It’s time for another Insecure Writer’s Support Group post, co-hosted by the wonderful Diedre Knight, Douglas Thomas Greening, Nick Wilford, and Diane Burton! To sign up for the IWSG yourself, click on over here and rest assured there is zero (0) click-bait or trolling waiting at your destination. Just pure, unfettered insecurity and writing anxiety.
The optional question for November is about National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo. The basic answer to the group’s question this month is: No. Instead, now feels like the appropriate time to gif list some of the methods that authors can use to unwind, because those of you who are participating in the marathon of writing an entire novel in one month may need them. A little self-care, a little stopping to smell the roses, and your writing productivity will thank you.
These are all tried and tested ways that writers relax. They’re reliable things to try if the breakneck pace of NaNoWriMo is wearing down your physical and mental health. They’re also science based*, so attempt them with confidence.
*If you can’t trust dodgy pseudo-science on the web, what can you trust in these days?*
1.Let the Little Things Go
Go ahead and research murder methods, weapons, poisoning, stab wounds, how much blood is contained in the human body, blood spatter patterns, reliable body disposal procedures, and the rate at which a corpse decomposes. Stop wondering if it’s true that your Google search history is the first thing the cops always check. It is. But that’s Okay. You’re letting go of those little worries.
2. Read For Pleasure
Reading books full of people running around doing angst-ridden stressful things, making bad choices, getting tangled up in love triangles, and cutting into your already limited sleeping time to do it is a surefire way to chill out. Yesss.
3. Research Marketing & Your Career
Get on social media and experience the pleasure of immediately being bombarded with 100 different ways you should be marketing your books, but aren’t. 50 of them are not much of a platform anymore, you missed the train on 25 of them (Wat? Algorithims? That’s a type of animal, right? It’s not?) and the last 25 are already full TO THE BRIM with other poor, desperate writers. Plus they cost too much. Ahhh. So relaxing.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Lie in bed trying to convince yourself that the ideas your almost-asleep brain just came up with are not worth getting out of your nice warm cocoon for a pen. You’ll remember them. Think hard about your chances of surviving pets, puddles, sudden armchairs out of the dark, and legos.
5. Use the Time You Can’t Be Writing to Talk to your Imaginary Friends
Although you aren’t physically writing, you can be working through your novel in your mind. Enact pretend scenes full of drama, passion, witty comebacks, and possibly some sex, with multiple unreal people. In the shower. Causing your family to suffer no worry whatsoever.
6. Start Drinking
Tea. I meant tea. And water. It’s important to stay hydrated. Water conducts electricity, and your brain is made of electrical pathways and if you’re hydrated those synapses conduct better. I’m pretty sure this was in a science study somewhere. If it wasn’t, it should have been because that just makes sense.
Featured image stocksnap.io & Josh Byers