Posted on June 13, 2024 at 8:06 AM by Guest Author

Having a career as an author can be rewarding, but it’s not without its challenges. Discover the importance of setting boundaries and learn how to do it. 

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Why Boundaries Matter for Authors

When you choose writing as a profession, you have to give a lot of your time, your effort, and yourself. And if you opt to self-publish and self-promote, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why setting boundaries is strongly recommended. These are the lines you draw for yourself on your time, feelings, and relationships. And make no mistake — they matter! 

Here’s why…

They prevent burnout. 

The high demands of writing and marketing can take a toll. However, understanding and applying your limits can help. Once you realize you don’t have to always say “yes” or dedicate every second to your work, you’ll be much better off. With boundaries, you can avoid getting burnt out from constant social media use or an overambitious writing schedule. 

They help maintain creativity. 

Setting boundaries can also keep your creative juices flowing. Overworking can stifle creativity. That’s why you should give your brain regular breaks. In fact, putting your writing aside can work in your favor! Rest and personal time play a crucial role in fostering new ideas. By letting yourself pause and recharge, you can come back with fresh insights. 

They enhance productivity. 

When you establish boundaries, you can become more productive. That’s because structured time management is more efficient than working endlessly. The quality and quantity of your work can be improved by blocking out focused work periods and stopping once you’ve put in the time.

They protect personal relationships. 

The demands of being an author can have a big impact on your family and social life. But setting boundaries can help you balance your personal and professional responsibilities. You can protect your relationships by ensuring your work doesn’t interfere with family time. And you can only share what your loved ones are comfortable with on social media.  

They improve your well-being. 

Having boundaries can also improve your mental health and well-being. If you’re an author, it’s because you enjoy writing. But without boundaries, you may always feel pressured to do more. That can lead to unwanted stress, affecting your sleep, mood, and more. Drawing lines for yourself can prevent such issues and keep your passion for writing alive. 

What Setting Boundaries Looks Like

Setting boundaries can be challenging at first, especially if you don’t know what it looks like. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some examples for you. By using them for guidance, you can start putting your own author boundaries in place. 


First things first, the importance of setting boundaries for writing shouldn’t be overlooked. There are several decisions you can make to improve the quality of your writing time — and your enjoyment of it. It’s just a matter of choosing when, where, and how you approach it. 

Making a writing schedule (and sticking to it) 

Creating a consistent writing schedule helps establish a routine. Along with making it easier to maintain momentum and productivity, this can prevent writing from taking over your life. So, schedule writing blocks — either certain times of day or just allotted hours. Let others know when you’re busy to remain free from distractions. 

Designating a writing space

If possible, create a physical boundary separating writing time from other activities. Having a designated writing space signals to your brain that it’s time to focus on writing. It enhances your concentration and productivity. This space should be quiet, comfortable, and equipped with everything you need to write effectively. And when you’re in it, family members should know not to interrupt you. 

Saying “no” to overcommitments

Learning to say “no” to extra projects or tasks is a big part of setting boundaries. It helps prevent burnout and ensures you can focus on your primary writing goals. Prioritize commitments that align with your long-term objectives and personal well-being. By doing so, you can make the most of your time and energy. 


While some authors dread marketing, others don’t mind it. No matter which camp you fall into, it’s important to set boundaries for your marketing efforts. That way, you can avoid spreading yourself too thin and experiencing excessive stress. 

Defining time for marketing activities

Allocating specific times for marketing activities ensures these tasks don’t interfere with your writing schedule. This approach helps maintain a balance between promoting your work and continuing to create new content. Plus, it encourages you to be more strategic and focused in your marketing.

Focusing on your strengths

Concentrating on your marketing strengths allows you to be more effective in promoting your work. Whether it’s social media, email, or public speaking, leveraging your strengths makes your marketing more impactful. Setting boundaries around what you’re best at prevents you from trying to do too much (and doing it poorly). 

Handling external pressures

Managing expectations from publishers, agents, and readers requires clear communication and setting realistic boundaries. It’s crucial to establish what you can and can’t do within certain time frames to avoid stress. By handling external pressures with firm boundaries, you can control your schedule and workload.


As an author, you interact with many people — from readers to fellow authors. And like with any other relationship, you need to set the tone. You should determine what you are and aren’t okay with doing, sharing, and accepting when connecting with others. 

Sharing what you’re comfortable with

Deciding how much personal information to share online and with fans helps protect your privacy. It’s important to set boundaries around your online presence to separate your professional and personal worlds. Being clear about what you’re comfortable sharing ensures that you can engage with fans without feeling overexposed.

Providing help on your terms

When other authors ask for reviews, recommendations, or follows, provide help on your terms. By managing expectations, you can support your peers while maintaining your own productivity. Don’t overcommit out of guilt or feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do. Instead, be straightforward about whether you’re willing and able to fulfill their requests. And make sure to address situations when others are trying to take advantage

Prioritizing valuable exchanges

Joining a writing group is a great opportunity for connection, but you don’t have to settle for one that isn’t serving you. You should feel valued and supported in your community. So, set boundaries around your interactions. Avoid critique groups that drain your energy or hurt your self-confidence. Prioritizing constructive exchanges helps foster a supportive network that enhances your writing journey.

5 Tips for Maintaining Author Boundaries

After setting boundaries, you need to maintain them. After all, lines aren’t much good if you continue to cross them and let others do the same. Below are some best practices for managing the limits you put in place.


It’s a good idea to periodically reassess your boundaries. Over time, your goals and needs will naturally change. It makes sense to redraw your lines to reflect those changes. Plus, having some flexibility ensures you’re allowing yourself to grow. 


Overall, it’s best to be consistent with the boundaries you’ve set. If you let someone else cross them — or cross them yourself — it may become the new normal. Rather than causing false expectations and landing in a difficult spot, stay within the confines of what’s comfortable and realistic for you.


Having a strong support network makes setting boundaries and maintaining them much easier. If you’re struggling with a decision, seek guidance from fellow authors, friends, and family members. They can help you either see things from a different perspective or stay accountable, depending on the situation. 


When you recognize your author boundaries are being crossed, you need to take action. Stand firm on the lines you’ve drawn, even when you’re worried about others’ reactions. Communicate your concerns to them by stating what is and isn’t acceptable for your peace of mind.


Engaging in self-care means doing things for the good of your mental, emotional, and physical health. As a regular practice, it can reduce decision-making stress and worry. More than that, it can give you time to reflect and discover your self-worth. All of this can go a long way toward helping you keep your boundaries intact. 


As an author, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of setting boundaries. You need to understand how much you’re willing to give, what you’re comfortable sharing, and when you can just say “no.” So, don’t be afraid to draw lines! Your life — both personally and professionally — will be better for it. 

Categories: Behind the scenes

Tagged As: Motivational

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