Self-Care for Writers – Write Every Day

Laptop - writing every day

Writing every day

Part of self-care is to maintain who we are. Or to work towards who we want to be.

For a writer, that means writing. Preferably every day.

I know it’s hard. I know I’m not doing it all the time myself.

But the truth is, you are a writer as long as you write.
(And publish your books, and market, and all of that, too.)

And in order to stay in your identity as writer, it’s very helpful to write a little every day. (Or a lot, if that works for you.)

If you stop writing – you stop being a writer. So write every day. It’s as simple as that, and yet…

I know it’s not easy to write every day.

You probably have a job, a family, a house or garden to take care of, chores to do, bills to pay; and writing – unfortunately but also realistically – comes after many other things.

But do push it up on your priority list. Make time for 100 words per day, or three sentences, or a single line, or something like that. Start small. See how that works for you. But show up and be a writer every day.

Be a writer every day.

This is a massively important part of your mindset and self-care as writer. Be a writer as often as you can – I know people who write on their cell-phone while waiting in line.

If you don’t do that, life will find a way to push you further and further away from being a writer. There’s a little bit of a test here.

So keep doing it. Keep showing up, keep writing. Keep feeling the joy of playing with words!

And be a writer every day.

And for the self-doubt, and the beliefs that keep you away from this, I have some tapping suggestions.

Even though there is no way I can write every day, I’m just too busy, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to move writing up on my priority list.

Even though I always believed that I need to write LOTS every day, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to know that I can be a writer by writing a little bit every day.

Even though I never thought that being a writer means writing every day, since I write in bouts and then take breaks, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I’m open to trying this “write every day” thing now.

Asking you:
How does it feel to say “I’m a writer.”?
Do you write every day?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Feel the Joy

Goofy Happy Joy

Goofy Happy Joy

We not only have to be aware of our thoughts and our success, we also need to be aware of our emotions.

Because they are our guides. They let us know how the things we do fit us and our dreams and goals. They warn us if something is wrong. So it’s worth it being aware of our emotions. Get that message.

And even though most of us have been taught that our emotions are like a force of nature that we have to endure, that simply isn’t true.

We can choose how to feel.

(Yes, there are limits, and I have great respect for people who carry on despite depression. *hugs for you*)

But even within those limits we can choose to feel joy.

There are tricks to do so, and it’s absolutely worth to practice this. Because feeling joy or feeling happy does a lot of good things to your body and your mind.

Joy chases away stress. It stops the fight mode. It returns your body to healing and ease. It activates the vagus system – which in turn lets you calm down, let go of adrenaline, it actually lets your body lower blood pressure, process food and unstore fat, heal, enjoy sex… lots and lots of good things, even physically.

And it’ll help you be really creative. As long as we’re in fight/flight mode, we can’t fully use our brain. Creativity is basically turned off, because we’re – physically – in survival mode. Thus feeling joy even feeds your muse. Cool, isn’t it?

So yes, feeling joy is very much worth it beyond the actual moment.

Here are some tricks for you to step into your joy.

Trick One:

Look around you. Is there anything that could make you feel happy?

Maybe a plushie, a book you love, maybe a book you wrote, a picture, maybe a flower, the sun outside, or your pet? It can be anything, big or small. All it has to do is raise that little bubble of joy for you.

Developing this habit – finding at least one beautiful thing a day that made me smile – once helped me drag myself out of depression, after moving and being unhappy with my course of studies, when I was feeling very lonely. Just that little kick of joy can shift the entire hormonal mix of your body.

So do it now. And tell me in a comment what made you feel that blip of joy, okay? That’ll help others get ideas for their joy.

Trick Two

Whenever you do something – dishes, cleaning, typing, reading Facebook – allow joy. Laugh at something that happens. At a funny meme. At a perfect sentence that comes out. That fresh mug of tea or coffee. Feel joy over those clean dishes. Nothing is too small to feel joy over.

