1. Always make time for checking in with yourself even when you feel “fine.” Sometimes we’re so busy going through the motions that we don’t even realize we’re struggling.
2. Writing is supposed to be hard. It isn’t supposed to make you miserable. If you’re miserable, something’s not quite right.
3. Your work does not make up 100% of your worth. There’s more to you than the words you write.
4. Burnout can happen even when you don’t “feel” like you’re working too much.
5. Successful writers push themselves. But they also recognize when they’ve pushed themselves hard enough.
6. Never compare yourself or how much you have accomplished to another writer. It’s not worth the pressure.
7. Don’t get mad at yourself on days you just “can’t.”
8. “Doing more” isn’t going to leave you feeling more fulfilled in the end. Sometimes less really is more.
9. Sleep. Please? It’s not something you earn or deserve. It’s a necessity.
10. Talk about how you’re feeling. Admit that this is difficult. Be honest with others and with yourself.
11. Your health — physical, mental, emotional — is more important than your to-do list.
12. Rest. A change of scenery/routine. A break. These are the things that are going to help you feel better. Even if it makes you feel guilty and “worse” at first, give it a chance. You need this.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.