Writers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors and persuasions. NO different from any other occupation, probably.
But one thing that working writers-authors-do, that most others don’t, is spend inordinate amounts of time at their computers, typewriters, laptops, tablets or other writing utensils. I can be working at my desk some days for up to 10 hours.
Now of course it’s true that we must have our butts in the chair in order to produce our word counts. But, to be a powerful, well-rounded, income-producing professional writer, one must have balance. Again, this is theoretically true for every occupation, but I’m a writer/editor, and so are you, so that’s why I’m picking on us!
Authors experience damaged rotator cuff injuries more often than any other occupation, according to my orthopaedic surgeon, the one who specializes in shoulder surgeries, and who is the chief surgeon for the American Tennis Association. He had to completely rebuild mine 3 years ago. Chiropractors have explained that all this sitting and concentrating and hunching over the keys causes headaches, shoulder and back spasms and poor circulation in the legs.
And, last but not least, studies have proven that mental alertness and creativity are enhanced when folks are hydrated, nourished and mentally AND physically active.
What are the top four things you can do to improve your overall health and the quality and quantity of your writing?
- Drink plenty of water and electrolytic fluids every day
- Get up once every 45-55 minutes and stretch for 5-10 minutes. Gentle Tai Chi or Yoga stretches work well!
- Eat well-balanced snacks and meals that include more protein and less carbs. Yogurt, fresh fruit, almonds are all good snacks.
- Write every day, but not all day. Schedule your writing time if you can and when you can, leaving time for yourself – and for life!
You may be looking at this list and thinking, “gee, this is a no-brainer.” And you’re right. But do you do this? Are you conscious of it? Are you willing to incorporate ways to take better care of yourself?
Go get yourself a cute timer at the Dollar Store (mine is a ladybug) and set it so you get up and stretch regularly. Take a good drink of water before you go back to work. Every other break, eat a few almonds, a bit of yogurt or an apple. Don’t skip your regular meals. And then get back to work!
You’ll find that you will produce better quality work in less time when you care for you. So don’t make yourself the last one you take care of – your readers and your family will appreciate you putting yourself at the top of that list.
Keep reading and writing! Nancy Q.