We're delighted to welcome back Michele Hauf to the Pink Heart Society, as she talks about looking after the writer...
Hey! Take care of yourself! Because if you don’t, then who will take care of your characters?
I’m writing this as I sit a little wobbly in my chair, fighting the dizzying effects of being on Day Six of what I’ve affectionately come to call The Plague. I don’t know what hit me, but it hit me hard. I’ve been on the couch for five days, unable to sit upright long enough to write more than a paragraph. But you know, I’m grateful for it.
I know, it’s weird to be grateful for being sick. And I admit, I’m lucky. I rarely get sick. I think the last time I had a knock-me-off-my-feet illness was over a decade ago. So this comes as a reminder that I shouldn’t wait for illness to notice that I need to take care of myself. Every day. No matter what.
As writers we are very hard on our bodies. The job description seems pretty luxurious, sitting around all day, rambling off on whatever comes out of our brains. Heck, we can even do the job in our pajamas! But all of that sitting takes a toll. And even if you only do one small thing, like standing up for a few minutes every hour, perhaps do a few squats, then you are taking care of yourself. Studies are even claiming that long hours of sitting can have as great a toll on a person’s health as smoking! So get up. Shake it. Move. Squat. Refill your water bottle.
And beyond the physical, we have to care for our souls. There’s a lot going on inside we writers. No one can have any clue the toils, the stress, the battles, the affairs, the angst, the romances and betrayals taking place inside us. It’s all good. But spend too much time focused on the characters and we forget about ourselves.
So take a break every once in a while. Take a day off! Seriously, people. Give yourself permission to spend a day NOT writing. Oh, I know the guilt. Been there, done that. (I’ve gotten over that.) Go outside. Or drive to a café and listen to people chatter. Or take a walk. Or even binge watch a TV series. Anything to put your mind in a different place. It is essential to your well-being.
And after that, spoil yourself. Treat yourself to a decadent dessert. Or buy that lucky writing T-shirt (that may or may not feature Sam & Dean), or run a hot bath and soak in some Epsom salts. Treat yourself once in a while. Your characters need you to stay healthy so you can ruin their lives and then bring them back to fall in love! ;-)
How do you take a break and relax? And what do you do to look after yourself?
In April, Michele’s latest release, Moonlight and Diamonds, pairs a Minnesota werewolf with a Parisian socialite:
Like the jewels she stole, Paris socialite Blyss Sauveterre is someone to be handled carefully. Stryke Saint-Pierre discovered that when the beautiful thief used their attraction to pilfer an infamous diamond. But when they make love, Stryke senses that—just like the gems she covets—Blyss has more facets to her than meet the eye…
Blyss cannot let the brutish werewolf know that these heists pay for an elixir to keep her wolf at bay. Until her latest theft puts a pack of deadly demons hot on her trail. Now the redneck werewolf is this socialite's only salvation. But when the danger is past, dare Blyss succumb to the desire to let her inner wolf run wild with a man who represents all she could ever want?