I recently sought advice for a mentor in the writing biz who told me that I need to appear like I’ve always got my shit together.

This is ironic seeing as how I have been so busy endorsing the opposite.

In a world where we practice perfectionism, saying that we don’t always have our shit together is scary.

I just came to the realization that I’m not taking care of myself to the best of my ability, that I’m choosing work over self care—sharing this with you right now terrifies me.

It makes me question my credibility as a writer and public speaker.

My “shame gremlins”—as Brene Brown calls them—are loud in my ears as I write this.

“Who are you to preach?”

“You don’t deserve to give people advice if you aren’t taking care of yourself.”

“Empathy is the antidote shame.” ~ Brene Brown

It makes me relieved to hear that people I admire struggle with the same things. They have break downs and fuck up too.

So, here it goes.

I realized today that I have a belief that work is more important than ________ .

I work for myself.

I’m struggling with creating space and boundaries within my career.

I’m a full blown Creator. I churn out about 15 ideas a day. I write 15-18 articles a month and a few social media posts a day.

There are so many words to throw down onto paper.

I feel desperate to get them down before they go away.

Words—especially poems—do slip through your fingers when you don’t attend to them.

I primarily write for online publications and blogs, producing articles and social media content.

For the last 10 months I’ve been self-employed, working as a freelancer.

Setting boundaries, knowing when to stop and what is enough—especially after living from a mindset of scarcity from the first year of being a full-time writer—is challenging.

Most artists who transition their art from a hobby to a job get so excited to be getting money for their art that they do their work for less than they deserve, and do too much of it.

For a while I said yes to everything because of financial dry spells.

I had no idea when the next job or pay cheque would come.

I fear saying no. I fear stopping.

My new struggle is not knowing that I’m burnt out ’till long after I’m burn out.

I struggle with not knowing that I’m hungry and need to nourish ’till my blood sugar has crashed out hard and I’m hangry (angry from being hungry).

“I have too much to create to spend all day in the kitchen cooking!” cries the passionate Creator inside.

I also have a high taste for good food and refuse to eat packaged shit.

There will be no Mr. Noodles type survival food for this girl.

I started talking about this to a few people close to me.

I asked them how they managed self-care while working for themselves.

These are people who do just as much as I do, people who I trust.

One of my closest friends who is also wildly successful and a Creator told me she will sometimes forget to eat all day. She’s so “busy” she just forgets to eat.

Another person I do business with says the same about food, and also sleep.

I know I’m not alone in this, which makes me want to talk about it even more.

I’m wondering how many other people think work is more important than self-care.

I’m aware that what I’m doing is not working for my overall well being.

We cannot thrive when we are slack at self-care.

My fantasy solution is to make enough money to have a chef who lives with me and makes me three meals plus snacks and coffee every single day so that I can continue on in this blur of busyness.

Even with a chef, the busyness may leak out and affect my relationships with my family, my friends—my someday life partner.

I need boundaries with my busy.

Busy is an all-consuming buzz that leaves boyfriends sleeping alone at

night while I pitter patter away on the laptop.

Busy puts space between my friendships and distances me from relatives.

I have to be the boss of my busy.

So unless I become a best selling author overnight, keep friends who have enough time and space in their own lives to selflessly support me or move to Italy and marry a man who lives to cook and doesn’t mind me being completely co-dependant on him—it looks like I have some work to do.

I’m going to begin forming new habits and identifying and rewiring old beliefs.

My brain might think that I can work all day without a break—but my body knows better.

I’ll practice stricter accountability, discipline and boundaries with myself.

I’ll continue doing what I love.

The difference is I that am going to incorporate more self love and care while doing it.