(I cleaned some light fixtures the other day, something that I had been wanting to do for years. Literally. I still feel that particular joy.)

Feel that joy, allow that moment. Let it flood you.

Be aware that you can call this up. That joy is inside you, no matter where you are.

Trick Three

Make feeling joy a conscious choice.

Just where you are sitting right now. Reach into yourself and pull up joy, as if it were on a menu. Feel it bubbling up. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around you. Only that joy matters in this moment.

And don’t for a moment think you don’t deserve this. Joy is yours to feel whenever you want to. Do it.

Notice very clearly that you can do this.

Notice that it is your will that makes it possible.

Notice that joy is available for you at all times.

Quietly. Gently. On your own.

Feel that joy.

This, obviously, is the mastery. But you can get there, with a bit of practice, and with the knowing that it is possible. That’s the trick.

Feeling the joy is always, always possible.

But you have to allow that belief, or you won’t be able to do all those tricks. You have to know deep inside that it is possible. For you.

Which is why I offer some tapping right here.

Even though I was taught that feeling raw joy is sinful and something to be ashamed of, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to feel joy whenever I want to.

Even though I learned that being happy can’t be a choice and that I must rely on others to feel joy, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to find that joy whenever I want to.

Even though I always thought that joy can’t be a free choice, that there must be a reason to feel joyful, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to feel joy whenever I want to!

Your Turn:
How did it feel to feel joy?
How did you get there?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Guard your Success

Dreaming of Success

Dreaming of Success

Success is important for us. Even if we don’t have it right now, the whole idea of success is what keeps up going. When we dream about our success – whatever that is for you – we find the energy to keep writing, to keep marketing and to keep doing what it takes.

This in turn means that you need to protect your vision of your success from all those people around you that may doubt you and your ability to succeed.

You also need to strengthen it and keep it strong, so you can return to it whenever you run out of juice.

Usually, there are about four different ways people want to succeed when writing. I’m going to go through them and suggest some visualizations to use in your daydreaming.

Daydreaming?

Yes. That’s the best way to keep your vision strong and to keep your energy up for what you’re doing. It’s very important to dream about your success and feel the joy that it brings – even if you aren’t there just yet.

1. Hold your own book in your hands and show your family and friends

That has become a very easy and simple goal to reach since self-publishing options are easily available now.

And yes, it is a legitimate and valid goal for someone who writes as a hobby and who just wants some tangible proof of their work.

It can also be a starting point for everyone who is a new writer, a first goalpost – and once this success has been achieved, a different goal can take its place.

Here, the visualization is simple:

Imagine you’re holding your book in your hands. See the cover, feel the weight. Open it up and see the clean, clear interior that you designed. Read the words that you created. It is YOUR book in every sense of the meaning.

Got goosebumps? Good!

2. Position yourself as expert

Here, the goal isn’t necessarily the book itself. The real goal is the statement it makes about your expertise, knowledge and business. And the purpose of the book might be to function as a funnel, to bring you business, clients, customers… whatever.

This book matters in the results it brings, and that influences the visualization that you need for your dream:

See a stream of customers, clients or whatever you call your peeps. Watch how they open your book, read and nod happily, and then go to your website or reach for the phone to contact you.

See that clearly in your mind, and make sure that those people are the best for your business. See them being happy and very satisfied with your work, waving your book and telling others about it.

Got that? Awesome.

3. Make a bestseller list

That’s a little tricky because bestseller lists are a complicated issue… but if that’s your goal, go for it!

Choose the list you want to be on. You can stagger that, go for an easier one and build up from there – maybe all the way to the New York Times.

Get very clear about what is required to get there. (NYT recently ditched Children’s books, if I remember correctly.) Chose the genre and start writing like hell. Build your patience, too.

And visualize the website, the paper, the exact print or it, and the position your book will be on. See it there, with the title and your name. Boldly in print. See that list in bookstores, hanging above the tables with your book on them. Imagine the interviews. That moment of fame and satisfaction.

