6 tips for creating sustained energy in your writing life
This week, I’m reminded that writing is hard work in more ways than one. I’m working on a new book—brainstorming and following my 90-day plan–and am surprised at how much energy this takes.
After working for even two hours straight, going deep, and bringing up a plethora of ideas and information, I’m exhausted. I feel as if I’ve just run a race or swam for an hour. Actually, I feel more tired than if I’ve worked out because when I exercise, I usually get a rush of energy afterwards.
We writers need plenty of energy to accomplish our goals. Here are my top tips for keeping the mental gears well oiled while working on a new project:
- Get plenty of rest. Go to bed earlier than usual. Your body and mind will rejuvenate and your unconscious needs this time to process ideas and come up with solutions.
- Eat healthy. A yogi from Brazil once told me, “If you want to feel alive, eat live foods. If you want to feel fried and dead, eat fried and dead foods.” Simple and good advice.
- Drink plenty of water. If you feel thirsty, this means you are actually severely dehydrated. Dehydration limits cognitive function and brain power. You need this to write. General rule: divide your body weight in half. Drink that amount in ounces per day. If you weigh 200 lbs, you should be drinking a MINIMUM of 100 ounces of water a day.
- Do what you love. Doing what you love will inspire you and create positive energy in your life.
- Take mini-breaks in your writing day to move around and stretch. A stiff body eventually leads to a stiff mind. Stay flexible.
- Exercise. My goal is to move my body an hour a day: swimming, walking, cleaning house, whatever I can do.
For more tips on ways to increase your energy, check out this great post by Greg Go, “55 Ways to Get More Energy.”
In a previous post, I discussed what screenwriter and writing mentor Robert McKee said is the number one most important thing for a writer to do each day (hint: it goes along with the above tips).