Learning to Practice Self-Care as Writers

Carmiel Banasky

photo by Arnold Poesch

Many times when I consult with writers, I find myself granting them permission to do less work, or to put less pressure on themselves. It always reminds me of how fond Alan Watts was of saying, “The nice thing about hitting your head with a hammer is it feels so good when you stop.” To feel unburdened and happy, we sometimes have to feel the opposite way to appreciate it.

Over at the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, Carmiel Banasky writes about the connection between self-work and self-care. She writes:

We “surrender” ourselves to our art, T.S. Eliot wrote. I hate to argue with the Master, but I’m not sold on the metaphor of war that’s implied. Instead, I think of my dynamic with writing as the most equal relationship I’ve ever been in. There is a give and take. Sacrifice, yes, but not “a continual extinction of personality.” If writing means an increase of empathy, then it cannot mean the killing or erasure of the empathizer.

Read her full piece, “Do we become better people as we become better writers?

Also this month at Glimmer Train:

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Posted in Creativity + Inspiration.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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