Dear Struggling Writer,
It’s okay to be tired.
It’s okay to feel spent.
It’s okay to go to bed early.
It’s okay to know your limits.
Like me, you have probably felt the pressure to be “okay” even though you feel mentally drained. You’ve probably been told that writing was easy and you shouldn’t feel worn out. After all, you’re not doing any physical labor.
But we both know that’s not true. To someone who is not in the thick of it, writing is just a matter of writing one word after another. It’s just telling a story. It’s just simple.
But it’s not. We know it’s not.
It’s spending half an hour debating a single sentence. It’s spending another half an hour wondering if you said it right. It’s searching your mind to find the right way to get what’s in your head to the page. You don’t sit down and automatically know what to say. You have to find what to say.
It’s not physically hard, but it’s mentally exhausting. That’s difficult for others to understand, but that’s okay. You don’t need them to understand. Take care of your mind and your heart.
Stop pushing yourself so hard. If you need a minute, take one. Make some tea. Go for a walk. Take a drive.
I took a week from social media this last week. It was supposed to be a month, but that didn’t work out so instead I’ve decided to take a week a month to detox from media. Not because I struggle with comparison or dissatisfaction (we all wish we were who we say we are on Instagram), but because of the time it consumes. Trying to interact and grow a platform is very time consuming and – frankly – exhausting.
So I took a week. In that week, I got really excited to get texts/messages from my friends, read a book, notice how the light flickers on the pond out behind my house when the noonday sun hits it. I was in a group chat and actually got to keep up with it. It was refreshing to be completely present in my life for these few days. I wasn’t glued to my phone as much (although when the group chat got crazy, I just had to sit and watch it unfold).
It was a good time to reflect, pray, rest, and come back refreshed. Last night when I got back on Instagram and began scrolling, I was surprised at how people-focused I was. They weren’t just pictures beneath my fingers. They were representatives of people with lives and hopes and dreams. It took stepping away and coming back to put the humanity back in social media, and it made me smile.
So, I say all of that to say this. Take a break when you need it. It’s worth it.