The secret to a healthy lifestyle can be summed up in three things:
- Quality Sleep
- Healthy Diet
- Physical Activity
All of these are important to a writer, obviously.
But what makes for a healthy writing lifestyle?
- Quality Thinking
- Healthy Reading (or Watching if you are working on tv/film)
- Physical Writing
Let’s break these down a little more.
As a writer you need the time and space to engage with your ideas, your plots, and your characters. Sudden inspiration does happen, but only after you have mused and pondered and contested with the problem.
Sherlock Holmes never wandered the hills gazing at the clouds hoping for a bird or a leaf to suddenly solve the case for him, he hid himself away with the curtains drawn and paced the floor using his intellect to crack the case.
Sometimes you can schedule in chunks of deliberate thinking time, but for most of us we have to work on one job whilst are minds are elsewhere. Use the commute, the shopping run, the cooking time, the brushing your teeth time, to focus on what you are writing and gain clarity of purpose and intention.
Your setting, your characterisation, your plot structure, all need your attention. So give them quality thinking time.
Read because you enjoy reading, as your readers will enjoy what you have written.
Your writing will get better with your reading. The techniques of description and dialogue, the scene setting and the plot twists, will rub off.
And apart from additional lessons in the craft from your favourite authors, you need to scope out the competition and see what they are up to.
Also, make the effort to read books which are not normally your ‘type’. Breaking the habit of what you are familiar with will result in gains in unexpected ways.
You are a writer. So write.
Flex those muscles and hammer the words out on the page. Do the reps and the growth will come.
The combination of Quality Thinking and Healthy Reading will provide you with the tolls to get what you want.
Chase that rabbit down the hole and don’t give up until the tale is told. Have tenacity and perseverance.
The more you write, the easier the production will become. When that happens, push past it until it hurts again.
Think. Read. Write. Repeat. For a healthy writer’s lifestyle.