Can you feel the joy? Wohooo!

4. Make a living with your writing

I’m putting this one last, because it is the most ambitious goal in my eyes. (And it’s my own…)

Even this is possible, more so with self-publishing than ever before. Because you’re in control of your work, your product and your sales channels – and yes, this is a lot of work and requires a lot of knowledge. But it’s quite doable.

And the visualization that I use for my own dreaming has several parts:

I see my sales dashboards with awesome numbers. I watch them go up every month, and feel the joy about that.

I see my bank statements, and the money that flows in from vendors. I watch that number grow.

And I see myself, writing, creating covers, formatting, writing blurbs and publishing. Writing blog posts and putting ads out. And I make sure it’s fun and joyful.

Can you do that? Can you see yourself doing all that? Can you feel it?

That’s the way to go.

But this is all make-belief! It isn’t even real!

That’s not the point.

The idea is to shift your mindset into believing that this is possible. And then to take steps to bring your dreams closer to reality.

Because let’s face it – reaching those goals can be quite a slog.

The dreams are motivation. Power mojo. Those dreams and visualizations are what helps you sit down and write every day. They support you while you do the work. And the clearer you can see your success, the easier it is to work for it.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

So do it! Take those five minutes every day to see your success and to enjoy it!

And here’s some tapping for the doubt that might also come up during those visualizations.

Even though it feels so weird and painful to visualize my success, because a big part of me doubts I’ll ever get there, I’m still totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to simply enjoy my daydreaming.

Even though it feels wrong to enjoy those visualizations because I’m not there yet, and a part of me believes I never will, I’m still totally okay the way I am, and I choose to know that I only need to take one more little step today to get closer to my dream.

Even though it’s hard to feel the joy in those visualizations because I both want it so much and fear I can’t do it, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to release my doubts, enjoy the dreams, and take little steps every day to get close to them.

Your Turn:
What kind of success are you dreaming of?
How does it feel to visualize it?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Watch your Thoughts

Inner Voice

Inner Voice

“Thoughts become things.”
– Mike Dooley, Notes from the Universe

Now this may sound very, very woowoo. Very spiritual and quite useless for everyday life.

It isn’t.

Because how we think about ourselves, our writing, our lives – all of that influences our focus, our work habits and eventually what kind of lives we actually live.

And that’s why I’m writing about your (our) thoughts.

1. Thoughts about ourselves

Take a moment and listen to how you talk to yourself in your thoughts.

Most often, that voice we use to talk to ourselves is a harsh voice. A hard taskmaster. And sometimes, a rather nasty voice.

Oh, you’re such an idiot.

Not good enough. Write more.

Get moving, you lazy ass!

And so an and so forth. Does that sound familiar?

It’s how I used to talk to myself, as well. I thought that being hard on myself like that would make me work harder and get more done. I thought that was how everyone thinks to themselves.

I’ve been completely wrong.

And although it took a while, I have changed how I think to myself and how I talk to myself in my thoughts. I turned my thoughts from drill sergeant to loving friend.

Talk to yourself as if you’re your best, loving friend.

And guess what? It feels awesome. It’s much more fun to get things done with an encouraging voice in your mind.

Of course, it’ll feel strange at the beginning. You might see a slump in productivity, as you drop the whip you’ve been using on yourself. But the encouragement from a best friend works much better in the long run – and it’s much, much more fun.

Sweetling, you can do this. I know you have at least 100 more words in you.

Darling, just hang in there. Give yourself some thinking space, and you’ll solve that plot problem.

You can do this, my dear friend. Formatting isn’t hard to learn.

See the difference? Go for it.

2. Thoughts about our writing

Same thing about our writing, although there are two traps here:

My writing is bad.

Believing our writing is bad, and won’t ever change – that’s of course rather obviously a useless and depressing thought. But we can get there looking at dismal sales and lack of success. We can tell this to ourselves, even if friends praise our work.

