My Author Self-Care Guide

Published on 15 March 2022 at 18:00

Being an author is a lot of work. Hard work. Weeks, months, and sometimes even years have gone into writing that book you're so proud of. But that's not all. We have to write while staying present online (preferably well before your book release date is remotely close), doing offline marketing, online marketing, plotting your next story, working through yet another editing round, and don't forget regular home life, other hobbies, family, friends, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and sleeping at least 7 hours a night... the day simply does not have enough hours to fit everything in. 

Treat yourself as a main character

That's why it's important as hell to take good care of yourself. I'm not talking about patting yourself on the shoulder once you finish everything (which we both know will not happen before it snows in August). I'm talking about really taking care of yourself. Ever since I started working for myself, I've come to learn the importance of  self-care. And let me tell you: my mental health hasn't been this good since... ever? Now I'm not saying that the sole reason for that is practicing self-care, but it definitely is a factor. If you're reading this, you're probably interested in the topic. I could tell you how to practice self-care as an author in one sentence: you should treat yourself as a main character. Treat yourself with the attention, respect and priority as you do your main character. You deserve it as much as them! How to do that? That is completely up to you and what you need. This is what helps me thrive.

Make the physical mental

I'll give you an example of something that has really helped me feel better throughout the week. It's so simple that it could fit perfectly on an inspirational quote poster, and maybe that's the beauty of it, too. Once I started listening to my body, and I mean really listening, I felt that I became happier, calmer, and even more productive in the long run. I eat when I'm hungry, I rest when I'm tired, I divide tasks by what I feel inspires me most at that moment. And whaddayaknow? Instead of feeling cranky and drained all day, I feel uplifted and well-rested. By listening to my body, my mental health has gone up tremendously! 

Boundaries are a must

The upside of being self-employed is that you are your own boss. The downside of being self-employed is that you are your own boss. No matter how nice it is that nobody can tell you what to do, there's also no one deciding for you what your limits are. That's all up to you. Believe me, I know how difficult this can be. Wanting to please everyone and do it all because you feel that you have to. Guess what? You don't. You're the boss and you're the only one who knows how much you can handle. That amount may vary weekly or monthly, and that's okay. You can adapt your plans whenever you want to. Practice saying "no" and standing up for yourself. Trust me, you will need it one day.

Nourish your non-author side 

While being an author is probably the part of you that gets the most attention, remember that you are more than that. You may or may not have other hobbies, but you're definitely a person who has other needs than getting all of that creativity out there through words! Take a walk outside, catch up with friends, take the time to explore your other talents and skills (or simply: other things you enjoy doing), anything! The most important thing here is to get away from the screen and to get out of your head for a minute. I guarantee you that it will leave you with more inspiration and a lighter heart to continue doing what you do best.

- Pia Sophia

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