Hello writer and happy Monday!
Today, I want to talk about us writers remembering to give ourselves grace because it’s so important to our writing careers and mental health.
So, what do I mean when I say giving yourself grace when it comes to your writing?
When I say grace, I mean forgiving ourselves when we say we’re going to write 1,000 words a day and not being so hard on ourselves if we only do 500 or 250 or nothing at all. I feel sometimes as writers we get caught up in our self-made goals that we forget to recognize and celebrate what we’ve already completed so far. So, let’s not be so hard on ourselves. Let’s remember that we are more amazing than we think. Sometimes we can’t see how great our achievements and our works are because we’re too close to them. We know our work needs improvement or at least to be finished, but from someone else’s POV, our work/progress is amazing. Especially to non-writers. So keep going, but remember you are already doing a good job.
How do we give ourselves grace?
So, let’s talk about how we actually give ourselves grace. Is it just a pat on the back? Is it a dessert? How do we give it to ourselves? I think everyone will find their own grace, but for me this is what I try to focus on.
- I look back on my work and admire it
I know it sounds a little self-boosting or egotistical but looking back on my work and focusing on what I did right brings me a great feeling inside of a job well done. Focusing on what I did right boosts my confidence and makes me feel like an amazing writer as opposed to looking for what’s wrong, which I tend to do in editing mode.
2. Missed deadline?
When I miss a deadline that I’ve set for myself I forgive myself and give myself grace by not calling myself a bad writer or a horrible procrastinator or whatever negative name or label that used to pop up in my head. This doesn’t mean I make excuses for myself, but I prefer to look at what happened that prevented me from working. What did I respond to that worked, and what about my task that turned me off and made me not want to do it? Was I hungry? Bored? Distracted? Cold? Uncomfortable? Tired? Overwhelmed? I try to examine my work to pinpoint my strengths and weaknesses so I can work with my strengths more and avoid things that give me a disadvantage.
3. Schedule a self-care day
I love self-care and I think everyone, writer or not, should schedule a day where they do a self-pampering activity. This activity can be a relaxing bath or going to the movies or having a nice night of reading. It is something that is unique to you specifically and something you will thoroughly enjoy doing. Something you want to do as opposed to something you have to do.
What I’ve done for my self-care days in the past have been a bath. I would light candles, play soft music, turn off the lights, and just soak in the tub for as long as I want with no distractions. I’ve also had a movie night where I watched two movies at home, ordered pizza and wings, and just stayed in, pigged out, and entertained myself. Both times were different and both times were awesome!
What benefits come with giving yourself grace?
So, why give ourselves grace when it comes to writing? Well, it may seem obvious, but I’m going to share what I’ve gained from giving myself grace.
- Less Stress
Stress goes away as soon as I remind myself that I’m doing a good job. I tend to be a perfectionist so telling myself I’m doing a great job takes away my stress and makes me feel more relaxed.
- Gives Yourself A Recharge
When you give yourself grace, it’s sort of like a recharge for your mind and motivation. After going hard for a long period of time, it’s nice to have a recharge that resets your efforts by giving yourself a break and gratitude.
- Better Mental Health
I think better mental health ties into less stress because they go hand in hand. Overall, better mental health can be achieved when we acknowledge how well we are doing instead of always focusing on what we can improve.
What do you like to do or what will you start doing to give yourself grace? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks so much for reading,