Craft,  Creativity,  Self Talk

Be Your Own Valentine: 5 Writerly Gifts To Give Yourself Today

Even though Valentine’s Day is already here, it’s not too late to give your writerly-self.

I’m sure a lot of us dream of the perfect writing lifestyle, a delightful haven in which everything contributes to our ability to surrender to our muse. Most of us, however, lead the kinds of lives where writing needs to be crammed in among a host of other things.

That means that instead of giving ourselves gold pens, or exclusive writing retreats, our writerly-selves probably need more intangible but practical things – changes in attitude or approach- that would make our writing lives easier.

Background images: a stack of books, a cup of coffee, a clock and an antique typewriter. 

Foreground: a beige circle with  text that reads '10 Minute Novelists: Be Your Own Valentine: 5 Writerly Gifts to Give Yourself Today.'

Here are 5 of our suggestions. What would you add?

  1. Give Yourself Permission to Just Write – We can all spend lots of time going around in circles trying to figure out the ‘best’ thing to write and the ‘best’ way to write it. I dare you to give yourself permission to write about the things you want to write about, and to write them in the way that makes sense to you.
  2. Be Kind to Yourself – We all have parts of the writing process that frustrate and baffle us – it’s part of being a writer! Maybe you could give yourself the gift of kindness and recognize that things won’t always come easily and that you will make mistakes but those things don’t reflect poorly on you. (Speaking of kindness, you could even add a bonus gift of giving yourself a break from comparison with other writers. They aren’t telling your story, *you* are.)
  3. Set Up A Writing Session – So, you can’t schedule a getaway to a private writing island. You can set up a great writing session though. Give yourself the gift of some dedicated writing time by setting things up in advance – good snacks, excellent tea or coffee, your phone turned off, your writing space ready, a list of ideas pre-prepared, and your inner editor pacified with the idea that this is not ‘real’ writing, this is just practice.
  4. Make a List of Successes – Whether you want to track compliments or particularly well-phrased sections, or even a record of your time spend writing, it’s a good idea to have a file or a notebook full of glimpses of your successes as a writer. Some forms of success come long before you are even published and keeping a list will cheer you up when you get frustrated.
  5. Stretch Your Neck – Since writers spend so much time peering at computers, notebooks, or bookshelves, our necks and shoulders can get a little tense. Why not give yourself the gift of ease with stretches like the ones in this funny little video?
Christine swears by this neck stretch video by Yoga by Adriene.

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