the gold trees out the front. Fall is my favorite time of year.

So despite being crazy busy, I’m leaning into the idea of self care where I can get it. I’m on a new medicine that my body is getting used to, so on the days it makes me sick, I try to be kind to myself and slow down however I have to while still getting work done. I’m listening to my body about what it wants to eat (or doesn’t, depending on the day).

But I’m also treating myself to a few special things in an effort to keep my sanity:

  • I have a tradition that every fall on the peak color weekend, I order Subway and go to a park to watch the leaves fall while I eat it. That came from my family always going “leaf watching,” and that is what we ate as part of our family picnic. This year I can’t take too much time away from writing and my appetite isn’t what it usually is, but I bought the sandwiches anyway. I’m cutting them into small sections and eating what I can once a day until they are gone to prolong the beauty of this tradition.
  • I’ve recently started journaling once or twice a day (usually when I wake up or before I go to bed) and that is providing some wonderful insights into my brain and my life. Plus, it is a peaceful way to start and end the day, regardless of what comes in between.
  • You better darn well believe that I am going to devour the new season of Selling Sunset when it comes out Nov. 21, deadline or no.
  • Instead of stressing myself over trying to be more active, I’m treating myself to daily stretching and listening to to audio version of A Discovery of Witches, one of my favorite books, when I can get out and walk around the neighborhood.
  • This one is a little odd, but I’m keeping my bathroom clean. I mean do clean it on a regular basis, but I’m doing it more frequently than usual. The idea came from an ad that said something about it being the first place you go in the morning and the last place you see at night (other than your bed, obviously). For some reason that really struck me. I want to begin and end my days in clean.

Before I know it, these books will be done and I’ll be into the new stressors of January, turning one of my books into an audio play and writing and recording a historical fiction master class. But after that, all I’m going to do is write fiction (and the non-fiction I’m under contract for) for the rest of the year.

Once this is all said and done, I’m going in for a big treat–the kind of thing most people think of when they think self-care. Next April I’m going to a conference in Bellingham, Washington. I’ve been to it before, so I’m going up a few days early to use the time for myself. I LOVE the hotel. There is a spa right by it at which I plan to get a massage and mani-pedi. Then I’m just going to write and enjoy myself.

I guess my point is to work little acts of self-care into your life. They can be as simple as going to bed earlier, drinking more water or saying no to a demand you don’t really want to do–anything that you can do for you. I know it is making my crazy time a little easier.

2 thoughts on “Writer on a Deadline: Self Care

  1. LivRancourt says:

    Enjoy the fall color – and your Luna Lovegood state of mind!! I need to borrow some of your bliss to get through NaNoWriMo…lol…

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