Writer Survival

I’ve been MIA from my blog lately and realized that this weekend wasn’t going to be any easier, despite my earlier in the week wishful thinking. We’ve had rotating illnesses, allergies, computer troubles, etc. and the extra care-taking hasn’t left me with much energy at the end of the day for blogging. I know, I know: common complaint. And, truly, I try to write posts that have inspired me in some way. I already worry I have the tendency to slip into working out my writerly angst via my blog. *blink, blink

So, this will be short, but hopefully angst-free. The things I turn to when I need help, or comfort, or am exhausted.

1. Favorite sweater–I have tweeted and written about the sweater. I’m not at the point where I am superstitious about it, but it is something I use to help me change gears. Kind of like how Mr. Rogers would exchange his jacket for his cardigan at the beginning of the show. It’s like a cue to me that I’m in a different mode. I don’t need it, but I like it because it helps me settle in and focus. Wow, how I’ve come to appreciate being able to take long and short range thinking when it comes to a project. Focus matters.

2. Favorite beverage–Mine is currently hot tea. That’s likely because of my (annoying) allergies and having had it with cough drops. Yuck. Again, after coffee, which is essential for survival, tea lets me write, sip, write, sip and see forward progression. When the tea gets cold, I notice that I’ve lost myself in something that I’m doing. And, just my observation here since writers get a reputation for being drinkers. Personally, I have no idea how anyone could write something coherent once they are intoxicated. I don’t mix the two, not even just a glass of wine. Not judging, just saying it doesn’t work for me and I am still struck by folks who think it does.

3. Favorite buddy to talk to about your passion–Mine is my husband. He’s so supportive, somehow cares deeply about my writing, and ventures opinions that make me think. He gives me confidence and helps me find time to write. EVERYONE needs someone like this in their lives. They may not live with you. They may not even be someone you can see every day. But, I think having a support system for your writing is necessary. Even if they don’t totally get it. They need to get what it means to you (mostly) and support that.

4. Favorite way to work off steam–Mine is walking, with the occasional jog, and dancing around my living room with my kids. Loooong before having kids, it was a kickboxing class. You have to move your body on a regular basis to be healthy. You don’t need to be a gym rat, but you need to find something you enjoy doing and do it a few times a week.

I hope that you all stay healthy! What are your best tips for self-care?


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  • Evelyn Berry

    Hey Ainsley! I hope you get better soon. Allergies are so bad in central Texas and with the recent rain I’m sure mold will jump up. These past couple of days with the fall weather have been heavenly.

    My best tip for self-care is yoga! I discovered yoga while I was finishing my dissertation. I used to run, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. After dealing with the frustrations of my committee, I needed something that could make me STOP thinking..and yoga is it. I like hot yoga, so even if I feel a little sick, I go in and the humidity just purges out the illness.
    Give it a try!

  • Ainsley Wynter

    Ooh, good suggestion. I do need to give yoga more of a try. I just find it difficult to both bend over and watch how it’s done. Ha! Exercise does normally really help. And rest. I believe I found kickboxing to be super helpful when working on my dissertation too. Something about the punching and kicking, maybe? 😉