The Anxious Author

3 Signs You Might Need To Take A Step Back – The Anxious Author

“Taking a step back” is a bit of a broad term, but in this instance it means to remove ourselves from an overwhelming environment. Indie authors have a tough time of separating their author lives from everything else, especially if we have full time or part time jobs on the side. Every spare moment is dedicated to putting together books and series that we hope will give us a new life. A life lived on our terms, doing something we love to do.

However, we can get a little too involved or obsessed with our goals, especially with today’s popular “work as hard as you can and you can change your life” mindset. Have we completely forgotten about self-care? Was that a 2010s thing, and in the 2020s we’re all expected to work our butts off to avoid the poverty an economic crash and a global pandemic can so easily bring.

Whether self-care has surpassed its peak popularity or not, we should still bear its message in mind. Here are three signs that we may need to step away from a pressurised work situation.

We Take People’s Opinions To Heart Too Much

When it comes to books we wrote and created, receiving criticism on them can be hard to swallow at times. Especially if that criticism comes in the form of a one star review. Those things are never fun to read.

Getting elated about a good review or sad about a bad one isn’t the end of the world, and taking constructive advice on board is a positive step to growing our writing abilities. But when we begin to question our entire process based on the feedback of others, we need to start disassociating ourselves from those opinions. Even the helpful ones, for a while.

Maybe people who entered adulthood with the benefit of being emotionally healthy can do this naturally, but for those of us who struggle with perceptions of ourselves and are people-pleasers as a matter of self-protection, it’s more difficult. Therefore, taking a step away from all reviews and opinions of our work is the first one to getting perspective on how much other people’s opinions really matter.

We’re Falling Asleep To Thoughts of Work

Which inevitably leads to dreams about work. How are we supposed to relax outside our careers if they are always on our minds? Work becomes a 24/7 affair if our waking and sleeping lives revolve around it.

I recently had to kick a habit of doing bits and pieces I had missed during my working day in the evening. By the time bedtime rolled around, everything I had done that day and everything I had to do the next day was swirling around in my head as soon as my head hit the pillow. Very few people will wake up rested after having work on their mind even while asleep.

Setting cut-off times for work is a great way to begin detaching ourselves and ensuring we get enough down time to recover from the stresses of the day. It’s actually a really small action for a pretty big payoff.

When The Prospect Of Failure Ties Into Our Self-Worth

This is a big one, and the issues that cause it often run deep. Some of us grew up with the notion that failure was something to be ashamed of, and maybe it was even used against us in our youths. This damaging perception of failure as something not only to be avoided but as a reflection of all our efforts and personality, has the potential to cripple us.

There is no simple fix for this issue, but perspective can help us deal with the effects of it. If we detach ourselves from whatever we feel we’ve failed at, we can allow new hope to develop when we consider our next course of action. That hope may help us cope with the overwhelming pressure that results when we have an unhealthy relationship with failure.

Thanks for reading! Did you know I also write urban fantasy books? Check them out here!

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