The life of a self-published author has a lot of advantages: being able to work from home, setting your own schedule, wearing what you want, and not having to worry about a daily commute.
But there are downsides too. The writer’s life can be a lonely one, without much exercise or socializing. So what can you do to return a little balance to your life? In today’s post, AuthorHouse presents some health and fitness tips for writers.
1. Allow for some social time: Writing can be a very lonely pursuit. Although you probably prefer to work free from distractions, make sure you set aside some time in your schedule to interact with others. Meet friends for coffee or dinner, go to the gym—anything to give you some “face time” with your fellow human beings.
2. Correct your posture: When you write, your feet should be flat on the floor, with your neck and back straight and your eyes level with the center of your monitor. Don’t slouch or let your head droop forward. And, very importantly, keep your wrists straight (not bent or at an angle).
3. Watch what you eat and drink: A coffee mug is almost as common on a writer’s desk as a keyboard. Be careful, though; emptying and refilling that mug can result in an excess amount of caffeine and sugar. Likewise for cookies, candy, or other snacks that you might keep nearby. The guidelines for healthy eating don’t change just because you’re a writer!
4. Stretch: It’s easy to get so involved in your story that you write for hours without noticing the passing of time. Make sure to stand and stretch occasionally; if necessary, set an alarm at one hour intervals. It’s best to work in short (under an hour) bursts with breaks in between.
5. Get motivated again: Join writers’ groups, workshops, and other activities that allow you to connect with other writers. It’s like going to the gym with a friend: hopefully, your friend feels motivated on those days when you’re not (and vice versa), and you can pull each other along when you’d rather just stay home. Just meeting and talking with other writers can let you to “tap into” their enthusiasm or energy (or let them share yours).
6. Get enough sleep: whether you prefer writing in the morning, at night, or throughout the day, make sure to get a full night’s sleep. You’ll be more alert, and able to think more clearly.
Remember, don’t get so invested in your characters’ lives that you forget the person in front of the keyboard! If you eat right and get out from behind your desk regularly, you’ll be able to keep doing what you love with a minimum amount of pain or discomfort.