2015 is now well underway, but not so far underway that it feels quite like spring––at least, not if you live in the same part of the world that I do. The weather is grey and cold––and wet––and worst of all, there seems to be no end in sight (even though we know, in theory, that this happens every year). At some point during the incrementally lengthening days, there comes a realization: your writing is suffering. Whether it’s because of all the other things piling up, or because you’ve burned through your allotment of holiday candy, I thought I’d take a moment this President’s Day to encourage you with a few simple––and practical!––ideas for kicking those pre-Spring blues.
- Take care of your body. Revisit your sleep schedule, your vitamins C and D intake, your water intake, and those other finicky cycles that we all tend to interrupt and sacrifice on the altar of our incredibly busy lives. If you notice that one of these basic components of day-to-day health is off, don’t stress! Take a moment to breathe, and take steps to correct them––sustainably, of course, and never ever punish yourself for struggling or lapsing. Positive reinforcement only!
- Check in with friends and fellows. We all need the boost that a good conversation can bring. Google it: research shows that we need positive interactions with friends, family, and other community members to stay positive ourselves. During this pre-Spring time, reach out and touch base with your friends and fellow writers. You need them, and they need you too!
- Try something new, like signing up for a creative writing or introduction to publishing course through your local library, or join a local writer’s group. Don’t think in terms of a long-term commitment just yet––just give it a taste, a quick try, and reassess after a month or so. Is it helping? If yes, keep going. If not, let it go and try something else.
- Get outside. We writers tend to stick to the hermitage for reasons of both preference and (mostly) practicality. Writing is easiest inside, where there are plenty of wall sockets and comfortable seating nooks and wifi connections. And before summer well and truly dries out the snowbanks, getting outside can be kind of … messy. But here’s the thing: sunlight and fresh vistas can be some of the best curative tricks in the whole trade. Take something portable––an iPad or regular plain old paper notebook––in case something sparks your imagination. Get it down then and there!
- Plan something fun. Whether it’s a big vacation or a weekly trip to a local coffee shop (or, let’s face it, the local bookstore!), build rewards into your upcoming schedule. Giving yourself something to look forward to as you strive to write this spring will spur you on!
On a day when we United States citizens celebrate this nation’s founding fathers, it only seems right that we lay a solid foundation for the months of work to come. Just remember: it’s okay to pick and choose what techniques work for you!
I’d love to know: what tricks do you use to kick the pre-Spring blues?
|ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.|