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Friday, January 03, 2014

10 Tips to Feed Your Writer's Soul

by Edie Melson

Writing is hard work!
Writing is hard work.

Beyond the physical part, it’s emotionally taxing. We pour our hearts and souls into the words we arrange into stories, articles, even blog posts. We spend time and money learning how to write, constantly improving our skills.

Then, we take a deep breath and share our words with the world. So often that world can be less than kind. To face the tumultuous life of writing, we have to take time to nourish the writer within.

Today I want to share 10 tips you can use to feed your writer’s soul.


1. Come up with a schedule—complete with breaks—and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a to-the-minute sort of thing. I promise myself a break every hour to hour-and-a-half. But breaking things into small bites reduces the stress.

Goals give you something to shoot for
and something to celebrate
2. Set goals, some small, some large. The variety keeps it interesting— and doable!

3. Reward yourself when you meet a goal. Goals give you something to shoot for and something to celebrate. It could be something as easy as 5 M&Ms when you write 500 words. But take time to give yourself positive feedback.

4. Surround yourself with cheerleaders. Enlist your family and friends in your dream. Share your struggles, share your goals, share your success. You’ll be richer in the end.

No, not really!
5. Take time to be a vegetable.For me, that’s mindless TV. I love Survivor, Castle and Big Bang Theory. For you, it may be time to thumb through a magazine or have a cup of coffee.

6. And on that note…eat right. I know, it’s become a cliché. But things are clichés for a reason—they’re usually true. Make sure your diet is well balanced. None of us can exist for days on end with nothing but junk food.

7. Don’t forget to exercise. I hate it like the plague (talk about a cliché). But I ALWAYS feel better when I take time for it. No only do I feel better physically, but I’m sharper mentally.

8. Join a writing community.Or if you already have one, take part in it. I’m part of a couple of writing groups, and that’s where I head when I need someone who understands.

9. Give yourself permission to write junk. Sometimes I just have to write bad before I can write good. Knowing it’s going to happen makes it more palatable.

10. Don’t neglect your spiritual life. None of us would be here without God. Make Him your priority and He’ll handle the rest.

These are my ten tips. What would you add to the list?

5 comments:

Karen Nolan Bell said...

Love the list. I have added the schedule thing to my list this year. I realize I need to whip myself into writing even when I don't feel well. I'm really good at the taking a break part, though. :) Thanks for doing the work for me in making the list.

Edie Melson said...

Karen, I'm glad this helped! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

Ron Estrada said...

Another great piece of advice from you, Edie. I would add READ. I set a goal to read 52 books this year and even set up a facebook page to invite others to take up the challenge as well (and promote my writerbuds). But I want to be more strategic in my reading. 5 books on character development, 10 within my genre, 10 classics, etc. When you only have an hour a day to read, you need to make every book count. But be sure to have fun, too.

Marcia Laycock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcia Laycock said...

Good one, Edie. I'll be sharing. :) (deleted the earlier comment 'cause I spelled your name wrong. ;)