Our latest blog series is all about your sanity, and how to hang on to it. Because, let’s be real, this whole publishing gig is nutso. Writing and creating can make you looney enough, but add in the pressure of selling a product and good ol’ capitalism, and you’ve got yourself a cocktail of crazy – shaken, not stirred.
The crux is we love it. Every writer I know LOVES what they do. We say stuff like we can’t imagine not writing, we’d be even crazier if we didn’t write, and that, in writing, we feel complete. So, how do we keep doing the thing without flying over the cuckoo’s nest? I have a few suggestions and, while they might not all work for you, I hope at least one will ring true.
- Take a break from time to time. If you’re on deadline, this is tough, but there is usually a day or a weekend after your deadline to stop and breathe. If you have more time available, take it. If your break is a week or more, you might be slower when it comes time to write again, but like bike riding, it’ll come back to you. Stop stressing. Set the laptop aside for a bit and get out. Do whatever makes you happy that has nothing to do with writing. Yard work, shopping, walking or hiking, going to the movies or vegging out on Netflix. Whatever it is, take some time to relax and rest your gray matter. I promise this does wonders to keep you from having an emotional breakdown.
- Have that emotional breakdown. No really. Sometimes there is nothing for it but to bawl your eyes out. If you hold the hurt or doubt or rejection in, they will consume you and kill your creativity. Go ahead and get your ugly cry on instead of wasting a lot of energy fighting it. Then, wash your face, blow your nose, put on some lip gloss and know that you’re wonderful. We all have setbacks and hurdles. We all feel like dog poo, doubt ourselves and our place in this business – like, on a weekly basis. You just need to get it out of your system, and you’re not alone.
- Don’t go through any of this alone. Find your tribe. These are your people. Your people may be only one other person or a bevy of Bad Girlz. You’ll know them when you find them, but find them you must! These people will grab your hand when you go over the ledge. They will drag you back up and ugly cry with you. They will listen after you’ve already ugly cried alone because you’re too proud to cry with anyone around. They know you’re awesome, even when you don’t, and they will remind you of this fact however many times it takes to get you back on your feet. They will meet you on your birthday to drink margaritas and shop and act silly. They will email or text you random stuff at all hours of the day, just to make you smile. They will not judge you for being a dirty little freak, because they’re dirty little freaks too! They will love and respect you for who you are – and in this business, you’re going to need people like that by your side.
I’m going to stop here and go meep into my coffee now, because I realize just how blessed I am to have my people. How do you stay sane in this insane biz? Best wishes on your writing journey and write on!