December 9, 2011

Be Gentle With Yourself

Be Gentle With Yourself --- By Selena Illyria
Okay, I'll admit, when I read that title back my mind goes into the gutter but then again my mind is almost always in the gutter. I said, Almost. Stop snickering! Ahem. Anyway, the phrase is uttered a lot during my favorite yoga program, Namaste Yoga, when we are doing a routine that may be very strenuous or advance. What Kate Potter is telling the viewer/practitioner is to go easy, you don't have to be an expert instantly –even if we want to be--and that you don't have to get it right the first time. If you don't then go back to the beginning and start again but go slowly.
It was a conversation with CynnaraTregarth--author, best friend, enabler--who started me on the thought that I should do a blog post about this subject. Cyn was telling me that as an author she was being hard on herself. That got me thinking about how I treat myself when I write. Over the last year it's been difficult. I've dealt with burnout and depression and health issues. My writing took a hit as well as my self-esteem. As I got back into the swing of things it became self-evident that I wasn't going to be able to get back to my once 5k usual word amount per day. In fact it took me a lot of effort for even 1,000 words. It was like trudging through molasses or quick sand. And the words just didn't seem to be working for me. There was a lot of wracking my brain and erasures and frustrated sighs, foul language and lots of Slipknot to fit my dark mood.
Nothing seemed to be working and I was ignoring the tell tale depression symptoms so I could press on. Not good. And then everything just stopped. Writer's block is a bitch. It hurts, it feels like you're a failure and you want to cry, scream and throw things. You just want it to end. And then I got back into reading, before I just didn't have time. I had to write, finish this book, turn in that book, do edits. No time to read a book but I sure had a lot of plot bunnies. When the words stopped the bunnies stayed, which was good, at least that part of my creative psyche was working now it just had to give me the words. I figured a break was in order. I was being forced into it anyway.
Reading other books was just what I needed. A break, even if it was forced, was perfect to recharge my batteries and allow me to address my depression without stress or pressure. Slowly my urge to write came back, egged on by a deadline. When I began to write again I started to post my progress on Facebook. It did helped me track my progress and allowed me to get kudos from writing friends which in turn helped my give my ego a boost. I began to accept my word progress even if it was a hundred words or if I'd reached my goal. I took down my expectations. I didn't get frustrated over not meeting a goal. I celebrated just writing, no matter how much I wrote. I started to go easier on myself. Not only did my stress level thank me but so did my blood pressure.
To be gentle with yourself is to not overly stress yourself out when you don't meet a goal but celebrate your successes. And sometimes take a break when you need it. Don't push yourself too hard or you may incur the wrath of the Writer's Block and be forced to take a break. Just remember, go at your own pace and be gentle with yourself.

Thank You, Namaste Yoga and Cyn. 

Happy Holidays and I wish you all a prosperous New Year!

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Here's a look at my latest release:
Out Now!
Series: White Hot Christmas: Holiday Paws
Excerpt Rating (R)
Genre: Paranormal, Interracial, Holiday, Werewolves, BBW
ISBN: 978-1-60521-717-8
After dealing with the flu and missing her flight to spend the holidays with her family, Nessa thought she'd be alone for Christmas. When her mate Ben shows up at her door with the intention of giving her a holiday she won't soon forget, she knows this Christmas will definitely be the best yet.


  1. This came along at a perfect time for me, Se. Thank you! You are a good friend, and a wise woman.

  2. Welcome! I'm so honored to be able to be on your blog.

  3. Annie Melton12/09/2011 9:26 PM

    Very true! We push ourselves too hard sometimes... and that just opens the door for others to do so, too. Breathe!

    Now, if I only had time to follow your advice!

  4. *Pokes the Annie* Are you overworking yourself again? Do we have to have a talk? *raises eyebrow*

    I'll steal your Dove Dark. *Hides behind Kayelle*

    Be good to yourself even if it's for a minute, take a chocolate break.

  5. Heh, don't hide behind poor Kayelle. She's innocent of all chocolate theft!

  6. Oh, Annie if you only knew... LOL I might be innocent of "some" chocolate theft though. LOL

  7. Such good advice, Se. I find that i have to be gentle because my day job is so varied. A lot of the time it is crazy busy and i have to accept maybe 100 words of fiction writing that day and be happy. But if i just persist, the books appear! Thank you for the reminder! : )

  8. That's such great advice, Selena, especially during this busy time of the year. I've been battling with similar things to you this year, and taking large chunks of time away from writing has really helped me get my mojo back. Hugs!

  9. *Hugs* Shelley. Good to see you taking care of yourself.


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