~ By Kerri Carpenter
It’s easy to go nuts in the world today. But throw in imaginary characters, alternate worlds, deadlines, and marketing on top of already existing day jobs, families, and responsibilities, and it’s no wonder that writers can get a little kray-kray.
But never fear. Since I’ve been writing romance for the last fourteen years, I’ve found there are a couple of tips that can help even the most crazysauce writer stay sane.
Get Writer Friends
No one will ever understand you like a fellow writer. Whether you’re hearing voices in your head or challenging yourself to write 50K words in one month, no one can sympathize with you better. Join your local RWA chapter, go to meetings, take part in write-ins – do anything to be around these like-minded friends. Trust me, these are the only people who won’t flinch when you state, “I’ve been thinking of killing off someone.”
Get Non-writer Friends
Equally important is to find some friends that have absolutely nothing to do with writing. They don’t care about deadlines or sales numbers or plot points or contest scores. They think it’s awesomesauce that you are writing/published a book at all. As I was bemoaning having to write a guest post the other day, my friend just smiled and said, “Isn’t that so cool! Someone wants you to be on their blog.” And you know what? It is cool. Keep these people around – they remind you that what you’re doing is freaking amazing.
Get Some Exercise
This is wise advice for all of us, writers or not. But I’ve found over the years that removing myself from the computer, resting my eyes, giving my fingers a break can do wonders for not only my body, but my creative process. Stretch, go for a walk, lift some weights, swim, whatever – just be active. Even if you’re on a deadline/have a Facebook party coming up/HAVE to write one more chapter – trust me, your waistline and mental state will thank you.
Get a Hobby
No, writing does not count as your hobby. Writing is a job. You need to find something to occupy your mind and time when you’re not writing. Knitting, cooking, making jewelry, painting, singing, etc. Not only is it nice to have other things to do but you never know when you can add those hobbies into your W.I.P. Stalking your ex technically counts as a hobby, I suppose, but it’s not a very healthy one. Let’s stay in the light, people!
There you have it, my list of how I stay sane. Well, mostly sane. Even though I definitely have my Kerri Kray-Kray moments no one’s locked me up in an institution just yet. Let’s hope the same is true for all of you.
Kerri Carpenter lives in Northern Virginia and has both writer and non-writer friends. She also gets lots of exercise and has lots of hobbies, including taking Zumba classes, cooking, running, watching tons of movies, especially Hitchcock films, and rooting for Pittsburgh sports teams. She loves anything sparkly and is obsessed with her dog. Her first novella, Flirting with the Competition, came out with Entangled Publishing in October and her first full-length contemporary, The Best Kind of Love, was just released by Soul Mate Publishing. You can find her at her website (www.kerricarpenter.com), Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorkerri), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/authorkerri). *Glitter Toss*