A writer’s life is full of distractions: family life, the need to eat, the day job…the list of enemies goes on and on. Make sure you don’t put yourself on the list. It’s easy to become your own biggest enemy. Make time each day to write, and make sure you stick to it. If you miss more than a couple of sessions, you’ll get out of the writing habit. Frustration will affect your mood. You family won’t thank you, and your work—when you try to get back to it— will suffer.
Determination is a great asset in a writer but you need to build balance into your writing life. Make sure you don’t swing to the other extreme, and overdo it. Eat well, sleep well, and take regular breaks from crouching over your notepad or computer. However much you love your work, your health and family come first.
Use a good chair that supports your back when you’re working. Make the effort to sit up straight. Use wrist-rests and padded mouse-pads to avoid Repetitive Strain Injury.
There’s nothing like a walk and some people-watching in the fresh air to sharpen your imagination, and exercise helps prevent conditions like Deep Vein Thrombosis.
If you’re putting in long hours in front of a computer screen, get up every hour, on the hour, to stretch. Taking a drink of water at the same time will keep you hydrated and alert. It’s also supposed to take the edge off your appetite for snacking, too, which should in theory help you lose weight. But then, we all know about weight-loss theories…
There are never enough hours in the day, but once you’ve hit your word count make sure you give your brain a real break, if only for half an hour. Turn off your computer and phone, forget social networking and escape somewhere with nothing more than a 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.