"You're always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company." ~ Diane Von Furstenberg

Valentines Day is over and you know what that means? Get out to the store—all the Valentine's candy is half-price today! (Personally I'm addicted to those tiny cinnamon hearts. I could eat those by the handful. And don't even get me started on the importance of chocolate as a food group.) You deserve a treat. That doesn't have to be candy, but you should make sure that you take the time to be kind to yourself. Creative pursuits can be hard. There are the days the words don't come, rejection, negative reviews or times when your imaginary friends don't seem to want to hang out with you.

Being kind to yourself isn't indulgent, it's necessary. It's far too easy to be hard on ourselves. We know exactly what buttons to push in ourselves to feel bad. But what if we turned that around? What if instead we were good to ourselves, if we built ourselves up instead of tearing down? We think it's time you became your own best ally, because with you in your own corner—who knows what you might accomplish? We do! You'll finish that manuscript, you'll hit publish, you'll send out those queries.

You got this.

We've collected some articles on this topic to help you out.

Why being kind to yourself is the most important thing you can do is a lovely piece with a beautiful definition of what self-kindness means. A must-read for every writer in the world!

There’s only one person in the world you’ll always have a relationship with, and that’s yourself. Therefore, you better start making sure that you’re a good companion to yourself. So recommends the post 17 ways to be kind to yourself.

And finally, once you know what being kind to you means, and have some ideas to implement, maybe adding a nice love yourself quotes as a screensaver is what the self-help doctor ordered.

~ New this week ~

New on our YouTube channel

Author Robyn Harding (The Party, Your Pretty Face) shares her wisdom on writing thrillers. She and Eileen discuss the different kinds of thrillers, using POV to your advantage and her approach to writing.

Multi-published author of suspense and addictive fiction, JP McLean talks about her experiences both doing her own author branding and hiring a professional to do the job. She and Crystal debate pros and cons of both approaches.

Ken Johns, author of the Split-Second Time Travel books chats with Donna about writing a series, about film scripts, the power of a well-placed $20 bill to getting a book finished on deadline, and more!

~ For Creative Academy Members ~

New in our Members' Only community

Happy Hour with Eileen Cook! This past week she discussed the pros and cons of writers writing reviews of other author's books and how to handle being on the receiving end of a bad review. And if you've had your work edited and then make revisions if you're better off to have the same editor do the next pass or get fresh eyes. That led to a discussion about reader expectations—especially if you like to write complicated characters.

Strategic Author Session with Crystal Stranaghan! This past week Crystal answered questions about setting up a sole proprietorship as an author, undertook part 1 of Eileen's website make-over, and demonstrated how to create 3D book cover images using BookBrush and CoverVault.

Author on Fire Mastermind with Donna! (Never recorded) The group celebrated successes, shared strategies for how to stick with the words when it feels hard, and thoughts on how to feel positive about joining Facebook groups when we know our ultimate end-goal is to sell books.

Writing sprints and special topic gatherings

Our calendar of events overfloweth... the love from members to each other is palpable every day. Instead of a long, confusing list of what's coming up next week — starting on Sunday with our new weekend writing sprints, hosted by our members! — here's a visual. All times are Pacific.

Not a Creative Academy member yet? Learn all you need to know to become a member here.

~ Creative Advice Prompt ~

Write down what you like best about yourself in general. Then write down at least five things you admire about your own writing, areas where you are crushing it. Lastly, create a list of at least ten things that you can do for yourself as a treat to pick yourself up when you need it. This might be taking a walk, letting yourself enjoy an afternoon of reading a great book or picking up some of that half priced Valentine's day candy!

Eileen, Crystal and Donna