writing survival

Writing Survival: Take Care of Yourself

By on November 19, 2013 . Category Column

Writing is something we all learn at a young age. Not everyone is cut out to be a writer, however. Those who are, tend to immerse themselves in their craft for hours, days, or weeks at a time, forgetting that life exists outside of their workspace. This article is the beginning of a series on writing survival.

To be a survivor, you must first take care of your health, beginning with your diet. 10 cups of coffee for breakfast, a bag of chips for lunch, and a peanut butter sandwich is not healthy (okay, the peanut butter is debatable; I will concede that it is healthier than some alternatives). Take the time to eat a healthy meal. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but meals must nourish your body. A protein, a vegetable, and a little bit of pasta, sweet potato, or brown rice is a great meal. If you must snack while you work (I do), then try orange or grapefruit sections or grapes instead of unhealthy no-nutrition carbohydrates.

Exercise goes hand in hand with diet. Get out of your chair and go for a walk. Actually, do this a couple of times a day. All that sitting is not good for you. A quick walk will get your blood flowing, clear the fuzziness from your brain, and may even give you time to think. I’ve had many story ideas, or problems with a plot resolved while I was walking.

Worry over deadlines, anxiety over the next plot twist, obsessing over character development, distress about the writer’s block you’re currently experiencing all add up to a great deal of stress. Yoga is a great stress reliever and, as a bonus, it’s exercise, as well! Playing or listening to music can help alleviate stress. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try listening to soft, relaxing music right before bedtime.

For the most part, writers work alone. Obviously, that can get pretty lonely. It is important to make time to get together with your friends and family. Go out to a movie. Go on a picnic. Do something–anything–that isn’t work related. Or go to Widbook and find other writers to work together, exchange ideas and connect with your fans. Widbook came to break the loneliness process of writing into a fun and collaborative idea.

Accept that you will make mistakes. Take time to learn from them. Constantly look for ways to improve, and never accept mediocrity. The one thing you must always remember, above all else, is to believe in your abilities and never let defeat get the upper hand. Keep perfecting your craft. Your #1 best seller may be just around the corner!






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