A writer’s focus can be on many things. Turning characters into people. Making words sparkle. Trying to turn a blank page into something special. Whether you write full-time, part-time, whenever you have a moment or just for fun, it’s important to take care of not just your words but your writing self too. There are several simple things you can do.
Are you sitting comfortably?
If you have a regular writing spot, it’s worth spending time getting it set up properly if you work in an environment that you can adjust. A coffee shop might object!
Adjust your chair so you can sit with your back straight, your feet flat on the floor (or on a footrest) and your forearms supported on the desk. Position your screen in front of you with its top at eye level. If you use a tablet or laptop consider getting a separate keyboard to allow you to do this. There are many helpful videos on the internet that will take you through setting up your desk ergonomically. Try this one.
Now you’ve set up your desk, make sure you don’t spend too much time sat at it. We humans are not designed to sit for long periods of time. Set a timer on your phone and, at least once an hour, get up and stretch or have a walk around, even if it’s only as far as the kitchen to get a coffee. Your body will benefit and you’ll feel more alert when you return to your writing.
Eyes can become dry and uncomfortable when staring at a screen. Soothe them by practicing eye cupping. If, like me, you wear glasses, take them off. Now, rub your palms together until you can feel them getting warm then place your cupped palms over your eyes… and relax.
If you wear contact lenses, be sure not to press on your lids.
Sit quietly and let the warmth from your palms soothe and relax the muscles in and around your eyes. If you do this once or twice during the day, your eyes should feel much fresher.
Whatever the weather, but especially when it’s warm, make sure you drink enough water. It’s easy to forget when you in the writing flow.
Even mild levels of dehydration can prevent you feeling your best and may make you tired.
Try putting a water bottle on your desk and training yourself to take a regular sip… maybe when your alarm goes off to remind you to stretch. If you don’t like plain water, then add something to it, for example lemon or other citrus fruits. Frozen berries make great ice-cubes too. Fruit can also make your water look more appealing so you’ll be more likely to drink it.
Unplug your brain
What’s the first thing you try when your computer stops working? If you’re like me, you’ll switch it off, leave it for a minute and then switch it back on again with your fingers crossed.
This often solves the problem.
The human brain can benefit from this simple solution too. If your writing isn’t flowing, try take a few minutes to daydream. Stare out of the window, let your brain go into neutral and your mind drift. You’ll be surprised how often the ideas you need will pop into your head.
To write well, look after your wellbeing. Your inner writer will thank you.View 5 Comments
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