Self-care advice for writers

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Writers share self care tips and advice on dealing with the precarious incomes, isolation, burnout and self-doubt.

While burnout is a hazard for any arts worker or creative, there are particular stresses for writers who may work in isolation or on high-intensity projects such as a novel for long periods of time.

This year, the Emerging Writers’ Festival is bringing mental health to the fore with the panel discussion Self Care for Writers on Tuesday 21 June featuring Lex Hirst, Kate Richards and Vikki Ryall.

Read: 50 ways to take care of yourself in the arts

Burnout and creative fatigue can be perpetuated by the unpredictable nature of writing work, explained Emerging Writers’ Festival Director, Michaela McGuire.

‘Most writers, or full-time writers anyway, are shockingly underpaid. Living invoice to invoice, and regularly waiting three months, six months or even longer for payment takes a toll. There's been too many nights to count where I've woken up, mid-panic-attack, worrying about how I was possibly going to pay rent that month.

Such infrequency in payment can make it difficult to say no. ‘We end up turning our calendars into horrible, deadline-ridden minefields,’ added McGuire.

Madeleine Dore

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