This is the fastest way to give up on writing.

My writing is perfect.

The other trap is believing that our writing is exceptional and there is nothing left to learn. Anything we create is award-worthy, and we don’t need any feedback, editor or work to become a better genius.

These are the people who rage at non-perfect reviews or critical feedback. And of course, you’re not one of them. But I’ve seen this too often, and even mild forms are dangerous. That’s because you will become unwilling to learn and improve your abilities in writing, marketing and actually selling books.

The balanced way of thinking of our writing.

So love your writing, love your stories, but be open to feedback. Listen carefully, and then choose what to act on.

This requires robust thinking about your writing: It’s good, it can get better, and I won’t stop learning all life. And it can be fun all the way!

3. Thoughts about our success

This is where it gets even more woowoo. But the truth is, how we think about something does influence how it turns out.

How does this  happen?

Well, if we think our books won’t matter anyway, and will never find many readers, we won’t do our best. Or we won’t do our best in marketing. We won’t jump on opportunities – because that effort will be wasted anyway. At worst, we’ll check sales every day and be bitterly disappointed that they aren’t taking off yet.

And one day, you’ll just stop writing.

(I’ve seen it. It’s a sad thing to see all that creativity die.)

But if we can manage our thoughts to expect success – really believe in it, focus on it, we can pay much better attention to opportunities. We are much more willing to learn and get better at creating stories, writing blurbs, picking or building the right cover, and teaming up with other authors.

Because it’s worth the effort. Because all of this takes us one step closer to success. because all of this makes sales more likely.

And one day, you’ll break out of the friend’s circle

 One day, you’ll become a well-selling author.

It all depends on how you think about your writing. How much you can encourage yourself to keep going. How much you’re willing to learn.

And it starts and ends with your everyday thoughts.

So watch them. Be aware, and shift them to supporting ones.

Here’s some tapping to help.

Even though I yell at myself like a drill sergeant, and it always makes me feel terrible about myself, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I’m giving myself permission now to change that and become my own best friend.

Even though I shift between thinking my writing is horrible and my writing is awesome, I’m still totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to find a balanced middle way of appreciating my writing and allowing growth.

Even though it’s so hard to think of my success and not cry because I can’t see it, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to practice thinking about my success in joyful ways.

Your Turn:
How supportive are your thoughts?
How do you think about your writing and your chances of success?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Quieting the Mind

Peaceful Mind

Peaceful Mind

For us writers, the mind is the most important tool. It is where our stories are born. It’s where they grow into full tales that make it to the keyboard, paper or file. It’s more important than the computer and all the other tools we use to get our stories out into the world, because they wouldn’t exist without the mind.

And so we need to take care of the mind as well as the body.

And that’s especially true if we work a day job, have a family and write. It’s not always easy to let go of those parts of our lives and dive into our stories.

I’ll write about transition rituals next week, because I want to do some groundwork today.

If you’re even a bit like me, your mind is full of thoughts every moment in your life. You’re thinking about books and stories, about people you meet, you might even have conversations with them in your mind, and even when you go to bed, it’s hard to stop that run-away train of thoughts.

I think it’s part of being a creative person – we’re just so active in our mind.

And it’s certainly a good thing to have a flexible, inventive, active mind – until it gets too much.

When you reach the point where it would be nice to stop that constant stream of thoughts, and just want some peace and quiet in your mind, I can help you.

The goal is to be able to think nothing for a certain period of time (measured in minutes, no worry), and to make that a conscious choice. This is extremely helpful for falling asleep, for example, but also for simply resting your mind before tackling the next task.

1. Step One

Listen to some instrumental music and let that fill your mind. Let go of all thoughts, let them simply pass and go, without interest. They are just thoughts.

2. Step Two

Be aware of your breathing. Every movement that goes into a breath, the rise and fall of your chest, the flow of air. Focus on that.

3. Step Three

Get into a regular mediation habit.

This will help you focus your thoughts when you want to, but it’ll also teach you to let go when your thoughts turn into worrying or useless circles.

Our mind is our most important tool. Let’s take good are of it.

Here’s some tapping to help you with that:

Even though I can’t stop my thoughts, they just run around my head all the time, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to know that I can practice taking control.

Even though my mind is constantly “on”, like a non-stop radio, and it’s sometimes hard to focus on what I really want to think about, I’m still totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to practice and achieve focus and control.

Even though I always believed that constant thought is the mark of a smart person, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to know that it’s even smarter to be able to control my thoughts.

Your Turn:
How aware are you of your thoughts?
Are you often losing yourself to thoughts, especially negative ones?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Posture

Jumping Jack

Jumping Jack

Now, I’m not a physiotherapist. And yes, I’ve dealt with back pains and wrenched backs a few times in my life, so I know how that feels. And I’m certainly not perfect in my posture, nor avoiding all problems.

But I know one thing: We writers tend to sit too much.

So kudos to all of you who already work at a standing desk, on a treadmill or who dictate their stories while walking outside – you’re awesome.

Most of us aren’t there.

I sit at a desk most of the time. Both at my day job and at home. I have a laptop, but I don’t feel very comfortable moving around with it. At home, my place simply is at my desk. *grins*

The one thing I do for my health while sitting at my desk is using one of those stools with rockers and knee supports. That is supposed to force me to sit up straight (also puts my hands at the optimal height for the keyboard tray), to keep me moving a little, and to keep my back muscles from atrophying. That does work unless…

… I put my elbow on my desk and lean my head on my hand.

Which has given me terrible headaches.

So what can we do about our posture?

I actually have two suggestions, and they depend a little on each other. I’m working on making both a full habit in my life – and those weeks where I have managed to do them both are weeks where I feel better in my body. So yeah. Do as I say… all right?

1. Be aware of your posture.

What I’m suggesting here is basically checking in with your body once in a while or regularly, or even often to see how you’re sitting. How you’re feeling. How happy your body is.

Yes, with a bit of practice you can feel that. When I check in, I often do a little stretch or two to relax muscles that have become a little tight or such. Try it out. Do a check right now, as you’re reading this.

Which parts feel tight? Maybe a little numb, simply because they haven’t moved in a while? Move them gently, maybe stretch a little.

It really is just a simple little thing, but raising body awareness is very helpful in general.

2. Get up and move around every hour

This is my secret weapon. My gift to you.

Set a timer on your computer or your smartphone to beep at every hour. I think my old Apple used to do that anyway, but I had to install a timer on my computer and program it. Now it plays a few seconds of bird song every hour on the hour.

I know this will be hard, especially for those of you who write with cats.

And it’s hard for me because more often than not, that timer interrupts something I’m writing or doing, and I ignore it.

The idea is, however, that you get up at that point and move around. Vigorously. (Yes, I also do that at the office.)

I dance in my living room, kind of. I move my arms, my legs and just have fun for a minute or two until I breathe faster and my heartbeat speeds up.

And that’s the whole point: You’re waking up your body, you’re getting the blood flowing, bringing oxygen to your brain and your organs.

So get moving!

You’ll notice that writing might get easier after that. That you feel more alive. That maybe, just maybe you feel a tad happier.

Try it out and let me know how it goes.

And if you feel resistance to that idea, we can tap together.

Even though I don’t want to feel my body, it’s not a good feeling, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I give myself permission now to feel how my body needs to move to get better.

Even though it feels silly to move around every hour on the hour, just because my smartphone beeped at me, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I choose to enjoy these rounds of movement and how alive they make me feel.

Even though it feels stupid to think that little bit of moving around every hour could replace “real exercise”, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I choose to see it as a step in the right direction – and maybe it could be fun!

Your Turn:
How aware are you of your body?
What do you think of moving around like that?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel

Last week I wrote about pain and how to tap for it.

Next, I want to look at some reasons for pain that we create ourselves. I have close and personal experience with at least two of them… let’s start with the one that’s more typical for writers.

Carpal Tunnel

Unfortunately, this is a common one among writers, simply because we move our  hands so much in typing.  My own story about Carpal Tunnel is a bit unusual, but bear it in mind.

Carpal Tunnel is a repetitive strain injury.

And common wisdom holds it that it comes from too much typing.

I got a new computer at work, and my IT colleague flipped out the little supports on the keyboard before she put it on my desk, making it sit higher in the back, making me bend my wrists more when typing. I didn’t really like it, but she assured me it would make typing better. So I left it at that.

At around the same time, I started doing pull-ups in the gym using a new machine, putting new strain on my muscles and sinews in my forearms.

I don’t know if it was the combination of those or a lot of typing at work or just the position of my wrists… but long story short – I developed carpal tunnel. Swollen hands at night. Stiff fingers. Tingling.

Add in a neurologist who misdiagnosed me so I delayed treatment for about three months, and I got a nice solid case of serious pain. Our insurance demands that we try braces before surgery, so I got braces. They didn’t help.

The pain was horrible.

This was before I learned about EFT, and I remember several afternoons I spent just sitting in my armchair waiting for the pain to ease. It didn’t really. Normal pain killers don’t really work on nerve pain. I got an appointment for surgery on my right hand, and I almost cried because I had to wait about three months for it.

I also read up on carpal tunnel and decided I would do something about the placement of my keyboards. I got keyboard trays for both of my desks, at home and at work. It was easy at work. They had seen me try to type with the braces… and my husband put the one into my desk that I still use today.

I changed my posture.

And then something really weird happened: I started writing. A lot. Because my first story bug hit me. I never counted, but I was writing for hours every day, and I think I did at least 30k words in those three January weeks before surgery. At least. It sure took my mind off the pain.

And the pain went away. I just didn’t cancel the surgery because it was scheduled and I had waited three months for it to happen. I didn’t trust the improvement. But I kept writing – carefully – after the surgery. And I never made an appointment for my left hand. When I had a back-up check with the good neurologist, he was surprised at the improvement in my left hand. That never happens without surgery, he told me.

I believe that writing in a good posture, with hardly any bending of my wrists, thanks to the low keyboard trays, actually healed my carpal tunnel. All that movement lubricated the sinews in my wrist and allowed the inflammation to fade away, reducing any swelling and thus releasing the nerve.

My carpal tunnel healed with the change of posture.

Now this is rare. But I want you to be aware of this possibility. If you have symptoms like tingling in your thumb and first and middle finger, swollen hands in the morning, a dull, aching pain that sometimes shoots up to the shoulder – consider carpal tunnel and DO change your wrist position.

I did get confirmation of that theory, though. Because one day, I got a new desk at work, and the old keyboard tray was lost. I said I needed a new keyboard tray for health reasons and was refused. Three weeks later, I was developing symptoms again, and I insisted on a keyboard tray. As soon as I got it – symptoms went away.

Take care of your wrists.

Do what it takes to keep your wrists as straight as possible while typing. Get wrist supports, a keyboard try or a standing desk. Being a writer still means typing lots for us, and you must make it so that it doesn’t give you pain or an illness.

I can’t guarantee it’ll help you the way it helped me. But it’s worth a try before you go to surgery, right?

So where does EFT come in here?

Well, of course, you could tap on the pain, and you should because it’ll give you temporary relief. But if you don’t change anything, that pain will come back anyway. EFT can do a lot, but if there is a serious injury, your body will make itself heard no matter how hard you tap.

I believe it’s smarter in the long run to change your posture and your work environment, especially since we writers spend hours and hours typing our stories.

So let’s tap on your resistance to that change.

