Creativity Doesn't Have to Cost
1) Stop pulling the writing all-nighters. Sure, you might race through ten pages but you will be physically zapped the next day and it will cost you in productivity down the road. And along those lines, treat your writing like the awesome partner it is, not a midnight affair. Write in a cafe, schedule it on your calendar, treat it with respect. Your body and craft will thank you.
2) Get up! Even if you're having the best writing jag ever, stand up and stretch or do jumping jacks. I've never been one to manage the standing desk (I'm too wedded to a dog tucked under one arm and a pillow under the other when I get cozy to write) but if I sit for too long my body feels sluggish and it translates to my writing. If you're too enraptured in your work to remember, set a timer on your computer or phone. For me, every thirty minutes of awesomeness requires five minutes of movement to keep the creative juices and blood flowing.
3) Stop being jealous. Other writers' paths will never be your path no matter how hard you try. And a friend or peer publishing does not diminish your possibilities or take anything away from you. I've seen so many writers stalk successful folks for the wrong reasons. (Stalk them for the right ones!) Find inspiration and take their successes as a universal 'You can do it!' poster floating in the air. And if you just can't shed the green, stay off of social media. It will derail you from your best writing by setting an invisible standard you can't measure up to.
4) Don't binge eat while you write. (I'm not judging. Your general eating habits are your personal business.) But too much sugar or caffeine will provide you a lovely bump of productivity followed by a sluggish food hangover. Take it slow and sip a fantastic drink or carefully nibble away at one treat.
5) Love yourself a little more when you write. Writing is grueling and conjures the inner critic from the first word you put on the page. It is easy to feel not good enough when you write, to compare yourself to others, and even to let hesitance on the page translate to wondering about life choices. Why aren't you a famous writer by now? Why isn't this story taking off? Why did you have Taco Bell for breakfast? At any rate, you were wonderful when you sat down to work, and you're just as wonderful when you shut the laptop.
The bottom line is that writing should be life-enriching. It should make you healthier in all respects. And with a little care and tenderness to your routine and yourself, it will!
A mother, teacher, and writer who enjoys all good stories and believes in the magic we can make every day by telling them.