The emotional care and feeding of a writer

That’s the topic of a dinner I’ve organized (we all take turns) for an informal group of local children’s writers.

In some ways, writing can wear on a person. We’re working alone, telling stories about characters no one else knows, set in places no one else can visit–which is wonderful, but also isolating at the end of the day. And as we do this, we never really know to what extent we’ll get to share those worlds with other people.

I remember, maybe a decade ago now, realizing at one point that I’d come to let my entire mood and how I felt about myself depend on what sort of verdict the mailbox had for me that day. I realized, too, this wasn’t healthy, and I began working on having my life be about things besides my writing–on not only defining myself through that.

And I began thinking a lot about balance, about things that could help me stay more or less sane even if the writing was going well. Years later, I think for me some of these things include: getting out and talking to people, having things (work, volunteer gigs, hobbies) in my life outside of my writing, and getting in some sort of physical activity more days or not.

So I’m curious, for those of you reading this who write (or run other sorts of one-person freelance endeavors): what are your ways of staying sane and balanced? (I know, I know–some part of us wants to dub “sane writer” an oxymoron. But it isn’t really!)

Unless you ask me not to, I’ll share your answers at our meeting. (But I won’t use your name unless you’re already online as yourself.)

Thanks! Even outside of the meeting, I figure we can all learn from each other about the balance thing. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *