Writer Self-Care Tips

Self-care is SO important whether you are a writer or just a human, so today I am going to give some tips, ideas and reminders on how to make the most of your self-care sessions.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is what it sounds like. It is time devoted to you and you only, when you replenish your energy and as a writer, your creative well also.

Self-Care Activities: 

  • Take a bubble bath + read
  • Movie night in bed
  • Yoga
  • Bake!
  • Go for a walk
  • Go to the gym
  • Colour in a colouring book
  • Watch writing vlogs
  • Research new hobbies
  • Make lists!
    • bucket lists
    • goals and aspirations
    • books to read
    • movies to watch
  • Journal! (thoughts, feelings, ideas, short stories, etc)

Self-Care Tips:

  • Set Aside ONE whole day whenever you can to focus on your self-care
  • Have an hour or so in the evenings also dedicated to self-care (everyday or as many days possible)
  • Candles, candles, candles
  • Soft, relaxing music (none of this hardcore metallica…unless that relaxes you)
  • Healthy foods (lots of recipes on Pinterest)
  • Lots of fresh air
  • Get off your phone!

Risks of Not Caring For Yourself:

  • Creative burnout
  • Physical/mental burnout
  • Stress
  • Always feeling tired!
  • Prone to metal breakdowns (not fun)

It is so, so important to care for you body and mind! When you are a writer, you want to just work, work, and work to make your story better and to get more words on the page. It can be hard to allow yourself to take a few hours off, let alone an entire day, without feeling guilty, but it is crucial to your creative process. I like to take Sundays (mostly) off and on Sundays I try to stay away from writing my current WIP, limit my time on my phone, take baths, do lots of reading, and plan for the week to come. These are the ways I care for my mind and body, and make sure I start the next week off energized and ready to go!

Anyways, that is all for this post and I hope you enjoyed! If you have any other self-care activities or tips, then definitely comment them down below 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 3

Biannual Bibliothon: Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1 – Favourite Vacation Spots

Reading Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 1

Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Favourite Summer Books! 

Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

 

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Reading + Writing Update – Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2018 + Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

Happy Sunday!

Since I usually doing reading + writing updates on Sunday, I thought I would wrap up day 2 of the Biannual Bibliothon and the second week of Camp NaNoWriMo all in one post! Before I get into this update, I did want to say that I will not have any Biannual Bibliothon challenge blog posts going up for the next two or three days (not 100% sure which ones I already wrote). I just lost track of time! However, the days I don’t post a challenge post I will still post a regular blog post in its place because I always have a few ready to go. Anyways, let’s get into this most likely lengthy update!

 

BIANNUAL BIBLIOTHON DAY 2 UPDATE:

Image result for the darkest minds

I am very happy to report that I am still on track with finishing seven books by the end of the Biannual Bibliothon because I finished my second book for the readathon today! Today I picked up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, and to be honest, it was a struggle getting this one done. Lately, I have not really been in the “old school” dystopian mood, which is the genre of this book, so it took a little extra willpower to finish it. Also, it was on the longer(ish) side of being about 488 pages which is really long if I am not loving the story. But I did finish it, and I am very happy to have this book done and read before the movie comes out which hits theaters August 3rd. I am disappointed that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped, but I didn’t dislike…I am just okay with it. The concept was very similar to all the other dystopians I read, but I do not blame the author at ALL because this book came out in 2012 and dystopian was very “in” back then. Overall, I would give The Darkest Minds a 3/5 stars, and while I don’t have any plans to pick up the rest of the trilogy…series? Whatever it is, who knows?

CAMP NANOWRIMO WEEK 2 UPDATE:

Image result for camp nanowrimo

This is a very successful update because I also managed to write about 15,600 words this past week! This brings me up to a total of about 32,000/50,000 words for the second draft of my WIP, which I am calling Project Mystic, and I am ECSTATIC about my progress. Everyday I have been getting about one and a half hours of writing done, meaning I’ve been writing about 2,000-3,000 words written everyday. This is awesome because not only am I writing this a lot faster than I thought, but because it means I get to FULLY take Sundays off which is really nice for my brain. I do love writing of course, but we all need a break every once and a while. If I continue blasting out the words I will most likely reach my Camp NaNo goal by the end of next week…however I am nowhere near done draft 2. I am hoping it will only take until the middle of August to finish, but who knows?

