Stop Trying to Pour from an Empty Cup: Feed Your Soul

Trust me, I keep learning this lesson the hard way.

It’s so tempting to keep jumping around from task to task.

You can very likely get a lot of different things done this way, but it doesn’t mean it’ll be all that fulfilling. You’ll just burn yourself out and then you’ll be miserable. I go through this cycle all the time, but I’m finally ready to try and break it.

So I said last time too. And in previous blog posts, you might’ve noticed me talk about self-care, taking breaks, etcetera. But you know what I realized recently?

There’s actually a third option besides just being a workaholic and being a couch potato.

Yes, seriously – and it’s called feeding your soul.

It’s not a question of working or taking a break – it’s actually more about doing things that make your heart happy. For me, as a content writer, my work is extremely draining on the creative front, so I recognize that I need to take time for my art as well.

Sure, it might not pay as lucratively as my articles about pest control or personal care items, but there’s something incredibly important about writing things that let your light shine. I have a story that’s been begging to get out for a while. And most importantly, big plans for it once I do.

All that being said, if you’re curious about my other stories that have already been published, you can grab copies of those HERE. They’re a mix of coming-of-age, science fiction, and YA/NA romance.

So now the question is, how do I actually get this done?

Right, of course – because it’s rarely that simple. Without any clear plan, it just won’t. That’s why I’m trying to institute Feed My Soul Fridays. Basically, I won’t do any creative work for clients on Fridays (unless there’s a legitimate urgent need). Otherwise, Fridays are my day to plan, daydream, and work on my story. That’s something that will help balance out my work-life. I also want to keep working on music and studying guitar so I can teach students soon – because that will also feed my soul.

One of my soul-feeding hobbies: amigurumi crochet! Check out my art page for more about these funky characters.

Some easy tips I would suggest to help you start a similar habit would be the following:

  • Spend a day observing your habits – what do you naturally gravitate towards? Even if you can’t drop everything to do that thing in the moment, make a mental note of what you want to do later.
  • Think about your schedule – are there some parts of your typical day or week that are busier, or more open? Try to fit in a bit of these soul-nourishing habits when you find breaks in your schedule.
  • Commit yourself to honoring your body and mind consistently. Maybe it means taking time to read for a while before going to bed no matter how late it is. Following through on the promise you made to yourself is a crucial part of self-care. So don’t disappoint yourself!

If you do all these things, I am convinced your work-life balance will get better.

I wish I could say that I’ve mastered this skill, but full disclosure: I definitely haven’t yet. My hope is that by blogging about it and sharing it with you, maybe these habits will get easier to instill in my own life. So feel free to be an accountability partner for yourself, or anyone else around you that’s clearly pushing themselves too hard. I’m the worst about this, but I’m feeling the effects of not doing that, and it’s definitely not going to pay off in the longterm.

So here’s to a productive, yet fun, soul-nourishing summer. Sink your toes into the sand and live it up, because you’ll never be this young again 😉

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Technology Dependence and Writing – How to Survive Without Devices

If you’re in the same boat as me and need to invest in some new hardware or a quick fix, read on for my tips on what to do while you’re waiting to get your device back.

I had to get my laptop battery replaced the other day, because it was dying on me way too fast and that obviously isn’t cool (especially when you’re a writer with heavy dependence on your tech). Anxiety around keeping your work safe is real, and I for sure was not enjoying gambling with my battery percentage before my computer would die on me.

So naturally, I made an appointment at Apple and got that fixed up. The tech people there are always super nice and professional, but I was still SUPER nervous. If you’re in the same boat as me and need to invest in some new hardware or a quick fix, read on for my tips on what to do while you’re waiting to get your device back.

#1: Ask any questions you may have.

Seriously. Like while I was there getting my battery replaced, I asked about some issues I was having with storage maintenance on my MacBook Air. The technician was able to help me sort through that, and thankfully warned me that even though I now had space to download the latest operating system, I should probably wait because it would change the formatting of my super-old Microsoft Word software (as an author, that’s a BIG deal, so I opted to wait until I finish my current book duology so that everything stays consistent). The point here is, asking those other questions helped because I had a plan of action, and a good reason to wait before stupidly downloading a thing that would create a massive headache for my formatting consistency.

#2: Plan to be without your device for at least a day or two.

If you’re a freelance blogger, journalist, and copyeditor like I am, you’ll know how important it is to follow through with your deadlines. Early is always cool, but late is not. So since I knew I’d have an album review due this past weekend, and a blog on Inkitt due on Wednesday, I went ahead and wrote those ahead of time. That took a lot of the pressure off, because I knew that when I handed off my computer, I’d be all set for essentially the rest of the week.

You can find my latest album review for local Rhode Island Motif Magazine HERE: https://motifri.com/jelly-side-down/

The only thing I wouldn’t be able to do was work on my story draft, but I figured a little break from that would be good for me anyway (and if I got really desperate, I could always write a scene on my iPad, iPhone, or even an old-fashioned notepad to add in later). And if blogging here called my name, I downloaded the nifty WordPress app and logged myself in. Finding other ways to stay on task even without my laptop relieved a lot of my anxiety, because I realized I wasn’t so limited without it.

#3: Invest in some YOU time!

If you’re a workaholic like me, use the time while waiting for your repair to be finished by doing things you might not typically have time to do. You already worked ahead, so there’s no need to worry. Maybe you want to spend time with family more, or pick up a dormant hobby that you’ve been missing. Or maybe you’ll just curl up with a new book (shameless self-promo here, but here’s my latest time-travel coming of age book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084QK6DFW/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1)

Regardless of how scary it can be to leave your beloved tech in the hands of someone you don’t know, it helped me to remember that these people are trained professionals. The odds of them breaking it or something are extremely low. I mean yeah, it’s good practice to still back everything up before you go, but you’re not likely to really need it.

And as for my repair? I literally got my laptop back within twenty-four hours (yes, I was shocked too). They told me it would probably be a few days, but they replaced my battery super fast and I was beyond grateful. So don’t worry about timing so much – I’d wager they’re often faster than they tell you.

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