Valentine’s Day is coming, and people have big feelings about it. On one hand, it’s nice to have a set day to celebrate loved ones, but on the other, pressure to buy overpriced chocolates and flowers to ‘show’ love can cast a shadow on things.
Me? I think gifts are nice to give and receive, but pressure shouldn’t be part of it. But on the subject of Valentine’s Day, I have a question for you:
Because you should. You deserve it. Think about how you put a ton of effort into others each day, being the best employee, partner, parent, dog walker, dinner-maker, errand-runner, etc. that you can. It’s who you are, and how you provide for others.
But doing so means there’s not much time for you, is there? And that’s my point, especially for writers.
Our reality is that we need to squeeze writing in around everything else, and after a long day, there’s not always a lot of gas left in the ‘ol mental tank. But we roll up our sleeves because we have books to write and careers to build.
It can be a heavy load.
We need to be kind to ourselves.
So, this Valentine’s Day, think about what you need. And be sure to give yourself these three important gifts:
1) The Gift of Grace
Are you becoming self-critical because you think your writing progress is too slow, you find it hard to manage all the things that come with this career, or right now, certain things are beyond your skill? Let that go. You aren’t a machine, just someone doing their best. Silence your internal critic who is saddling you with unreasonable expectations. Everything takes time to learn. You’re doing great and you’ve got this!
2) The Gift of Time
Because you usually put everyone else first, this Valentine’s Day, carve time out for you. Reflect on what is important to you, and what makes you happy. Put those things on the front burner, prioritizing them. Put your needs first.
If you want to be able to write guilt-free, take that time. If you need a break from duty and responsibility so you can do something for yourself, ask someone to step in and help. And while you’re investing in your mental health, consider what small changes will ensure there’s always time for you and what you need moving forward!
3) The Gift of Patience
Because life zips along at a breezy clip, we assume our writing career will too, but it doesn’t work that way. Learning to craft strong novels, understand the industry, build a platform, and become proficient at the business end of things all take time to accomplish.
It’s easy to forget this, especially when others are releasing books and furthering their goals. We feel a sense of urgency to keep up, and falsely believe that if we can’t, something’s wrong with us. Not true. This journey will look different for each of us. And, it’s not a race, so be patient with your progress. Remind yourself that when you rush, bad things can happen.
Remember, it’s okay to put yourself first!
This isn’t said enough, and it needs to be!
Many of us feel near-constant pressure to do ‘all the things’ and we try, but it comes at a cost. Neglecting our well-being for too long saps our energy and creativity, and we need both to further our writing goals. And if we start to feel we’re not making headway because we never have time or we’re too tired, doubt creeps in. We may start to worry we don’t have what it takes (and we do!)
This is why self-care is essential. When you invest in yourself, it reminds you that you have WORTH, that those goals of yours are valid and deserve your time and focus.
When you take care of your personal well-being, you feel confident and capable. You have energy for the road ahead. And that’s a win-win-win.
So, as we inch closer to February 14th, think about how you’ll celebrate yourself. Read a book, take yourself on a long walk, and treat yourself to guilt-free indulgence. You deserve it!
Speaking of Valentine’s Gifts…
Becca and I like to put something together for writers this time of year because we love this community and feel so lucky to be part of it. So if you have been eyeing a One Stop for Writers subscription, please use this 25% off code to save a bit.
SHOW-DON’T-TELL THESAURUS DATABASE
CHARACTER ARC BLUEPRINT
STORY & SCENE MAPS
WORKSHEETS & TEMPLATES
THE STORYTELLER’S ROADMAP
All the story support you need to write fantastic fiction, in one place.
To redeem this one-time 25% discount:
And that’s it. Our storyteller’s toolkit is now your storyteller’s toolkit!
If you are a current subscriber, add/activate this code on the My Subscription page. It will discount your next invoice. Offer ends February 17th, 2024.
What is your favorite type of self-care? Let us know in the comments!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.