Even though I have this pain in my wrists and all the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel, I’m okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to try new ways of writing at my desk.

Even though I totally hate this Carpal Tunnel pain, and I have to keep writing through it, I’m still okay the way I am, and I now give myself permission to try a keyboard tray or whatever it takes to save my wrists all that bending work.

Even though I hate this Carpal Tunnel and all it does to me and my writing, and yet I don’t want to change anything – I just want it to be back to normal (*wail*), I’m okay the way I am, and I choose to know that using a keyboard tray or something else that helps my posture could very much improve my situation and my writing.

Your Turn:
Do you have any experience with Carpal Tunnel?
How does it feel to change your writing environment?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Pain

Headache

Headache

So I did a really stupid thing last night and tried to sleep through a fairly strong headache. I don’t usually take anything for headaches, but maybe I should have…

Even so, I managed to get some sleep (and had some wild dreams). The one thing that helped me sleep was EFT tapping. I’m so used to it that I can tap just feeling the tapping points and thinking the words.

I don’t recommend that for beginners, because EFT really works faster if you put your emotions behind it and speaking the sentences out loud – even cursing at times – does make it easier.

So anyway, I tapped on the pain and stuff that bothered me, and pretty soon I was yawning and falling asleep. I had to repeat that in the middle of the night, but other than that, I did get most of the sleep I need per night. (Although that darn headache still isn’t entirely gone.)

There are a few tricks to tapping on pain that I want to share with you today.

Now here’s a warning: If strong pain keeps coming back, it’s something serious, and you should see a professional. EFT can take away pain quite efficiently (I did that a lot when I broke my collar-bone), but pain is the body’s warning signal, and we should listen to it if we get it loud and clear repeatedly.

Back to tapping on pain. These are steps I recommend to give you something to work with and to really gain focus – being focused makes tapping more efficient.

1. Find the exact location of the pain
2. Monitor the intensity of the pain (you can use a scale from 0-10)
3. Notice the color and kind of pain (it gives you one more thing to check for change)
4. Tune into your emotion about the pain

If you want to be very thorough, you can write it all down on a piece of paper so you can check back on the changes after each tapping round. Treat it as an experiment!

Use all your detail in the set-up phrases and let your emotions flow. Try to get really involved in this – cursing is just fine! (Pain brings out the crabby Firle in me, and yes, I curse when I tap on it.)

Go through a tapping round (I usually go through all tapping points three or four times in one “round”), and then check back with your list. Usually, there are changes.

Keep going. Depending on the kind of pain (and of course, the physical reasons behind it), it can take a few rounds before it goes down. Once it does go down, change your words to reflect the easing, but keep going until it’s totally gone.

I know. I don’t always have the patience to do that, either. It’s still the best way to go because once you tap the pain away completely, it’s more likely to stay away – especially with headaches and migraines.

Here are set-up phrases modelled on my current headache. You’ll find a complete tapping round in the newsletter (but with pain, one round usually isn’t enough, so keep going).

Even though I have this blasted headache, spreading from the back of my head in red waves, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I’m now asking my body to gently release the pain and everything that causes it.

Even though I really hate this effing headache, red and ugly, spreading in waves from the back of my head, I really love and accept myself, and I’m giving myself permission to release that headache now.

Even though I’m soooo annoyed at this ugly headache, spreading in red, icky waves from the back of my head, I’m still okay the way I am, and I now choose to surprise myself by how quickly I can release that awful pain.

Your Turn:
What kinds of pain do you experience?
How does it feel to get close and personal with the pain?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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Self-Care for Writers – Vacation

Good self-care includes breaks.

Which is why I am on vacation this week. I’m visiting my Dad and enjoying his company very much. However, he doesn’t want to be on social media, so I’m just sharing the cosy spot on his balcony where we share meals when it’s nice and warm.

Give yourself breaks. This is a very low-cost one (just the train tickets, really), and it’s incredibly restorative.

