Self-Care For Writers

What the F is self-care? I recently heard a young millennial (or was it an old Gen Z’er) complain about the term. Maybe she wasn’t complaining as much as wondering. Why wouldn’t you care for yourself? wrote this young whippersnapper, whose every move, from waking up to eating the proverbial avocado toast to actually interesting things like partying, was posted on social.

I am not making fun of her. I envied her. I do.

Sure she’s young and single so maybe she only knows how to take care of herself. But I was young and single too once — and although the term probably wasn’t around then, I wasn’t on top of the concept either. As a young woman, raised religious, who was supposed to get married young, I was taught to take care of others’ needs. To put others’ first — be in roommates, friends, the community at large and the world.



But how can you take care of the world when you don’t know how to take care of yourself?

Writing, I guess, was always my self care. Jotting down journals, scraps of paper even now on my computer with a dump document.

Still, sometimes I can get lost in assignments, in deadlines, in articles, in money and the business of it all, that I forget to, you know, write. And even, with so much time spent online, to think.

For me thinking is also self-care. That means walking, running, doing nothing at all, in order to gear up for ideas.

What’s your self-care for writing?

Author: Amy Klein

Amy Klein is the author of "The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind," (Ballantine, 2020) based on her New York Times "Fertility Diary" column. Her writing on health, science, reproduction and essays has also appeared in Slate, Salon, The Washington Post, Aeon and more.