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Protecting Your Creative Space: 3 Tips for Establishing Boundaries as a Writer

Wood framed chalkboard with writing. Pine trees carved into the frame and two pieces of chalk sitting at its base. In the background is rippling water, silhouette of birds flying and lightening in a dark sky.
#WellnessWednesday is a monthly topic on my social media platforms. Next month: Practicing Mindfulness.


It’s so easy to dive into a rabbit-hole and be lost in research and writing for hours. I do it all the time. Establishing a few boundaries around your writing time will help you prevent burnout. It's time to protect your creative space (and avoid burnout).

3 tips for establishing boundaries as a writer

On Instagram and Facebook, I mention my two favourite tips for establishing boundaries as a writer are outlining and list making. I’ll add a third tip, planning. I prefer to use a notebook and pen because handwriting things helps me remember them, but you use whatever suits you best and smoothes the way for your creativity.


Outline your goals

Outline your goals for each period you plan to write or research in a notebook. I start a new notebook for each story. A quick point here, I also date each notebook as well as individual note-making sessions so I know when I wrote each and don’t double up (too much) later down the track.


If you’re researching, jot down the information you need and (this is the hard part) stick to only researching what you need. If you do find something that will be helpful later, make a note and bookmark the site.


Make a list

When you sit down to write, make yourself a cuppa (whichever cool or hot beverage you prefer) and think about what you need to work on that day. Is there a scene you really need to plot out, a character that’s not quite playing nice in the sandpit? Pick up your pen and write it out and tick off each item you complete. When your check list is all checked for the day, a quick note about your goals for the next day will help you cover any random thoughts and ideas that have popped up while writing (same for researching).



Having specific hours for writing, researching and marketing can be hugely beneficial to your work and your mindset. Different days might help as each has its own rabbit-hole of despair.

Look at your life and find the places where you can slot in your writing time. Remember to include time outlining and list making. These can be in the one session and as often, or little, as you need.


My (very) general plan

I have Mondays earmarked for marketing and content creation. This includes researching and writing articles, social media posts, and sourcing/creating graphics. I’m writing this article on a sunny Monday afternoon. I also tend to work on graphics in the evenings before and after dinner, especially if I’m not interested in what’s on the television or if I’m feeling particularly creative.

Tuesdays are for researching and writing. Wednesdays are for art making. Thursdays and Fridays are back to writing.


If you’re working another job or raising a family, squeeze these activities into whatever time you have available throughout the week. The important thing to remember is the discipline of sticking to your plan.

These are my 3 tips for establishing boundaries as a writer. If you have some tips (or experiences) you'd like to share, comment here or head over to my Facebook or Instagram platforms. I'll update these links so they'll take you to the specific #WellnessWednesday post. If you're a subscriber, you'll have had the chance to read this article way before anyone else. The social media posts will go live in a few hours.


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