Yep. That’s where I’m going this week. Because I need to hear it and I know some of my fellow writers do, too.
Short recap: It’s been a rough week of late nights and early mornings for me. Couple that with bitingly-cold, cloudy-gray weather, cabin fever, and some interpersonal stress, and by Friday I just needed to take it slow. Usually I’m out the door to the gym by 7:45, but today the idea of going out in -5 degrees was just unconscionable. I decided to catch up on my beta-reading and CP duties, and maybe write a blog post for this week instead.
Cue the extensive self-degradation about how lazy I am and how I have no excuse for not getting in my workout and how I’m just slacking off and, yeah – does any of this sound familiar?
This is not just a writer thing. Self-talk is a huge issue for a lot of people. Even the most compassionate folks I know struggle with having compassion toward themselves. And while many of us would quickly encourage a burnt-out friend to take some self-care time and ease back on their fast-paced lifestyle for a day, we don’t give ourselves the same slack.
Anyone else on the struggle boat when it comes to taking a day off from writing?
Do you ever surrender (kicking and screaming) to the need to step back from your WIP for a bit and then just beat yourself up relentlessly for not making progress?
Do you feel like a failure if you press pause?
Do you fill your “off days” with reasons you shouldn’t be taking “off” at all?
Guys. We have to stop. We have to stop being the vicious bullies of our own weary hearts. We deserve better than to be victimized by our own impossible standards.
Practice gentleness to yourself on the days you need to step back. Please don’t label yourself as a failure or lazy or any other cruel slogan when you need a day – or many days – to rest.
Life coach and all around badass girl-boss Brene Brown has this to say about our self-talk:
“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
You wouldn’t call your writer friend a failure for taking a step back; don’t pin that same distinction on yourself. You probably wouldn’t slander someone else for skipping the gym or not reading (x) number of pages in their buddy read or setting their alarm two hours later so they can feel rested and not like a zombie at the beginning of the day.
So please, please don’t do that to yourself, either.
We deserve the same grace to break our mold and take care of ourselves as we give to those we love. It’s time to be the voice of encouragement in our own lives, rather than the voice of shame and disdain.
There is beauty in routine. I believe it. I teach it to other. But when you go through the same motions on the same paths to the same places every single day, you miss the beauty that lives in other parts of the world.
So today, I’m sitting at my desk at 8:00am, still in my PJs, actually finishing my coffee for once, and watching the sunrise from my desk instead of from the gym windows.
And. You guys.
I had forgotten how beautiful it looks from this angle. ❤