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Monday, May 10, 2010

 

Soothing the Writer's Inner Soul

As writers, we interview glamorous subjects or humble townsfolk, all who have a story worth sharing. Or we devise fictional characters, both good and evil, and spin their stories into tight, intricate plots. Often, we put a great deal of stock into these fictional and non-fiction expose`s. And sometimes, it seems like we cater to their every whim, ignoring our own personal needs.

When writers immerse themselves so deeply that they forget about themselves, trouble is bound to occur. The brain fogs. Ideas stop flowing. Creativity goes kaput. The next thing we know, we run into a mental block that's stronger than a jolting sip of espresso. We fail to see the big picture because the small steps to get there look bleak and daunting.

That's why writers need to take care of themselves physically and mentally. These building blocks of positive thinking can help you break out of a creative downslide.

  1. Assume the Attitude. If we express a negative opinion, nothing positive will result. We make a conscious choice every morning as soon as we wake up, electing either to take an optimistic outlook or a pessimistic point of view. Assume a positive attitude, write your new mantra and mean it. Your writing will improve.
  2. Breathe deeply. Fresh air clears negativity and a single focus. Just spending a few minutes outside offers a new outlook and provides a fresh source of oxygen. It's bound to rejuvenate our thinking!
  3. Create time for you. If your writing schedule is anything like mine, there are days when I feel I'm writing 24/7. It's not an organization problem. It's assignment overload! Am I complaining? Heck, no! I welcome the challenge. But many writers wonder when they will have to write for themselves. I have the same concerns sometimes, but by blocking a set time for me, I allow myself time from my paying assignments to create personal essays, poetry, and fiction. And who knows? Those works may one day capture an editor's attention.
  4. Drink H2O. It's true. Water replenishes the body and the soul. Stay hydrated while you're pounding away at the keyboard. A cool glass of ice water sparks your metabolism, or so I've been told, so I keep a cool glass near and drink up when I'm feeling a bit of brain drain.
  5. Ease into an exercise routine. Whether you choose a spiritual path by assuming yoga poses, pump weights and do cardio, or practice belly dancing in your office chair while typing, tackling an exercise program will pump up your energy level.
  6. Fight stress. Writers, you recognize when stress creeps up. You're accustomed to creating tension on the page. Now, you need to recognize when it interferes with your writing routine. Combat stress by using one of the above tips or by simply taking a break from your current project.

Staying healthy mentally and physically builds our writing stamina and mentality, and that's important for the real and fictional subjects we write about.

by WOW! columnist and blogger LuAnn Schindler. Learn more about her work at http://luannschindler.com

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2 Comments:

Blogger Margo Dill said...

Thanks for these reminders, LuAnn. It is also nice to read that someone feels the same way as I do sometimes. Some of my friends and family members just can't understand how staying home and writing can be stressful. :)

Margo
http://margodill.com/blog/

7:45 AM  
Blogger Annie said...

I hear you, Margo. I try to keep a regimented day in the office, and since we do live on a farm, I know there are bound to be interruptions....BUT, it's stressful when you're in the middle of an important scene or interview and there are interruptions....OR you hit a snag and need to clear your head. I've heard from several family members that it must be so nice to stay home and be on the computer all day. HA! Sure, like that's all I'm doing!! :)

6:02 PM  

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