|Hickel (1745-1798) [Public domain]
via Wikimedia Commons
1. JOIN: Writing is a solitary business. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only person struggling to meet a word count or deadline, or grappling with characters who won’t grow and a plot that won’t arc. Meet up with like-minded people online for a new perspective. Facebook and Twitter are brilliant, but can take up a lot of time. Visit your local library to find out about local creative writing groups, or joinThe Society of Authors, The Romantic Novelists’ Association or the Romance Writers of America
2. RELAX: The worst thing you can do is keep no keeping on when the words won’t flow, or the rejections keep coming. Get right away from all writing based activities. Go shopping – even if you don’t buy a thing, it’s the change of focus that matters. Walk, run, or swim to get the heart pumping, the blood flowing while your mind freewheels.
3: EXERCISE: Sitting at a desk or crouching over a laptop does terrible things to a body – and I don’t just mean the character who gets iced on page 58 of your latest manuscript. Set a timer to get up and walk around every hour or so. You’ll reduce the danger of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis and it’ll give you a chance to unkink all those compressed vertebrae and organs. Make a resolution to take more exercise in the New Year
4.WRITE! At this busy season there are a million things to do and often, there’s only you to do it. There never seems to be enough hours in the day, let alone time to write – but never forget the therapeutic benefits of “me” time. Give your brain a break. Turn off your phone, forget social networking for half an hour and escape somewhere with nothing more than pencil and notebook. Doodle, plan, fantasise – it doesn’t matter what you do, the act of making marks on paper is an exciting contrast to hammering away at a keyboard for hours on end.