Amy Meng Recommends...

“When I stop writing it’s usually the first sign that I will soon cease responding to e-mails, doing my laundry, or getting water when I’m thirsty. To start writing again requires me to improve my emotional and mental health. This means it’s good for me to: exercise, socialize, reduce digital media intake, talk to my therapist, and generally take care of myself. These are also all the things I’m incapable of doing in this state. The first step is to give myself time to languish without shame, but not too much time. I set an arbitrary ‘stop languishing’ date. Until then, I set small rules for myself and see what helps me feel less like a monster: only eat in the kitchen, or no TV on my laptop. I can start feeling better if I impose a ladder of increasingly demanding action upon myself and trust that this change is good because it did some good in the past. If I make decisions based on what I want or feel capable of doing, I’m doomed. Eventually I get back to exercising every week, cooking for myself, talking to friends, reading, and writing, again. To be a productive writer requires self-care: How I feel about myself is reflected in my writing and writing habits.”
—Amy Meng, author of Bridled (Pleiades Press, 2018)