Anyways, to quickly wrap this up, I started and finished ONE book today and wrote over 15,000 words for this second week of Camp NaNo which I am SO happy about. That is all for today though, I hope your reading/writing is going well, and I will see you tomorrow with some more content!

Last Blog Post: Summer Biannual Bibliothon Day 2 – Favourite Summer Books!

 

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Reading + Writing Update!

Happy Sunday!

This week has been one of my most productive weeks by far, more writing wise than reading, but I still got a good amount of reading done! After finishing Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier earlier this week, I was suddenly hit with a strong desire to read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater because I was in the mood for a dark and mystical story. I actually read The Raven Boys about a year ago, but I don’t think I was in the right mindset to read it because for some strange reason, I didn’t enjoy it that much and remember next to nothing about the story! However, I finished it earlier today and can easily say that I LOVED it, and am so excited to jump into the next book The Dream Thieves. Since the Biannual Bibliothon (a week long readathon) starts next Saturday, July 14th, I am going to try and finish the ENTIRE series before then to warm myself up for another week of lots, and lots of reading. If I don’t though, hopefully I manage to read the first three books, and the other one I can just squeeze into my Biannual Bibliothon TBR, which is coming soon!

748e9-the-raven-cycle-series

This was the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo and for this month I am working on my second draft of my current YA fantasy WIP. I did not write on day one of Camp NaNo, nor did I write yesterday, but I already have 15,000 words written so I can afford the breaks. I am about a day ahead but since I plan on doing lots of writing today, I will hopefully be about 6,000 words ahead by the end of the day! If you want to look more into my writing routine for this summer and how I get so many words each day, I did an entire blog post on it so check that out in the links below!

That is all for this reading and writing update, and I hope you enjoyed!

Last Blog Post: My Writing Routine – Summer Edition

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Reading + Writing Update!

This was my first week off of school, and overall I was really happy with all the reading and writing related things I managed to get done. I had been listening to The Selection series for a few weeks now, and finally finished the audiobook for the third book, The One by Kiera Cass. These are books I have visited countless times and always love the light hearted, fun story they tell, so I was sad to finish them for yet another time! And yes, I know there are five books in the series but the last two…well, not a huge fan. Anyways, I have also been working my way through Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier, and was really hoping to finish it by July 1st, but I ended up still having about 40 pages to read. Oh well. Since I should be able to finish that later today, I plan on reading Save the Date by Morgan Matson. I have heard amazing things about this summer contemporary so I borrowed it in ebook format from my library, and am really excited to get to it soon! I am a huge fan of contemporary and Morgan Matson so I know I won’t be disappoint.

Image result for camp nanowrimo

Today is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo! I am so, so excited to jump into a month focusing on writing my second draft for my current WIP, and I hope all of you are too. Of course today HAS to be an insanely busy day so the writing will have to wait until later tonight, but I am still determined to wedge my 1.5 hours in before the day is done. For us Canadians it is Canada Day, and while I don’t go crazy while celebrating, I am going out for a few hours with my friends and then family is coming…so yeah, a little hectic but I am making a priority to start this Camp NaNoWriMo off right. Remember to not let the stress of Camp NaNoWriMo get to you though because YOU get to create your own goals, and your goals can be changed and shifted to your schedule. Just take a deep breath and keep writing.

That is all for this weekly writing and reading update, and I hope you enjoyed. Don’t forget to check out my last blog post and my social media accounts, which are all linked below!

Last Blog Post: Camp NaNoWriMo Checklist!

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Camp NaNoWriMo Checklist!

Camp NaNoWriMo is just over two days away, and since our minds are racing at top speed trying to tie up our outlines, it is easy to forget other last minute things that NEED to get done before sitting down to write. Here is your ultimate Camp NaNoWriMo checklist and I hope it helps!

