Break Before You Burn

You’d think the girl who wrote a guest post on banishing burnout would practice what she preaches. Alas, I’m an imperfect human being prone to contradictions.

Does this post qualify as a Tuesday Tip? I’ll let you decide at the end.

So yes, I still struggle with giving myself breaks. I’ve previously written about how I constantly feel “on”, both as a writer building my publication experience and in all other areas of my life.

In terms of writing, it’s even harder because your online presence becomes part of your brand. Am I posting enough on social media? Am I relevant? Shouldn’t I have a lot more followers by now? I even question what I’m doing with this blog. Why haven’t I written a whole new draft yet (this one hurts even more when I see folks doing Camp NaNoWriMo or working on their sixth book while I’m struggling to find momentum for my second)?

Personally, it’s more like, am I reaching out to my friends enough? What if they move on from me? Where will that leave me? Am I doing enough for my family?

Maybe what I should be asking is, why am I always pressuring myself to be better, when simply being where I am is enough?

For many reasons, on both the individual and societal levels, I’m not alone. Many people my age feel pressured to always perform or improve. It’s the belief that if you don’t push yourself to learn something new or get better at something every minute of every day, you’ll plateau and regress into some useless blob (or maybe a Boohbah). It’s the idea that if you’re not physically and mentally drained at the end of every day, you haven’t done enough.

And that’s simply not true. I’ve known this for a while, but I think this week marks a new beginning in terms of actually practicing going easier on myself.

Last night, instead of forcing myself to tweak my query or work on a new scene in my WIP until my eyes burned and the clock struck midnight, I gave myself time to work on a craft, chat with a friend, take a relaxing shower, and watch a show all while gentle, calming rain drummed on my windowsill. It was kind of perfect.

I didn’t beat myself up this morning (well, not as much as I did before) when I slept in.

Here’s a newsflash: if you’re burnt out, the answer isn’t producing more. It’s taking time to recharge so you do have the energy to tackle your goals.

My friend recommended the book Brave Not Perfect, and I think it’s exactly what I need right now.

Thanks for being authentic with me. Have a lovely rainy Tuesday (if it’s raining where you are), and be kind to yourself.

Manifesting Reality

*realizes I should’ve posted this on a Monday so I could’ve made the title “On Mondays We Manifest” for the alliteration… well, maybe one day*

I’ve obviously been quiet lately. It shocked me when I realized my last post on this blog was at the end of June, especially since one of my goals this summer was to be more consistent. I guess a little thing called life happens. For me, pursuing personal goals while treating myself with kindness is a struggle.

What have I been doing since, you ask? Well, I did enjoy a short vacation to Maine where I got to mostly lay on the beach, but also got to see some cool art in Chases Garage. My nights mostly consist of reading (most recently finished Andrea Dunlop’s We Came Here to Forget) and catching up on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia until I fall asleep.

You may have seen my Instagram post explaining why I’ve been kind of discouraged in my writing lately, yet I still show up to do this thing. I think I’m in need of some renewal and refreshment, so in the tradition of manifesting my dreams into reality, I’m going to write about how I want my days to look.

You know the saying that as the morning goes, so goes the rest of the day? I’ve found it to be true. I need to stop starting my mornings by staring at my phone. More broadly, I should really stop waking up early, turning off all my alarms, and going back to sleep.

I read a great post earlier about the power of mindful journaling to achieve your goals. This is something I really want to work into my days.

I also need to be firm yet flexible in what I want to accomplish in any given day. My novel ideas aren’t going to write themselves!

So this post is my commitment to actually doing what I say I want to do. It’s not something that will happen overnight, but every little step counts.