Saturday: 7 Ideas For Self-Care Saturdays

It’s Saturday, and for the first time all week, I’ve done my hair, putting in little braids and tying them to my scalp. I’m relieved as I finger detangle my hair and coat it with some Cantu potion before tying it up. I realize that I haven’t done anything this soothing all week outside of my short daily meditation practice. Self-care doesn’t cost anything, and it shouldn’t. I sit with the same cup of coffee that I have every morning and take an extra moment to taste the notes on the medium roast. I jot down ideas in my journal, and check my sales just once before moving on to personal projects.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing and working from home in general is the time I get on the weekends to check in and take care of myself. At the end of the day, no amount of work, money, drama, or stress is worth our peace of mind. Here are five of my favorite ways to recharge on the weekend (and this time, I won’t include meditation, which I still love).

1) Take a really long time to get ready for my day

When I’m working during the week, I usually get up early and quickly brush my teeth, shower and change into my clothes. On the weekend, I slow everything down to a snail’s pace and take my time getting ready. I also do “extra” things to pamper myself like doing my hair, or giving myself a neck massage.

2) Read an interesting book

I’m typically reading something interesting, and I like to make progress on the weekends because I have a lot of uninterrupted time to read. I’ve been reading a book about the history of Washington DC recently, and really enjoy reading books on history, psychology, and politics in general.

3) Shut my phone off & go outside

I love stepping away from my laptop and phone on the weekends, especially because I’m forced to spend so much time on them during the week. Especially since I’m in the Caribbean, I like doing something outdoors on the weekend whether that’s the Castries market, heading to the beach, or going for a long walk with my fiancé.

4) Bake bread

I love baking, but recently, I’ve been into baking bread and find kneading my dough unreasonably therapeutic. My fiancé doesn’t complain about the rolls, and I lose tension in my neck. Win win!

5) Visit family members

Sometimes visiting my family members doesn’t recharge me, but even introverted people need to socialize, and connect with their communities. While I truly love time by myself, visiting family can give me an added boost of encouragement and connectedness.

6) Research creative projects on Pinterest

Recently, I’ve been researching helpful drawing tutorials and story references for books, but there are all types of projects I research on the weekends. Some times, I obsess over the aesthetics of place settings, or find motivational quotes to post during the week, or I just learn from infographics and other blog posts. The key is to approach this with intention and purpose so that it’s not mindlessly scrolling through social media.

7) Take things really slow

I tend to be an anxious, harried individual, so on the weekends I do my best not to rush anything. I take my time to cook, to draw, to exercise, to relax, to play, and enjoy a few hours without the weight of obligations pressing on me. I really appreciate the time to slow down.

What do you do for self-care on the weekends? Put how you recharge in the comments below.

Wednesday: What To Do On Mediocre Days With No Motivation

I’m here with little motivation to write, partly because I lost the blog post that I slaved over yesterday for half an hour, and I am still a little wounded to put much effort in today, silly as that might seem to you. I’ve finished my writing for the morning, done some meditation, and made a pumpkin soup for lunch at home. Overall, for a “mediocre” day with no motivation, I’m doing alright. This morning, I got some sad news (which I will write about later) and I’ve been dragging myself along ever since. Unfortunately, sad news doesn’t stop time. We still have to go on and get things done. “Adulting”, am I right?

‘Here are my three simple tricks I use to keep me going when I feel like curling up in bed, re-reading King Lear, and shutting the world out:

(1) Mindfulness Meditation

I wouldn’t keep recommending meditation if it didn’t really work for me. I’m not the only one who agrees. Scientists know that mindfulness meditation has real effects on reducing anxiety, and the spiritual practices centered around mindfulness meditation do so for a reason! This morning before work, I added 5 minutes of quiet meditation to my day so that I could get my mind a little quieter and focus on what absolutely needed to get done.

(2) Socialize

As an introverted writer, sometimes I forget that my “social battery” does actually require some depletion in order for me to recharge on my own. I’m quiet, and I enjoy spending time alone, but on tough days, it’s actually better to reach out and remember that you’re connected to a wider world. This doesn’t have to be time consuming. Today, I texted my sister, my family members, and spent some extra time with my fiancé, which has been lovely and reminded me that there are reasons for me to pull myself out of bed.

(3) Draw or Color

“Adult coloring books” are all the rage now because we are beginning to recognize that creative activity, no matter how small, can play a huge role in making us happier. People are inherently creative and when our creative spirit is fed, we feel really good. Coloring and drawing can also have a meditative aspect to them that make both activities very relaxing. The final thing I’ve done today is spent 30 minutes or so with a pencil and paper, just having fun and drawing something new.