Image result for camp nanowrimo

 

  • Finish Your Outline! – This is an obvious one, but it is the most important one. Even if you are a panster, have some sort of idea of how you are getting from point A to point B so you won’t waste writing time trying to think about what happens next.
  • CLEAN Your Writing Space(s) – On June 30 take however long it takes to completely clean and organize the places you like to write. I will be clearing my desk, organizing all the scattered papers and pens in my drawers, and leaving out my outline so I can easily refer to it while writing! If you write in multiple places, make sure they are all tidy so you don’t waste precious writing time trying to clean them up. This goes for your home in general! It is hard to write surrounded by mess so take the day to deep clean because you won’t want to spend time doing so when you should be writing.
  • Gather Your Writing Snacks/Drinks – Again, the day before, buy all of your writing snacks and drinks so that they are ready for you as the clock strikes midnight…or whenever you decide to start writing on July 1st! For me, I will be making sure I have a lot of green tea and coffee because apart from water, that is all I drink!
  • Gather Up Your Motivation – By this I mean to figure out what motivates you to write, whether that is a certain book, writing related YouTube videos, or even listening to a writing podcast. Whatever it is that replenishes your creativity and motivation to write, have it at your fingertips for whenever you find yourself needing it. For me, I will be making a YouTube playlist of certain vlogs and videos that inspire me to write!
  • Follow @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter – This is an account that is active during Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo that offers writing sprints for you to partake in. They range anywhere from maybe 15 minutes to an entire hour, and are usually happening at any point in the day for you to jump in. I am always very productive during these writing sprints, and I really recommend giving them a try!

There is your Camp NaNoWriMo checklist so make sure you get everything on this list done! Comment below what project(s) you will be working on during July, and what your goals are as well, because I would love to know 🙂

Also, don’t forget to check out my last blog post and follow me on social media for more writing and bookish related posts!

Last Blog Post: How To Expand Your Creativity

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Camp NaNoWriMo: Guide to a Productive Month

I cannot believe the next session of Camp NaNoWriMo is right around the corner which means it is time to prep! Here is a quick guide to how to have the best Camp NaNoWriMo possible, and how to get the most out of it.

Image result for camp nanowrimo

Prep Your Writing for Each Week

At the end of each week, sit down and plan out what you are going to write for the next week. It can be a detailed or loose outline, but this is just a way for you to be more productive during the week. Knowing where you need to get to, and the steps you need to take to get there will make it a lot easier to write all the words. If you just wing it each day, you might get some writing done, but definitely not as much as you would if you know how to approach each day.

Focus on Maximizing Time Spent Writing Rather than Your Word Count

This is something I have recently realized and I am so, so glad I did. All these years I have been focused on getting the most words down possible each day, which meant some days I would only write anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour. I should have focused more on the amount of time I spend writing each day and you should too! Now instead of going into each day aiming for 2,000 words (which most days I don’t even hit), I focus more on trying to write for one whole hour each day, even if I somehow surpass 2,000 words. When I do this, I get a lot more writing done, and it takes more of the pressure off each day!

Develop Writing Triggers

It is the perfect time to start developing writing triggers to help you get into the mood for writing since Camp NaNoWriMo is still 12 days away. If you aren’t sure about what writing triggers are exactly, then here are some examples!

  • Drinks – Make a certain type of drink that you don’t have any other time except when you are writing…whether that is a different type of  flavored coffee, fruit infused water, or whatever you want but ONLY have it when it is writing time.
  • Candles – Find a scent that reminds you of your story and light it whenever you are writing. Maybe for a fantasy story you have a candle that smells like the forest, or for a contemporary you have one that smells sweet. Whatever reminds you of your story the most, use that!
  • Music – Making a writing playlist is a lot of fun (but don’t spend the time you should be writing making it), or a lot of authors have their playlists linked on their websites so you can check those out as well. Personally, I listen to the Hamilton Mixtape because it even has a song called “Wrote My Way Out” which always makes me want to write.

Let Yourself Take Days Off

It is really important to make sure you don’t burn yourself out so I recommend taking one entire day off each week. For me, I like to take Sundays off to spend those days relaxing and taking care of myself and you should too! It doesn’t have to be Sunday, choose whatever day works best for you, and spend the day replenishing your creativity and resting your mind. Here are some ideas of what you can do on your days off writing:

  • Reading
  • Self-care day
  • Watching movies
  • Working out
  • Journalling
  • Cleaning your work space

Find a New Work Space Each Week

Switch up the places you write each week to keep things fresh and inspiring. It can be a different place in your house or it can be somewhere outside of your house like the library, a coffee shop, or somewhere outside like a park. I don’t like writing in the same spot each writing session, and am always moving into different spots because it definitely stumps my creativity.

Those are five ways to have the most productive Camp NaNoWriMo, and I hope you enjoyed and found them helpful! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, and social media accounts which are all linked down below.