I’ll be back to posting full articles next week.

Dad's balcony

Dad’s Balcony

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Self-Care for Writers – Walking

Walking

Walking

I’m going to stay just a little longer with that terrible word: Exercise.

But since I believe that gyms provide a most unnatural way of exercising and  are about the most evil invention ever (granted, they are helpful if you need to strengthen some specific parts of your body), you won’t ever get a recommendation for gym work from me.

Instead, I want to suggest something else entirely:

Walking.

Humans evolved as hunters and gatherers. Which means that walking (and sometimes running) are the most natural kinds of moving around. And walking is safer than running, for your joints and your heart, and in combination with dogs. Ahem.

So get up and walk – start today!

Now, I’m in the lucky position that I can actually walk to work. It’s a mere 2 km (a little more than a mile), and I do it twice every day, in about 17 minutes straight. In fact, I take a little detour on my way back to walk through a park which takes a couple of minutes more.

I’m also aware that I live in Germany and am very fortunate that there are lots and lots of public sidewalks, dirt roads and hiking paths freely available to the public. And in fact, most forests are open to the public, too, even if they are privately owned. They cannot be fenced in. So getting good walks here is easy.

Even so, I encourage you to find a route in your neighborhood that you can walk daily.

Daily! Yes, indeed.

It’s a nice addition to the little hourly dance I suggested last week, because it’ll get your body’s systems up and moving for a longer time, adding stamina.

Also, don’t use headphones during that walk.

Why not?

Because if you walk with your senses engaged in your surroundings, you are safer. And you reconnect to nature, even in town. You can probably see and hear birds, listen to the wind in trees and feel it on your skin. But you need to be aware to do so, and you won’t be if you’re shutting out the environment by listening to a book or music.

A walk is also a great time to daydream about your stories. I’ve found many a plot twist on my walks to and from work. It seems that moving your body can also jog that old brain.

If you’re out on a walk and you don’t take your smartphone – eeeek! – you can also think without being disturbed by anyone. And honestly, a 20 min break away from being online won’t cost you anything, but it may bring you some peace.

Reconnect with nature.

The best thing about daily walks? They reconnect you to the rhythm of nature. Yes, you might get wet once in a while because rain is part of that, but you’ll also experience the seasons.

Once you have found your route, you’ll notice little changes every day. Flowers that come and go, even if they are just weeds in the cracks. Different kinds of birds…. you might even learn to identify their calls.

I saw a wren sing for the first time in my life just a couple of weeks ago – on my walk to work. I stopped for a minute or two to watch and listen. It’s a little moment of joy that I hold in my memories.

A little walking can give you a lot.

So if you’re like me and you sit at the computer way too much every day, do consider setting aside 20 or 30 minutes for a walk every day. You don’t need a dog for that. And you could even make it a “worthwhile” tour by getting groceries or taking pictures or using it as your plotting time. Just allow yourself to be aware of nature while you do.

And if you think you can’t… well, here’s some tapping to make it easier for you.

Even though I live in a place that doesn’t let me enjoy a walk, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I give myself permission to explore anyway.

Even though it feels dangerous to leave the house and walk along the lane without a sidewalk, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I give myself permission to do it carefully and with lots of common sense.

Even though I don’t really want to get up and move, and taking half an hour out of my day seems like too much, I’m totally okay the way I am, and I now choose to experiment with that for a couple of days.

Your Turn:
What do you think about regular walks?
Do you have a good route to walk?
What happened while you were tapping?
And finally – what are you creating right now?
Please share in a comment.

Image Source: F. Moebius

PS: My newsletter contains a full tapping round to go with my blog posts, so it’ll be easier for you to get results. Sign up through the form on the upper right hand corner, and receive an introduction to EFT as a gift, find that specific tapping round plus occasional special offers. If you’re on a mobile and can’t see the sidebar, you can sign up through this link: Newsletter Sign-up.

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