What are your tips for mediocre days when you have little motivation? What is your “bare minimum” self care routine? Comment with ideas down below.

Tuesday: Top 5 Quotes I Loved On Pinterest Last Week

Each week, I like to save some of my favorite quotes to Pinterest boards for motivation and inspiration. It’s easy to take in a lot of negative messages on social media, so I enjoy taking the time to internalize something positive.

These are my top quotes last week from Pinterest.

What do you think? Comment below which quote inspired you or touched you the most. 😋👇🏼

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Sunday: Constant Feedback

As an Amazon bestselling indie author, I have to publish my books, read reviews and manage social media and email which exposes me to a near constant level of feedback. Everyone has something to say about every step of the journey. Intuitively, the more you handle likes, comments, emails, etc, you realize there’s something abnormal about the way our society is not only exposed to constant feedback, but people are encouraged to give constant feedback. A negative mindset naturally leads to feedback being equated to criticism for most people.

Can there be any kind of balance in a world where we feel the need to constantly judge or in a world where we are constantly receiving judgment? In either case, I like to remind myself that I can’t control what other people do, but I can control what it is that I do. This means that if other people give “negative” feedback, I can’t control them and I don’t try to do so. What I do is if I feel the need to throw my “opinion” into the ring, I focus and highlight the positive.

These days, opinions have been exalted to a near god-like status. Many people think that the “First Amendment” is carte blanche to be a complete asshole to strangers. It’s only their “opinion” — not verbal abuse, cyberbullying or being a dickhead. What purpose does it serve to constantly share your negative opinions? I think it’s a fair hypothesis from the trends associated with heavy social media usage, that this negativity encourages a negative cognitive bias where you interpret information in your environment in a more negative way.

Maybe our “opinions”, judgments and feedback create an unnatural environment where we are overly critical of ourselves and others. This kind of environment makes it difficult to be a mentally healthy person. What do you think? Have you noticed more negativity when you focus on the negative on social media or have you never given it a second thought? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday: Am I Ready?

Creatives love the excuse of “not being ready” to start something. We will go over in our heads hundreds if not thousands of times the many ways we need to improve, change and lead all before getting started. Fear paralyzes in these occasions and we convince ourselves that we “aren’t ready” and back this up with every excuse under the sun that we can think of.

How do you know that you are ready to start something new?

The idea of failing is what holds us back. We don’t want to pick up the paintbrush because we fear that what we create will be ugly. We consider this to be a failure. But what we consider failure doesn’t have to be viewed this way. “Failure” is just information — it’s data guiding our next move. Creativity is an iterative process and “failure” only represents one iteration of many. You’re “ready” once you accept this!

You’re ready when you’ve allowed yourself creative space to define your value. Another fear creatives internalize is the fear of disappointing others. As social creatures, it’s natural for human beings to seek some approval. If for example, you strive to create content online, approval can be a literal measure of your value. However this unhealthy belief equates one measure of value with overall quality and your personal value. Approval of any kind is information too.

Fellow creatives and social media experts give advice to content creators that doesn’t help either. Telling someone to “add value” to their audience is meaningless since everyone defines value differently. You are “ready” when you acknowledge that social approval and “likes” are not the sole determinants of value. Other forms of social approval can be equally unhelpful — the feedback of naysayers and envious people comes to mind.

You are ready when you can “let go” of the outcome of your creative process. This doesn’t mean not to plan or to abandon outlines or anything of that nature. Letting go means accepting the ups and downs of the creative process without allowing it to push you off your path. When you are ready to never give up regardless of the outcome, you’re ready to dive into a new creative pursuit.

We all need these reminders as some point or another. If you’re a creative, author, content creator, poet, dancer or artist, what advice has helped you best tap into your creativity? Post in the comments below. 👇🏼

Friday: Top 10 Lessons for Creatives from Rebel Without A Crew by Robert Rodriguez

This week, I finished reading Robert Rodriguez’s book Rebel Without A Crew. I loved his diary and a lot of the ideas and mindset he espoused before his big success. My top 10 takeaways from the book about living successfully as a creative are as follows:

  • Have a “do or die” attitude about your creative pursuits.

  • Creating mediocre work to completion is better than having something “perfect” and half finished.

  • Sometimes what may look like a missed opportunity and massive disappointment is only preparation for greater success down the line.

  • Once you stop learning, growing, and practicing, you’re finished.