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

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Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4: Finding Value in Your Work

Week 4 is upon us, which for most of us means we have long lost that initial excitement of starting a new project. You may be feeling unmotivated whenever you think about sitting down to write, and may feel like the words that are coming out aren’t good. And you are probably right, they most likely aren’t good but that is the point of drafting! Here are a few tips to see the value in your work again, and gain back that motivation to power through the last seven days of Camp NaNoWriMo:

Image result for camp nanowrimo

  • Remind Yourself That This is Draft One – For most of us, this is draft one of our projects and because of that, the words are just there as a placeholder until you can think of better ones. The point of a first draft is to word vomit all your ideas and characters onto a document, and then later on you can come in with a broom and dustpan. But you can only do that if the words start out bad so get out those words!
  • Remember Every Writer Starts Out in the Same Boat – Even the most successful writers start with bad first drafts, it is just a given. Nobody has a clean first draft, unless you go back and edit everything you write but that would take forever so just keep going!
  • All Stories Matter – Don’t compare your story to someone else’s because all stories are valid and deserve to be told. Each story will be different and have a different effect on people, so don’t go comparing your story to Harry Potter just because it is a fantasy book that has magic in it! You will only end up feeling bad about your work and we don’t want that.
  • Enjoy the Process – When it comes to writing, you have to write with the present in mind, not the future. If you are writing to become a “New York Bestselling Author” then you are not writing for the right reasons, and will be most likely to only disappoint yourself. Enjoy the process of writing your own, original story, and fall in love with it!
  • Just Keep Writing – Don’t go back and edit anything, just keep writing. Keep the momentum flowing and when you finally write that last page your story, it will feel like a massive accomplishment, because it is! So work towards that rather than a fancy title like “NY Bestselling Author”. How many people can say they have finished an entire novel? Odds are not many so let that be your goal.

That is all for this Camp NaNoWriMo Week 4 post and I hope you enjoyed! I will have a week 5 one up next week so stayed tuned for that. Don’t forget to check out all the blog posts linked down below for more bookish-writing related content, and also follow me on social media!

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update!

Other Camp NaNo Posts: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

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Camp NaNoWriMo Week 3: Using Your Cabin

The great part about Camp NaNoWriMo is that you are placed in a cabin with a group of writers all going through the same struggles and hardships as you. If you don’t usually speak to people about your writing, whether that is because your town/city doesn’t offer many opportunities for that or because you are just shy, this is the perfect opportunity so take advantage of it.

Image result for camp nanowrimo 2018

Tips for Making the Most of Your Cabin:

  • Introduce Yourself – This is obvious, but it is important to introduce yourself to your virtual cabin. Say your name and share a bit on what you are working on, and maybe throw in some struggles you usually have when it comes to your writing. You will be surprised by how many people will respond and begin introducing themselves as well!
  • Ask for Advice – A lot of your cabin members have most likely been writing for a long time, so ask for some advice! Maybe you need some help on flushing out your characters, or how to escape the cold, dead hands of writer’s block. Whatever you need there is a good chance someone in your cabin has an answer.
  • Motivate Each Other – There will definitely be days where you are not motivated to write, and just the thought of sitting down at your computer sounds draining. Guess what, you have about a dozen or so people at your fingertips if you are in need of some pep talks! And when someone else is in need of some motivation in your cabin, make sure you are there to offer some as well. I make sure I actively check out the chat room of my cabin because I want to be there for my cabin mates, and it is nice to always have the favour returned.

I know this blog post was a bit short, but I really wanted to emphasize on the importance of your cabin before Camp NaNoWriMo is over because boy, is it flying by. Now that you are done reading this, google “Camp NaNoWriMo”, log in and start up the chat in your cabin! Apply the 3 tips I gave above and make the most of your cabin while you have it. Also, don’t forget to check out the blog posts linked below, and I hope you enjoyed 🙂

Last Blog Post: Reading + Writing Update

Other Camp NaNo Posts: My Survival Writing Kit, Catching Up

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Reading + Writing Update!

Another week gone so it is time for another update! I am happy with what I managed to get done this week because recently I got obsessed with The Greatest Showman because not only is the movie beautiful, but the music…I am obsessed. If you haven’t watched it then drop everything right now and go do that, it will change your life. I wish I could write to the soundtrack but I can’t help but sing along every time it comes on thus I would never get anything done.

