One of the most important parts of being an artist is knowing when and how to rest. Burnout can cause major damage to the creative process, so pre-scheduled play is essential for refilling the well.
That said, the LitHabits Blog is taking a break for the next three weeks! I’m heading out to sea with my family on a cruise to Alaska. 🚢
While my Productive Editor brain (I call her Diane) would love nothing more than for me to spend an hour a day writing on the high seas, my artist child knows better.
Still, I’m not going to leave you hangin’! There are some new faces around the LitHabits Blog these days, so I’m going to share five of our best-liked articles from the last few months.
5 Favorite Articles on Writing Practice
I’m well versed in the “there’s just not enough time in the day” vortex of non-writing. For me, when I dig beneath procrastination, I find fear. Writing is hard. Writing requires all of me. That’s terrifying.
Writing requires shitty first drafts. And we’ll do an––y––thing to avoid the physical act of writing. Left to our own devices, it’s easier to avoid the discomfort of writing, especially a first draft.
We need momentum. We need to remove decision making.
We need a habit chain to ignite a writing routine.
A dedicated coffee queen for years, I eventually admitted it was a trigger for my anxiety. Jitters, racing heart, trouble sleeping, the works. I weaned myself off the juice in 2015 and replaced the ritual with black tea. Still packing a punch of caffeine, black tea gives me a smoother buzz and perks me up.
I drink two cups of tea in the morning, and by the time I finish the second, I’m in the zone of focus. The craving for another hot, comforting cup sets in.
If I give in to a third, even tea, the jitters return.
Thankfully, I’ve found a delicious tea and coffee substitute that not only satisfies the rich beverage fix we writers crave, but also lifts the mood, reduces inflammation, and may improve memory and cognition, among other perks in a long list of health benefits.
The perfect coffee or tea substitute: Brain Fog Bustin’ Golden Milk
For me, writer’s block is a symptom of burnout.
It comes when I’ve pushed too hard, I’ve asked too much of my creative spirit. Julia Cameron says the inner artist is a “creative child,” and if you push that kid too hard, she’ll rebel.
My burnout block is when nothing inspires. All the color is sucked from the world and replaced with gray. My face feels tired, and the space behind my eyes aches. The buzz and flicker of creativity, that tingling in the fingertips to write… Gone. Gone with the artist child who is off taking a nap.
Let me tell you something I need to hear every single day for the rest of my life:
You are enough.
Whether you write a Pulitzer winner, an NYT Bestseller, a modest novella, an indie chapbook…or…
...if you never write another word for the rest of your life.
You are enough.
And that’s why I love collecting quotes.
If you’re like me and sometimes, oftentimes, feel depleted, overwhelmed, exhausted, over it: Print these out. Bookmark this post. Make one into a pretty graphic with WordSwag. Pin it to your phone wallpaper. Scribble one on your mirror in dry erase marker. Text one to a creative friend. Let the words be a balm.
“Rituals are a good signal to your unconscious that it is time to kick in,” Anne Lamott says.
If you’ve read Mason Currey’s Daily Rituals, you know the majority of great artists cultivated, in their own way, some form of routine to combat the noise of KFKD radio and The Censor.
Many writers swear by routine and ritual––even weird ones.