As writers we’re often encouraged to write every day and to make deadlines and stick to them, but there are times in our lives where putting our writing first can be an unhealthy mindset.
Which is why I tell people write everyday, where possible. Notice the caveat. Sometimes it isn’t possible to write everyday. Or maybe it’s possible, but not recommended. In those cases, take a break. You deserve it and you’re allowed it and really, it’s the healthy thing to do. Give your brain the rest it needs when it needs it.
So when life throws you a curveball and you don’t have the time to write, or don’t feel like writing, or are facing writers block because your creativity just won’t co-operate, that’s perfectly OK. Rest. Give yourself permission to focus on what is troubling you and take the time you need to sort through it before you go back to writing. Your mental health and your manuscript will thank you for it.
And another thing, don’t mentally punish yourself for not hitting a self-imposed deadline. Life happens, creative output and productivity fluctuates, and that’s okay too. Treat word counts, or page counts, or however you track your progress as a high score to obtain, not a minimum you have to achieve. Go easy on yourself and you’ll get to end of your project a lot smoother and it will be a much more enjoyable process.
So write, write as often as possible, but don’t push yourself too hard. Take breaks. Writing is hard work, mentally and emotionally. Listen to your needs and support yourself. Writing is so often a solitary profession where you are your own boss. Look after yourself like you are your own star employee, because if you don’t, nothing will get done.
Thanks for reading.