On this gorgeous, springy day, I’m thinking a lot about health. Many authors are health-conscious and active, but there are certain inalienable truths about author life: //Writers sit. A LOT. Writers stare at a computer screen. A LOT. //Because of this, there are several key health tips that all writers should abide by no matter what their health preferences or status may be!
//1// Move your eyes away from your computer screen regularly.
This is a health tip straight from the eye doctor! When I went recently to get my yearly eye exam, I told my doctor about my profession and asked him about some “best practices” for eye care while working at a computer for most of the day. His biggest tip was this: Move your eyes away from your computer screen and stare out a window at nature and natural lighting. I believe some websites suggest that you should focus on the sight for about thirty seconds. As well, he told me to blink a lot! This keeps your eyes moistened and refocused. You should also “exercise” your eyes by gently rotating them in your sockets so they experience their full economy of movement.
//2// Get up and move!
This one can be hard when you’re “in the zone”, you don’t have a dog, or you are just hyper-focused on work. Still, you should aim to get up at least once an hour for a stretch/movement break. I usually try to squeeze in housework during my movement breaks. If you don’t work from home, go for a walk around your building or campus! Just get up and MOVE! If you can take a fifteen minute walk several times during your workday, that is even better! Besides, authors can still be productive while taking movement breaks. We can use that time to think about our next scene!
//3// Take mental vacations.
The biggest form of tiredness that I get related to my job is mental exhaustion. Because of that, I make sure to take plenty of mental vacations during the week. For me, this means watching a silly movie, TV show, or YouTube video, or, it might mean working on a craft or going to martial arts. Mental breaks are just as important as movement breaks! Your mind needs a chance to “escape” and focus on things other than writing and work.
//4// Get enough sleep.
Seriously. If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night (and you’re not tending to a newborn child or dealing with some sort of illness that keeps you up) you’re not getting enough! Try for 7 hours each night to keep your mind and body adequately refreshed and ready to go at the start of each new day! Your writing will be better, too, if you’re properly rested.
//5// Give your muse a hand.
This means if your muse is most active at night, write at night as much as you can! If you are more creative in the mornings, work in the mornings! If you can’t work during the times your muse is most active, carry a notebook everywhere so that when creative ideas strike, you can write them down and then get back to what you were doing without feeling like you missed an important writing opportunity!
I hope you’re enjoying your Saturday! If you’re looking for something to read today, consider checking out my fantasy novel Night Bells! It’s free at Smashwords!