  • When you need to be creative in order to survive, you won’t make as many excuses, you’ll find solutions instead

  • Trust your instincts about people, about projects and about your own capabilities.

  • Push your limits, try new things and engage in huge projects that challenge you.

  • Ignore the naysayers — completely. Even if you “prove them wrong”, they’ll never be satisfied.

  • You can be poor and still find a way to create, grow and achieve success.

  • Sometimes a small budget is better than a big budget because you’re forced to find creative solutions and you trim the fat a lot.

  • Learn as many skills as you can in your field. You never know which may come in handy.

There’s so much more to say about the book, but I left feeling positive psychology was greatly reinforced after I completed the book. It’s been a goal of mine since 2018 to write a screenplay (I’ve been waiting for some specific life events to move out of the way) and I can’t wait to get started!

What creative pursuits have you worked on recently? Do any of these points resonate with you? Comment whichever resonates with you the most down below.

If you like this article, use my image to pin this post to your best board for books, writers, creatives, and motivation.

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Wednesday: Quick Daily Report

I know when you start blogging for “real” it helps to make what you post relevant, interesting and helpful to complete strangers, but I want to document a little bit of what’s happening in my life for the sake of keeping it all together.

  • This weekend I didn’t work on my long-form blog post the way I planned because I decided to read the last 300 pages of War And Peace and actually finish the book. I liked the book, although if you’re looking for the excitement and tone of a John Grisham, you won’t find it here.

  • I started reading Rebel Without A Crew, the story of director Robert Rodriguez who created the films El Mariachi as well as Once Upon A Time In Mexico. His grit, drive and mindset are setting me right this week.

  • I did some work over the weekend, which I hate doing typically, but I just started on my next science fiction release for work.

  • I started watching Doctor Who season 1 again starting Chris Eccleston and Billie Piper. I’ve yet to meet an artist with the name Billie who I don’t love.

  • I’m starting to worry about my ability to keep up with the production schedule for this blog. It’s not so much that this is the most important thing going on for me right now. It’s just that I have high hopes for the future of this blog and the idea that I can miss a day and not write what I’ve been meaning to write makes me feel guilty.

  • I’m nervous about “oversharing” and posting to social media. I feel it’s okay to acknowledge these anxieties. I don’t love sharing personal information, and I’m quite closed off. Writing is my vehicle for freeing my overactive mind and sharing that process in any respect can be terrifying.

I know this quick daily report focused a bit on my fears and struggles, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if you’re reading this, you can relate too. Comment down below if you’re nervous about a creative project of yours or if you have been in the past! 👇🏼 I’m sure that I’m not alone in this one…

Sunday: 10 Ways To Get Over Your Fear Of Writing Fiction

The difference between an “aspiring” writer and a writer is that fear consumes an “aspiring” writer, but a writer has the courage to face that fear.

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Becoming a writer doesn’t happen overnight nor is it a fixed state of being. Becoming a writer happens every time you decide to put a pen to paper. You get to decide how often that is. Of course, writing can be scary and these ten tIps represent more practical advice that can help you shed your fear of fiction and become the writer you have always wanted to be!

1) Embrace First Drafts

Divorce your fear of sucking really badly. There’s nothing morally or ethically wrong with writing something bad. I do it all the time. I once wrote a haiku so bad that when I read it out loud to myself, I cried. Yup, you can do that and still be a writer. If you embrace first drafts and accept that writing is the easiest thing in the world to correct over and over again, you’ll be on your way. Think about it, a surgeon doesn’t get a chance to say “oopsie!” when they’ve made a mistake. The consequences for writing am embarrassing poem, haiku or novel are way less serious than what a surgeon faces for possible mistakes. Once you embrace first drafts, you can rewrite to your hearts content.

2) Storytelling is the most natural form of communication

Telling a story, whether fiction or non-fiction is the most natural thing in the world. Human beings have been telling stories for ages and because of that, we have a lot of practice before we ever put fingers to keyboard. If you’re afraid of writing, think about this. You’ve probably already told hundreds if not thousands of stories. You’ve watched movies. You have read books. All of this has been quiet preparation for writing! You’re more prepared than you think.

3) You can learn to write better

Your skill as a writer isn’t fixed. In Stephen King’s On Writing, he claims that anyone can become a good writer but not everyone can become great. I wholeheartedly disagree. All the “great” writers have something in common. Even if some may have started writing early on in their lives, they went through a process of learning and educating themselves to write better. No baby is born knowing how to speak or write, yet most of us can. We have a strong capacity for learning, but to learn, you need to put that first word down.

