Because of that slip, I’m the only one who hasn’t written about this month’s topic: Staying Fresh As A Writer.
Have you ever had the experience of not being able to put a book down, not because you loved it, but because it was only OK, and you desperately wanted to finish it so you could get it out of your life? No? I’m probably a weirdo, but I find myself doing that all the time. It’s a compulsive kind of behavior, and I know I’m in trouble when I find myself doing that as a writer.
The trick to staying fresh as a writer is to stay fresh as a person. If you aren’t living a vibrant life of your own, eventually your writing will suffer for it.
- Decide how much of your time you can devote to writing, and then only devote that much time to writing. Set a schedule. Right now, my writing time is shrinking, and that’s OK. I actually don’t think my output is going to decrease by much. I’m just learning to be more efficient.
- Splurge. Once in a while write as much as you want. Nanowrimo. A really exciting new draft. An occasional deadline. It’s the dessert for all those months of adhering to your schedule.
- Exercise. A lot.
- Connect with other writers.
- Have hobbies outside of writing.
- Take care of your loved ones. Tad R Callister said, “We might all ask ourselves: do our children receive our best spiritual, intellectual, and creative efforts, or do they receive our leftover time and talents...?” I think that counts for anyone we love, even if we don't have children.
- Learn new things.
- Take care of yourself. Spiritually, educationally, physically, emotionally, financially.
- Serve. Be Kind. The real world is every bit as troubled as the world of your WIP. Take care of it, because someday you’ll have to come back. Plus, serving feels good, and every writer needs to feel good once in a while. These acts of kindness popped up on my facebook feed today.I think they will make you happy.
Writing can be all-consuming. But it shouldn't be. Being consumed by writing won't make you a better writer. Being consumed with life will make you a better writer.