Hello, storytellers! I hope you’ve had a wonderful, writing-ful week!
I’m back with yet another installment of my Unstoppable Writer series. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them! I’ve learned that a great way to motivate yourself and climb out of a slump is to write about, well, how to motivate yourself and climb out of a slump! So, if you’re feeling blue or in need of a creative boost, I encourage you to put pen to paper – or fingers to keys – and write about the very things you’re struggling with. It’s quite therapeutic!
Let’s recap what we’ve learned thus far about unstoppable writers. They:
- Establish Clear Goals
- Don’t Just Think – Take Action
- Don’t Be Driven By External Things
- Never Stop Learning
- Never Arrive
- Be True to Yourself
- Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
- Work on Your Mental Strength
- Overcome Negative Thoughts
- Aren’t Envious of Others’ Accomplishments
The next characteristic is one that’s tough for most entrepreneurs – which is what most authors are these days – to embrace, as we are generally ambitious and intrinsically motivated by nature. In other words, we thrive off the hustle! Are you ready for it? Unstoppable writers…
Make Time for Rest and Rejuvenation
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen
Some of you may know that my husband and I own a CrossFit gym. We’re in the business of helping people become the fittest versions of themselves. It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the main ways we do this is by emphasizing healthy habits that occur outside of the gym. Eating healthily is obviously a huge factor, as is drinking enough water and getting plenty of sleep. What isn’t so obvious, however, is the importance of rest days.
Once many of our CrossFit clients have “drunk the Kool-Aid,” so to speak, and made regular workouts a habit, they want to show up every single day without giving their bodies a break (the addictive endorphin rush is real!). Admittedly, I am often guilty of this as I’m one of those obnoxious individuals who genuinely enjoys working out. But working out every day is actually detrimental to my overall health.
Why? Because overtraining can lead to decreased performance (a.k.a. crappy workouts), exhaustion, poor sleeping patterns, altered hormonal states, decreased immunity, loss of appetite, and mood swings (and no one likes a moody writer, ha!). What’s more, muscles aren’t built in the gym; they’re torn down in the gym then built up at rest! Basically, we’re shooting ourselves in the over-achieving foot whenever we train like a fiend seven days a week.
The importance of rest doesn’t just apply to physical pursuits. Creatives need R&R just as much as gym rats.
Take it from people a whole lot smarter than me, people like Leonardo da Vinci who said, “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.” And Seneca, the Roman philosopher, who said, “The mind should be allowed some relaxation, that it may return to its work all the better for the rest.”
Moral of the story: Your mind requires rest in order to fire on all cylinders.
If we’re constantly in work mode, we’ll end up running ourselves into the ground. Our bodies will suffer. Our relationships will suffer. And our work will suffer.
Unstoppable writers are 100 percent on when they’re working and 100 percent off when they’re resting. This allows their bodies to be fully present in the moment and their minds to be completely focused on nothing but relaxing, enjoying the everyday pleasures of life without feeling guilty about the work they’re not doing. They understand that resting is part of their job, just as athletes understand that non-training days are part of their regimen, and a crucial part at that.
One more thought on rest: not all forms of it are equal.
When our CrossFit coaches advise our clients to take a day or two off from the gym each week, we encourage them to do so wisely, in a manner that will serve them and their goals well. For example, if one of our clients has set a goal to lose 20 pounds, they shouldn’t spend their rest days lounging poolside all day drinking margaritas or watching Beauty and the Beast with a bucket of buttered popcorn in their lap. They’ll undo all their hard work in the gym and greatly hinder their progress.
Resting doesn’t mean forgetting about one’s goals.
As writers, it would behoove us to spend our rest time doing things that stimulate and refresh our spirits and minds, such as listening to music, reading, taking walks outside, cooking and eating delicious meals, watching great films, serving others, praying, meditating, anything that engages our senses and increases our appreciation for the beauty and preciousness of life.
Life’s too short to fill our restful hours with meaninglessness and noise. At least one day per week, I encourage you to take full advantage of a rest day comprised of simplicity and wonderful, easygoing, unadulterated downtime. If it helps, make a list of restful activities that you can do in the coming days.
Be proactive in your pursuit of rest. Be mindful of how you’re using every minute of your time. I promise your writing will thank you.
I hope you’ve found this week’s post helpful! I’ll be back soon with another tip to help you be an even more unstoppable writer! Until then, please feel free to send me a tweet at @dandersontyler or say hello on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you!
“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”
“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.
Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”
“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.
“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”
I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?
“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”
Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.
Praise for Dating the It Guy:
“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!” –Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author
“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.” — Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie