I am not the author of the original post. It’s a reblog.
How to Stay Alive as a Writer
You are a writer. You read novels and books on writing craft. You spend hours practicing writing and editing. You go to conferences and writing workshops.
Well that’s great. But that is keeping the writer alive, it’s not keeping you alive.
Yes, we are actually human beings after all.
While I am no health professional, I am a professional ballet dancer so that’s counts for something. I know some things about taking care of yourself.
Believe it or not , writers, you have to take care of yourself. Here are some steps.
I have talked about this subject before although I had no health tips attached. But I feel these tips might help someone. I know it takes strenuous training to become a ballet dancer. Someone who knows about performing gravity defying leaps, taxing twists and turns certainly knows about taking care of herself.
I agree with Ms. Benda, all the work that goes into creating a book takes a toll on the writer. Whether the book is good or bad, books do not write themselves. A person wrote them all.
This is the reason for what I said earlier. Well, whether stressed it earlier: You can’t go to every conferences and every writing workshops advertised. You can’t redo, rewrite the book until exhaustion. You can’t find every single error there is. You can’t spend beyond your means to carry out all these things. You can’t do all the things everyone is crying you must do to be a successful writer. All you can do is do your best. If anyone want complete, absolute, divine perfection then they better do as it’s advised in the popular sitcom “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl” quote: “they better call Jesus.” because you’re a human. You’re not a machine and nor are you divine.
Many authors, including myself tries to do all these things. And I did do them all for a long time. But I had to step back and realize my limitations. I realized that the only way to complete the series was to take care of myself. That’s why it took so long to complete the series. I slowed down my writing, and all other activities and begin writing at my own leisure pace. I didn’t have anyone telling me to speed up.
That’s why I wrote what I did earlier about leaving alone trying to find an agent and stop begging a big publishing company to take your work. It becomes too stressful. Life is stressful enough without adding more. Stress interfere with your creativity. Do it yourself. Publish your own work. You’ll probably be old and gray, and I mean eighty-five years old kind of old and gray before, and if ever one decided to take you on. And even then, they might say what you wrote fifty years ago is now passé. Send in an updated version of the work. Meanwhile you are on life support as they are still denying. Saying the same old things they said fifty years ago. You die with your work never published. That’s an unsympathetic story but it’s a real one. By no means am I suggesting do not seek an big publisher or agent. And I am very happy for anyone who finds one. But I am simply saying do not waste years and years sending stuff all over the net and mail in hope of finding one. Send a few out per year but in the meantime, do what works best for you.
Being a writer, you must be doggish with your time and resources. Decide what works best for you, not what all the talking heads are saying you could be doing. Most likely what everyone else is saying you could be doing involves spending money. All the workshops, conferences are all places you are most likely going to spend money not make money.
Don’t get me wrong, workshops are great. They are great ways to bounce ideas off other writers but what no one tells you is that the local community one, voluntarily taught by a retired English professor for free is equally good as the one you spent a couple of hundreds or maybe thousands to attend in some remote area where they are going declare you need such and such software to be a success. The software may cost more than the resort. But the software doesn’t write the book. You do.
The bottom line is.
If something isn’t healthy for you, then don’t do it. Be good to yourself.