Author Stuff, Life & Stuff, Writing Tips

How to Be a Healthy Writer

Don’t isolate yourself

It is very easy as a writer to become isolated. Your work involves you, a laptop or a notebook and pen. Yes, of course, there’s the characters in your head – but I’m sorry, they don’t count.

Make a conscious effort to be around real people, at least now and then. Don’t let it become too much of a habit to spend time alone. It’s really not healthy.

Create more (or as much as) you consume

As a writer, you are a creator, an artist. No creator should consume more art than they make themselves. Not to an incredibly off-balance standard, anyhow. You can’t read all day and night and never write. It will make you doubt your own writing, your own abilities. It can also lead to writing what you read instead of using your own voice, too. So, be aware of this.

The general rule is don’t watch tv shows and films and read books and read blogs and watch YouTube videos to the point where you’re consuming all this creative content and not creating enough of your own.

Take time out away from your work

It’s important to take breaks. Any writer will run themselves into the ground if they write to no avail. Taking breaks will only aid in your creativity. Give your mind a breather, especially when you see signs of fatigue in yourself.

Don’t allow writing to be your whole life

In a similar way, don’t allow your whole life to be consumed by writing. Change things up. Have other hobbies. Go out and see the world. Socialise. Try new things. All of these things will help your writing, naturally, but it will also keep your mind healthy and balanced. Variety is important!

Have a critique partner or trusted friend read your work

I cannot tell you how much I value my good friend and critique partner Charlene Antrobus. She is my go-to when I’m down or doubting myself, and I’m the same for her. Without each other, we may not have kept going. It really helps to have someone who’s opinion you value read your work, be your cheerleader, and call you out on your crap when you’re letting yourself down. It will only make you a better writer, and a healthier one too, because you won’t be wasting a lot of time and energy beating yourself up.

Try not to overanalyse everything

It is not healthy for anyone to overanalyse. As a writer, we sometimes can’t help ourselves though, right! It’s not enough to just accept this, friends. We need to be careful and try our best to switch our minds off. Meditation, yoga, music, or other – try these to silence that overactive mind of ours. Not everything requires intense thought – it’ll only drive you mad.

Write in different environments

It’s every writer’s dream to have a cosy writer’s nook where you do all your writing. Those who have found their nooks, are not about to sacrifice them. However, it is healthy to switch up your surroundings. Don’t get into the habit of spending most of your time in the same space, especially if that space is indoors. It really helps our minds to change up our space, and in turn it will help our creativity.

Stand up sometimes!

Just like switching up your environment, you need to walk about. Get moving. Get active. It’s not good for us to spend all day sitting. Inactivity can cause an array of troublesome health problems, so use standing desks at times. Stand up on the hour. Do activities. Go for walks. Move your body, so that one day it doesn’t give up on you.

Write other things aside from your key project

It can be healthy as a writer to write other things that have nothing to do with your key project or work. It’s a way to practice, to keep your writing sharp and varied. It can also help to take a break from your project, so that when you come back to it, you are better. I believe that it can only help your writing/mind to write other things and in other ways.

Obsessively writing the same thing or in the same area can lead to stale writing, repetition, writer’s block, and tedium.

Read actively

It is good for your writing to read. That should go without saying, at this point. It’s good for anyone’s health to read, and keep their mind full, challenged, and entertained.

Like I mentioned before, though, don’t allow yourself to read on a scale that far outweighs your creating.

Take care of your mind

Of course, as a writer, you need a working mind. Your mind needs to be healthy – but that should be your goal whether you’re a writer or not. Take care of your mind so that it can work for you, not against you.

You can take care of your mind by: reading, journaling, meditating, being active, mindfulness, balance, water, balanced diet, breath, self care practices, and more.

Happy writing, friends, but ensure you’re doing so to a healthy standard!

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