I finished another book! Three already this month which is a record compared to the last few months, and I think I will reward myself for jumping into another book, which is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, finally! I also plan on listening to the audiobook for Sapphire Blue by Kersin Gier, the second book in this time travelling trilogy. I really loved the audiobook for the first book, and am excited to revisit the books via audiobook. Other than that, I am hoping to finish The Girl of Fire and Thorns by the end of this coming week, because to stay on top of my reading goal I need to read three more books by the end of April. I can do that right? Even with Camp NaNoWriMo and homework and life? *nervous laughter*

As for writing, I am SUPER happy with my results. Most days I have been able to meet my goal…well actually not really but luckily the days I did pass my goal, I ended up writing 2-3000 words so I am still very ahead. Luckily I haven’t lost motivation for my WIP, but I do have a lot of ideas on what I will fix and change in the second draft because currently, I am just word vomiting whatever comes to mind onto this word doc. I also plan on writing a short story this weekend for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Writing Contest because why not? It has a maximum word count of 300 words so it shouldn’t take too much time. Here are my word counts from last Sunday to this Saturday:

Sunday: 1524 words

Monday: 946 words

Tuesday: 2797 words

Wednesday: 3112 words

Thursday: 734 words

Friday: 1062 words

Saturday: 2136 words

Total: 22,373/40,000 words

That is all for this update and I hope you enjoyed. Good luck with your own reading and writing journeys, and don’t forget to check out the blog posts linked below! Also, I finally made writing accounts on Instagram and Tumblr so give me a follow so I can follow you back 🙂

Last Blog Post: How To: Read More

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How To: Develop Healthy Writing Habits

When writing, it is important to develop habits that benefit you physically and mentally. Sometimes we get in the habit of developing unhealthy habits though, which is why you should probably sit down, read this blog post, and figure out how to apply these tips to your life. I really hope this will help and I hope you enjoy!

What Are Some Unhealthy Writing Habits?

  • Staying Up Too Late or Too Early Every Day Writing
  • Beating Yourself Up For Not Meeting Your Daily Word Goal
  • Setting Writing Goals That Are Way Out of Reach
  • Not Taking Breaks

What Are Some Healthy Writing Habits?

  • Writing During Your Prime Time, But Also Getting 7-8 Hours of Sleep
  • Setting Realistic Daily Word Counts and Overall Writing Goals
  • Taking Breaks Every 25-60 minutes for 5-10 minutes
  • Allowing Yourself to Take a Day Off If Your Mind and Body Needs It!

How Can YOU Develop These Healthy Writing Habits?

  • Set Up a Writing Schedule That Works Around Your Sleep Schedule – Sleep is so important because if you don’t get enough it will be really hard to function the next day. Find out what times work best for you and your creative flow, but make sure it works out that you are still getting a decent sleep.
  • Create SMART Goals – SMART (Specific – Measurable – Agreed upon – Realistic – Time Based) goals are what format you should be looking to whenever you make goals. These are the most productive goals because you should develop an action plan to tackle these realistic goals, and make those steps towards that goal SMART goals as well. For example, if your goal is to write 30,000 words by the end of the month you have already created half of a SMART goal. You have your pretty realistic goal and a deadline. Now you just need to figure out how many words per day you need to write, and I also recommend having a little reward for you at the end if you accomplish it.
  • Take Breaks – I recommend timing your writing sessions in what feels best for you. For example, maybe you work better in shorter sprints so set timers for every 20-30 minutes and then take a 5 minute break at the end of each short sprint and repeat that until you are done for the day. If you like writing for longer sprints, maybe one hour at a time, then take about 10 minute breaks. You don’t want to burn out and your fingers and brain do need a short break every so often.
  • If You Write Every Day, Take A Day Off Every Once and a While – I don’t usually write everyday (except I try during Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo) because I am also a full time student, but when I do, I find myself really needing a day off every once and a while. Sometimes I will take every second Sunday off, which is a day I reserve for doing school work and blogging and other projects other than whatever I am currently working on. If that sounds appealing to you, try it and don’t feel guilty about taking that much needed day off!

Now, to develop these habits I recommend applying them to your everyday life for at least a week straight because if you do it only every once and a while, you will not develop these habits. It may be a hard week, but it will be worth it once these habits become part of your writing routine!

Those are some ways to develop healthy writing habits and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out the blog posts linked below, and don’t forget to keep writing 🙂

Last Blog Post: Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2: Catching Up

Other Writing Blog Posts: Things All Aspiring Writers Should  Do, Balancing Multiple Writing Projects 

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