4) Read Fiction (read whatever you want to write)

Reading is the best way to feel comfortable with writing. The more you read and the more you write, the less fearful you will become over time. You gain confidence by getting to the place where you believe “I could write something like this” or “I want to write something like this”. Your perspective broadens when you read which is why reading is so important!

5) Put your fears into context

This is a little tip that I’ve borrowed and rewritten from my experiences in therapy and this helps reduce anxious thinking and fear in other contexts. When you fear failure from writing, much of this fear is due to something called a “cognitive distortion” where you assume a worst case scenario with no evidence that the worst case scenario is going to happen. Long story short, if you’re fearful of writing, are you thinking of the worst case scenario? Chances are this worst case scenario isn’t what’s going to happen and you can prove it to yourself by playing out the most likely scenario in your head. For example, I may be afraid to write a haiku because it would be “so horrible” and embarrass me. The reality was I did write a horrible haiku but then nothing happened… I deleted the haiku and poof! It was gone. The worst case scenario didn’t get a chance to happen and this is most likely the case. Plus, what if the best case scenario happened? Why don’t we give that a chance for a change.

6) Make practice the goal

Our fears bubble to the surface when we set unrealistic goals. If you’ve never written a novel before why is your goal to be on the New York Times bestseller list? Faulty goal setting is a clever way of setting yourself up for failure where your faulty thinking is then used as external justification for why you never finish projects. A better goal for writers is to set a goal of showing up and writing. Don’t fuss about writing the next War & Peace. I’m reading it now, and it’s not that amazing anyway. Set the goal to show up every day and write. See how the habit becomes easier and before you know it, your fear evaporates.

7) Write with less pressure

I’ve touched on this in previous points but it’s important to create an environment where you aren’t facing negative pressure. As a professional writer, I can tell you that this is a total luxury, but if you aren’t a professional, it’s a luxury you may be able to afford. Your writing doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to fuss over every word. Write without an editor in the back of your mind. This editor slows you down, is often too critical, and prevents you from doing the work that needs to be done.

8) Seek feedback

This is a tricky one for me since in my opinion, not all feedback is created equal. In a day and age where people gain social capital from “dragging” others, many believe that “constructive criticism” is tearing someone down but keeping a smile on your face. Seeking feedback from those closest to you can be excessively obsequious and writers can sense phony positivity about their work. The best feedback comes from publishing your work and allowing the public to decide where they fall. There are many ways to get published. Putting yourself out there will build confidence and reduce your fear of writing over time.

9) Identify as a successful writer

I won’t apologize for how “airy-fairy” this seems because this tip actually works. Stop seeing yourself as someone “aspiring” and lurking in the shadows. Don’t go overboard with this, but slowly build your confidence by becoming an author in both spirit and practice.

10) Make the process pleasurable

The final tip is a no brainer, but too many associate writing with pain. Yes, Ernest Hemingway allegedly said to “write drunk and edit sober” but he also shot himself, so clearly the man wasn’t infallible. Writing brings me the greatest joy out of anything in my life. Even if at times I think I “suck” at writing, you would be surprised at how easy that feeling is to temper when you’re enjoying what you’re doing. Even the worst person in bed still enjoys sex.

If you can put these ten unusual tips to practice, I think you’ll have a blast and get one step closer to shedding that pesky fear of failure and disappointment.

What are your biggest fears about writing? ✍🏽 Did I miss anything? Comment down below and let me know. Since I’m just starting out on this blog every comment helps me out. Put your thoughts down below and let’s chit chat. I’m excited to help! 👇🏼

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Wednesday: My Remote Work Routine - 5 Tips For Digital Nomad Productivity

I travel back and forth between the United States and St. Lucia a few times a year and in the past two years I’ve been to Martinique and Barbados during times when I’ve also had to work. Since I’m a full-time writer and I run my business from home, I’m a kind of “digital nomad” so my office comes with me wherever I go.

I have five tips for remote work that I always incorporate into my remote work routine when my office is on the road…

1) Noise-cancelling headphones

These are a must for traveling and working since you can turn any environment into a workspace and really get into the zone. I also use noise-cancelling headphones to wear on airplanes, and for help falling asleep. Currently, I’m using this brand of PLT headphones which work really nicely and can transition from wired to wireless so even if you lose your charge, you can still use them. The only thing I don’t love about them is the fact that I need an adapter for my iPhone but it’s a minor issue. I’ve tried a lot of Bluetooth headphones in the past and these have the greatest range by far out of any cheaper options I’ve tried.

