Thursday, March 18

Tending the Writer's Emotional Health: Repost

*Repost from September*

1. Have a good writing space-- This varies from person to person, so there is no concrete idea here of what is a good writing space. Find what works for you and make it as comfortable for yourself as possible. Make sure there is good lighting and enough support for your back and wrists.

2. Eat healthy-- Rather than grabbing that bag of chips, stop and cut up some veggies to snack on while you work. It’ll make you feel better overall and afterwards you won’t feel guilty.

3. Drink lots of water-- I know writers tend to like caffeine, for the obvious reasons, but try to drink water as well. It makes you feel better and your skin looks glorious when you drink enough water ;)

4. Get up and move around-- Sitting hunched over the desk all day will do no one any good, least of all you. Take breaks and wander around. Go outside and walk around the block, or go do the laundry! Yes, I know. That one sounds like so much fun. But really, it’ll help.

5. Talk to people who actually exist outside of your mind-- Trust me on this one. We’re crazy enough as it is without foregoing normal conversation with real people. Don’t make it worse.

6. Sleep!-- I know this one can be difficult, what with children, husbands, jobs, and school getting in the way all of the time, but sleep comes before writing. Trying to write while sleep deprived is the quickest way to a burnout. And no one wants to see a writer during a burnout. Even the thought of it terrifies me.

7. Reward yourself!-- Reach the word goal of the month? Write a really hard scene? Finish your novel? Then you deserve a reward! Try not to reward yourself with food (remember, we’re trying to be healthier!) but perhaps go to the local bookstore and binge on a much more invigorating snack? Or maybe you could buy that comfy desk chair you’ve had your eye on for the last 6 months. Go for it! Why not? You deserve it!

And last but not least...

8. Simply enjoy yourself-- Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, make the most of your opportunities and have fun! Be creative, be wacky and be wild. Why not? If anyone questions why you’re talking to yourself in the store or why you’re face is always plastered with a goofy grin or why you always laugh at the jokes that no one else does, just tell them you’re a writer. Crazy is part of the job description.

So my darlings, which one do you find the hardest to do?


  1. All of the wonder I haven't finished a novel in over a year.

  2. Yeah, I agree with Tina. I abuse every single one of these -- especially overusing caffeine and then getting too little sleep.

  3. As I sit here, slugging down a cup of coffee, talking to people online, and suffering from a late night/early morning, I can safely say I'm guilt of several of these. But hey, I've been working on eating healthy and drinking more water. =o)

    No matter what else, though, I try to enjoy myself when I'm writing - even when it feels like I'm pulling words through my eyeballs.

    Great post, Natalie. Thanks for reposting it. =o)

  4. I think I don't get up and move often enough. I'm trying to make myself go get another glass of water whenever I'm stuggling to phrase something just right. It usually does shake loose the words. And you're totally right about being hydrated and eating healthy--you get very sluggish when you don't.

    My favorite rewards are movie time with my hubby and checking out a huge stack from the library.

  5. I make the most of my tiny desk space, though I'd give up choclate for my own office. :)

    I don't enjoy myself enough. I need to stop stressing about all "the rules" and just write.

  6. #2 and #3 are always hard for me. The healthier something is, the less I like it. :-)

  7. Tina- Haha aww! Well, I plan on doing a post about how I cope/deal with these things. Maybe that'll help?

    Amber- Yeah, I think a lot of writers abuse caffeine and dont get enough sleep.

    B.E.- LOL! Yes you have, which is excellent. Since our job is basically sitting on our arse for hours at a time, we better take care of ourselves in other ways. Good for you! Enjoying yourself when you write comes through, it really does.

    Laurel- Yep, and being sluggish is NOT good when writing. It makes everything more difficult. Those are both excellent rewards for yourself. I do the same thing.

    Jennifer- Haha, so would I. I have my own desk at school, but I dont tend to write at school-- the atmosphere is draining/depressing. Oh, yes that's a big problem for a lot of writers. Worrying so much about the rules sucks the story dry. I like breaking rules a lot of the time-- I also think it tends to make the story more interesting, LOL!

    Shannon- Haha! Well I'm sure there's some sort of fruit or veggie you like?

    J.- Thanks!

  8. Great post. Thanks for sharing it with us again. Epic fail for me here. :) And it really explains why I can't seem to get what I need to done.

  9. Sarah- Thanks!! Aww, I'm sorry. Well, just take baby steps and work through these things?


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