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Self-Care for Writers

The Bernie Mac Show is still one of my favorite shows and it taught me a lot about self-care as an author.

My favorite episode is the one where Bernie and Wanda are now both working from home and she disrupts his whole entire process! His process seemed elementary, but we all know how talented this man was. He had his favorite:

* Section of the newspaper to read

• Collection of movies that he chose from daily

• Sandwich and beverage

• Style of index cards and writing utensils

Like Bernie, I have my favorite things like this. I am blessed to live in Memphis, TN, minutes away from Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River. When I want to write and be outside, I take a drive Downtown and find my duly appointed bench.

I love listening to the water and watching the waves as the music of Beale Street fills my ears from behind. When I need a pick me up, I visit my favorite Black woman-owned bakery for my special assortment of oatmeal cookies.

If the weather is amiss and I need to have that cozy space of protection, I retreat to my bookstore, which is right around the corner from my house and full of my favorite things.

There, I have my writing playlist saved on my Facebook Portal. I have my hot beverage bar right up front next to my four-foot table that extends to six feet when I need the space and my favorite chair is there for me, which is where my Cookie Monster plushie sits, guarding my favorite blanket.

When I get hungry, I hit up Chick-fil-A on Door Dash and don’t have to move a muscle!

For writers, self-care goes beyond choosing to write on a computer or on paper. We have to have the right people, places, things, and ideas around us or we feel like we’re out of whack.

I want you to think about that…

Who are the people you don’t mind having around you when you’re writing that AREN’T annoying like Wanda was?

Where are those special, just for you places where you can go, get into your zone, and be amazed at how much time has passed?

What are those necessary things that you MUST have in order to write the way you want to? That favorite brand of paper or pen…things like that!

What are ideas you need to be around to help spur you when you need to go a different direction with your writing or to help you finish if the page has stopped speaking to you?

These four questions may seem loaded; however, they determine how you think, feel, act, and move as a writer. Not having one of them can cause you not to produce your best work and that’s not something you want nor need to happen.

Once you find those things, keep them around you because they will not only help you, but also another!

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