There's often nothing more horrifying to a writer than being alone with their thoughts.
I'm no exception. After I'd worked out the opening for my new work-in-progress, I got to thinking about my habits and how I want to do better for myself. So why don't I? Why don't I care about my body as much as my mind?
At some point, particularly in the past ten or eleven years, I stopped seeing myself as a whole person. The part of me that was my own, that had value, that mattered, was my mind. The body was just excess. It didn't matter. It's the robot casing that carries the valuable mind around.
But that's not who I am. I am a body AND a mind. I am more than the piece of me that provides value for others. I'm the robot AND the consciousness inside it. If I want to get another 40 years out of this mind and get all the stories written down, then I need to take care of the robot around it. The fleshy robot that gives really great hugs.
What I'm going to ask you to do will take more than five minutes, but as we prepare for the new year and new goals and aspirations, it's going to be time well spent.
Make time for yourself to let your mind wander. Be isolated. Remove any and all distractions.
Talk to yourself. Out loud. About the things that are bothering you. About the things that make you happy. Ask yourself what you really need. Give yourself space to answer honestly.
Being a writer means taking care of the writer. Make space for yourself. No one else will.