Resolve to Give Yourself a Break

We’ve made it to the third week of January – hooray! I say this since my feelings for January are still, let’s say, “mixed.” But I’ve been feeling a lot better since I decided on three things:

  1. To focus on the creativity and the process rather than the end product (at least during the actual creation of said product.)
  2. To make sure I’m having some fun, whatever I’m doing.
  3. To give myself a break, and let some of the “shoulds” slip.

Here’s the thing: by the end of the year last year, I was contorted and twisted with stress over all the things perhaps I should have done, the way I should have done them, what I should do next, what should I write, what was the best path I should take, etc.

Sense a pattern?

Should is all well and good, and indeed, there are lots of things we should do, all the time. But it’s also highly subjective, and so often we guilt ourselves into misery thinking of all the the “shoulds” and not simply focusing on what we WILL do, what we HAVE done, what we NEED to do, and sometimes, ironically either neglected at the bottom of the list or given too much priority, we think of what we WANT to do.

For myself, I decided that rather than “should” I would focus on want. Indeed, the paranormal romance market is down, which doesn’t make sale of my books easier. But when I considered what I wanted to read, and moreover, the stories I wanted to write? They’re paranormal. It’s where I enjoy myself and can play. And when I let myself decide that’s what I’d do, despite it perhaps not being what I “should” do, I felt a lot better. When I let myself take a break and relax, creativity opened up again, and the writing was better.

Which comes back to the title of this post: if there’s anything I might advise someone to resolve to improve in 2015, it’s to take care of yourself, and in all the ways that matters. By all means, join a gym and get into better shape – exercise can also help mentally and emotionally. But also remember not to be as hard on yourself. To paraphrase an old song: reach for the moon, but don’t ever be ashamed if instead you only end up with the stars. 🙂

So now to you: are you trapped by “shoulds” and other imagined pressures? How do you resolve to take better care of yourself?

Happy writing to you all, and thanks for stopping by. Have a great week. 🙂