W is for Writer Wellbeing

BLAST_WBeing a writer can take a toll on us, physically, emotionally and mentally. When we get engrossed in writing, it’s easy to forget to look after ourselves. So I’ve come up with three things I am going to try to do every day to take better care of myself…

3 Tips for Writer Wellbeing

Stretch. We all know sitting hunched over a computer is bad for our bodies. So I made a pact with myself – every hour I will stand up and stretch: touch my toes, do side bends, twirl my wrists, etc. Maybe I’ll even throw in a headstand to get the blood flowing back to my brain.

Learn. Our brain is a muscle that needs to be stretched too. Sure, there’s lots to learn about writing craft, but variety helps keep our minds spry. Some ideas: learn a new language, take music lessons, read nonfiction, enrol in a continuing ed course, visit a museum.

Recharge. I feel like I could write 12 hours a day and still never get enough writing done. In fact, as much as it goes against instinct, I often find less time at the computer makes my writing time more productive. That’s probably because doing other things is a way of recharging the creative brain battery. Examples: visit friends, travel, play sports, take a bath, see a movie, nap, whatever makes you feel refreshed.

2 Examples of Writer Wellbeing

Trampoline = My Happy Place. It’s like flying!

Recharging by the Hotel Los Jazmines pool in Vinales, Cuba.

171 Los Jazmines pool

1 Link for more

My favourite way to stretch, learn and recharge at the same time is to travel! Check out this post on Writer Wanderlust for some of the places that have inspired me.

 

Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that’s life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.

— Ray Bradbury, Science Fiction Author

If you’re just joining us, here’s a list of more BLASTOFF to Stellar Writing posts from last week:

R is for Reversals

S is for Writer Sins

T is for Trello

U is for Unreliable Narrators

V is for Vocabulary

Coming Up:

X is for X-Ray

Y is for Young Adult

Z is for Zymurgy

Author: Heather Jackson

Heather is a cartoon screenwriter, YA novelist, small town fugitive, and late-blooming gymnast. For more, visit her website at heatherjacksonwrites.com or follow her on Twitter @HeatherJacksonW

14 thoughts on “W is for Writer Wellbeing”

  1. Excellent tips. I have a bad vice of shutting of my computer and switching to the TV when I start to feel the rigors of writing every day! Sometimes it can be productive as I find unlikely inspiration from certain shows, but most often I end up missing valuable writing time as I’m tuned in to my favorite shows.

    I’m definitely a big advocate of stretching as well! It’s nice to know other bloggers use some of these helpful tips!

    1. Thanks, Martin! Sometimes enjoying other stories, in books or TV or film, is just the kind of break writers need. I know after watching my favourite show, I’m always more inspired to write!

  2. Excellent advice, Heather. I’m up for the stretching, but I might give the headstand a miss! My family nickname is ‘Frank’ because I was a clumsy child. I could do without an injury 🙂 The learning is an important point, I think. Right now I’m having withdrawal symptoms. This month has been chaotic so far and I’ve barely had time to write anything, other than posts. I need my characters to keep me sane!

    1. No, headstands aren’t for everyone! I feel you on the WIP withdrawal symptoms. A to Z Challenge has kept me busier than usual and I’m looking forward to spending more time with my novel in May. Thanks for the comment, “Frank”! 😉

  3. I’m good about stretching and learning but horrible with hydration as some of the comments suggest. I really need to get better about that. It’s too easy to get sucked into writing. I need to recharge more, too. One thing that helps me is I do a lot of yoga breathing while at the computer. Great tips.

    1. I’m surprised that hydration is something everyone is mentioning! Drinking tea must be my nervous tick. Some writers smoke, some eat, I drink tea. 😉 It is a good way to stay hydrated.

      Good tip about the yoga breathing!

    1. Agreed! It’s always easier to take physical breaks in the summer when the weather is inviting. When I’m writing under a blanket, shivering from the cold, it’s extremely difficult to get up and do anything. With that said, so glad summer is en route! Happy walking, Patricia!

  4. Great choice for a W post, Heather. Our well-being as writers is more important that I think we realize. I’ve gotten out of the exercising habit during writing session breaks – so I need to start that again!

    A couple other well-being items that I’d like to add:

    – Looking away from the screen every so often to prevent eye strain
    – Staying hydrating with water, tea, etc.
    – Finding ways to relax during the writing process, if you’re the kind who feels physically / physiologically stressed out if writing sessions don’t go well, you get impatient with your work, etc.
    – Positive thinking, since it’s easy to slip into negativity and belittle yourself and your work

    1. Those are great tips! I definitely need to work on the relaxing and positive thinking. Luckily I am hydrated – there’s always a cup or pot of tea beside me! I’m drinking Early Grey with milk and honey right now. 😉

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