Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Taking Care of the Writer

This post actually works well with Jeannie's,

Most of us are working on something along with our writing, we are students, mothers, wives, or have jobs outside our homes. We are constantly juggling our lives so we have time to do it all, but the fact is we can't always accomplish everything.

Our physical and mental well being make a huge difference in our quality of life, and what we create when we get the chance to sit down and write. Without feeling guilty or neglectful, we have to admit there are times when our own needs have to come first. We all know how hard it can be to get the rest we need, eat the right foods, and exercise, but we need to try. I'm not sermonizing here, I'm speaking from experience.

I was 26 when I first got chronically ill. I didn't want to admit the reality that my life was going to be deeply changed. I didn't want limits, I wanted to do it all. I didn't listen to my body when it said to slow down. The results were not fun, and for a time I couldn't do much of anything without feeling totally exhausted. I learned that lesson the hard way. If you push your body too far, it will push back. And when you feel miserable physically, you feel depressed mentally.

I've observed the detrimental effects of the mentality that says a mother, spouse, worker, or even a writer must push through no matter what. That life is full of deadlines we have to meet or suffer the consequences. The truth is if we don't take time to take care of ourselves, we have less to give anyone else. So don't be afraid to accept and deal with your needs, you will be helping all of those who depend on you in the long run. Even those characters fighting to be recognized inside your head can wait while you eat, jog, or take a nap if you need it.

All the folks at this Diner are my friends, and most other writers I've met on my journey have added wonderful things to my life. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of working yourselves sick. I still have all your future publications on my "to be read" list!

Take good care, Live long, and prosper!



  1. You're right. We need to give ourselves the same care we give our families and jobs. Good point. Good post. :)

  2. Debi,
    Wonderful post! This is actually something I've been struggling with. I am, like you, chronically ill. I have the hardest time trying to find that invisable line between doing too much and not pushing hard enough.

    Remember: follow your own advice!