2) Schedule work that doesn’t require an internet connection

This tip I don’t use within the United States as much, but when I work on flights or when I go to countries with notoriously bad internet connections (like Martinique!) I plan ahead this way too. Since as a full-time writer I balance writing 3-5k words a day with marketing and social media tasks that require an internet connection, I use this to my advantage. Before I travel, I schedule all my social media posts and emails so I can focus on writing the old school way — just a word processor, no internet connection.

3) Book a place with dedicated workspace

I have had some great workspaces in my recent trips, including a Capitol Hill studio in Washington DC as well as a my brief one night stay in the Crystal City Hilton. I require a table for focused work and I make it a priority to book a place that’s business friendly. Traveling is usually business related, and I rarely stop working when I am traveling, so it’s a priority to have a dedicated space. Working from couches or from bed really throws me off so I avoid that if possible.

4) Pick optimal work hours for the situation

I prefer working a typical work day, but on the road I have to be discerning about when I get my work done. If fitting 6-7 hours of creative work is impossible, I hit at least 4. If I’m visiting night owls, I schedule my hours in the morning as usual so I can go out at night. If I’m on a family related trip, or traveling with my fiancé, I schedule later hours to accomplish daytime activities. Just because I’m working during the trip doesn’t mean I have to miss out on enjoying the blessings and opportunities traveling has to offer. Making adjustments to my schedule sets me up for success.

5) Plan activities outside of work to look forward to

I always plan something to look forward to whether I’m traveling to Upstate NY or Martinique. I can’t focus on work 100% of the time and balance is so important to me. I always plan specific activities I can get excited about and “work for” during my trips. I like doing this because it keeps me focused and working on a tight schedule with greater efficiency.

The great thing about my remote work routine is that none of it is rocket science. Simple changes make a big difference and these easy adjustments allow me to enjoy both work and travel when I am working and traveling.

Do you ever work when you travel? Let me know in the comments. Pin the image below to save these remote work tips to your favorite board for travel and entrepreneurship. 👇🏼

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Sunday: Weekly Favorites, Top Upcoming Feminist Topics & Inspirational Quote

My Sunday goal today is to create rather than consume and so far, I’ve been doing a great job, even if my attempts to keep busy have taken some sharp turns. I’ve decided to make the most out of my bed rest, and doing so requires more mental discipline than I could have imagined.

Today, rather than a long form blog post, I want to create a little list of my “intriguing Sunday thoughts” that I’ll edit throughout the day and publish at the end.

Thank you for following my blog — my next long-form post on feminism and social media will be live on July 7th so mark your calendars!

✅WEEKLY FAVORITES✅

  • Top Spotify Playlist This Week | New Music Friday France [x]

  • Top YouTube Video | How I Post To Instagram (Ninja Secrets): [x]

  • Reading: How Essential Oils Became The Cure For Our Age of Anxiety (The New Yorker) | [x]

💖PERSONAL NOTES 📝

  • Today I’m brainstorming blog post ideas for the future and already fearful about getting into fiction writing again. I write fiction full time but it’s not particularly literary. I am interested in writing something different and seeing how it goes.

  • Why is there the idea that what you consume dictates your politics? I wrote about this today for next week’s blog post in case I don’t develop my ideas for the second post well enough by July 7th.

  • I’ve been reading a lot about MLM and different pyramid schemes that unfairly target and prey upon women. It’s chilling how the arguments that MLMs use can sometimes mimic feminist “empowering” language. In next week’s post, I will be exploring this idea as it applies to consumption in general.

  • Yesterday I read an article in The Cut about babe.net which forced me to think about many feminist topics that I have yet to discuss but you can guarantee I’ll talk about in the coming months: how a misogynist culture has weaponized sex positivity against women, why dogma has become more important than intellectual rigor, and how unprofessional workplaces and unsafe environments for women have become taboo to speak out against. So much to explore here!

💡FOOD FOR THOUGHT🥡

If you’re reading one of my first posts, welcome. I am putting some new energy into blogging and I really want to connect with anyone who reads this. Would you do me a quick favor that will really help me out? Comment beneath this blog post and let me know what your favorite thing to do on Sunday is.

You may not think it’s much but for a new blogger every comment counts a TON! 💕 Let’s chat 💭.

To end this blog post, here is my top motivational quote for the week. Since I broke my toe, I have run into this quote just about everywhere and it has so many applications for young creatives everywhere! Pin the quote to your favorite board if you like it and help a girl out. 😉 👇🏼

“If you don’t make time for your illness you’ll be forced to make time for your wellness” — author unknown

“If you don’t make time for your illness you’ll be forced to make time for your wellness” — author unknown