People who are passionate about reading and writing are particularly delightful people, who need a particularly delightful self care routine to thrive. Are you this type of person? If so, read on!
Create A Reading Nook
We all love to read great books, that’s what bonds us and many of us already consciously create reading spaces that are special to us. Sometimes life can get in the way and we end up plonking down pretty much anywhere to continue our current read. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, but there can be something stabilising about sitting in a quiet, created space reserved only for the magical art of reading.
Choose a space – can be as simple as your bed, or could be a window sill or a special chair in the living room, or a sofa in your fully stocked library! Then fill it with things you love, a favourite light, cushions, a lamp and of course, a stack of books.
Go For A Walk
With all this reading and writing comes a certain amount of sitting indoors and sometimes, we need a counterpoint to that. Getting out for a walk is an excellent way of getting one’s attention out from the pages of a book or the screen of a laptop. I like to listen to my favourite music as I walk and really look around me as I go.
Set Reading/Writing Goals
Dream big, my friend! But set small doable goals along the way, this is an invaluable way of lifting one’s spirits, even in times of sorrow. Having something to work towards, no matter how small, can pull you out of almost anything. It’s all relative so if you’ve found yourself in a real funk, say you’ve got to the point of being sick in hospital, maybe set yourself a goal to read one page of your novel. If you’re on top of the world and writing thousands of words a day, maybe set yourself a higher weekly goal or take part in one of the many writing challenges.
Celebrate Every Success
When you reach those goals, don’t forget to congratulate yourself. Praise yourself for doing it and list out the qualities and abilities in you that helped you to get there. If someone else wants to help you celebrate, take it, have a cup of a tea and biscuit together and talk about your miniature successes. Don’t wait for a ‘huge win’ or a ‘massive breakthrough’ to celebrate… it’s the culmination of the all the small ones that get you there.
This can be highly therapeutic for literary types. As a teenager this was my ‘safe place’. I had a dear pen pal who I met whilst doing a mini History study course at Cambridge. She enjoyed writing too so we poured out our hearts in letters to each other every month or so. It was the one place I felt I could truly express myself emotionally, and when I received her letters full of her own truth, trusting me to understand and respond, it was very rewarding. It doesn’t have to be letters, it can be emails – but the trick is to find the right person to do this with. The majority of people do not have the time, patience and inclination to write heartfelt communications to one another, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t find your perfect pen pal straight away.
Getting a treasured notebook out at the end of the day and writing down your thoughts and feelings can be incredibly therapeutic and literary types are at a complete advantage on this score, because expressing ourselves in writing comes naturally.
Find New Books
I am a Wattpad author so I am biased on this point, but whenever you need a new story you can always go here. I have a bunch ready to read for free right here. There’s also asking friends for books they like, good reads or joining a book club. Nothing lifts the spirits quite like a new book!
A lot of our interests and activities take place alone – reading and writing are generally solitary activities (but not always). And yet, if we are to be great fiction writers we need to understand our subjects – people. It can be fun and interesting to go out to a place where there are people, such as a cafe, a bus, a street where people walk, and just watch people. It can be a source of great insight! The way people look, the way they talk and act … just watching them can be a way to understand them better and in turn, help us draw better characters in our works of fiction.