For my writers out there.
I saw this post about resetting your mind, body, and soul recently, and thought it might be more useful if there was a list more tailored to writers, who slog through a lot of mental BS to arrive at work, even if it’s only a one-room commute.
1. Screw the lemon water. Start your day off with a big ol’ cuppa, whether tea or coffee. Add creamer, make it a builder’s, or go green, as long as you have a warm, steamy presence in your hand to slowly acclimate you to this cruel world we’re living in.
The big ol’ cuppa can work at other times of day as well, especially when combined with a cleansing change of pace, such as …
2. Exercise. It can be a run around the neighborhood for free, a visit to the gym followed by that luxurious shower cabin and rented towel afterwards, or vinyasa yoga to your latest YouTube yogi guru.
Or, ya know, dancing to Newsies tunes.
The fact is that when you get your body moving, it jars your brain a little. Scientifical fact.* Exercise makes the brain focus on primary body processes such as breathing and heart pumping, rather than why the protagonist’s brother-in-law decided to run away, or why that love scene isn’t working. (Speaking of love scenes, that is also good exercise.)
3. Digital detox your a$$. That’s right, tear yourself away from that smartphone under the covers, and that tablet, and the iPod, and that remote, and… just take a minute to recall all the electronic devices that surround you in a day.
Screentime, like many other activities in our modern world, appears to be like empty calories: the more you intake, the more you want to intake. When you break free of the cycle, there is an initial skin-scratching, tic-inducing tension in the fingers and some crazy twitching of the back muscles. But when you get over that (easier than other forms of addiction), you remember what real life is like.
4. Declutter the different areas of your life. If your writing desk needs it, do it. If your kitchen behind you teems with wildlife encouraged by your dishwashing habits, tend to it. If you can’t ever find any of your ideas on the computer because they get filed automatically under some crazy subfolder, never to be heard from again, take the time to organize. At least a chunk.
But beware, this task can often grow in proportion to your need to procrastinate, so give yourself a 2-hour segment to start and then step back, flick your hair, absorb the good chi you’ve earned, then get back to work. You might be surprised to feel like Raphael and Amandine Poulain, after a session.
5. Take care of yourself, through a good meal, a long soak, or a quiet meditation. If you have time to cook, make it something fresh or raw or green–one of those three is good; all of the above is better. Your body will feel more alive–scientifical fact. *
If you take a long soak, tune out distractions and let your mind actually relax. No Twitter. No podcasts. Falling asleep is okay, as long as your mouth and nose are securely above the water line.
If you’re quietly meditating–why the hell do you need to be reading this?!?
Kidding. We could all use a reminder that meditating, or sitting quietly to calm down the voices in our heads, is a healthy habit. I picture a hand curling around my heart kind of like a calla lily does, to banish stress and feel the warmth of self-love.
Now go forth and find your remedy of choice, writers. Tell me what works for you!
*Scientifical is not at all scientific.