Thursday, November 5, 2009

NaNoWriMo: Take a Breather

It’s important to remember when you’re working towards a goal that you have to take care of yourself too. You need to keep sleeping, keep exercising and even keep meditating. You will find yourself cutting corners, particularly when you’re stressed or you have a bad day with the job or the kids or the house or someone drives their car through your fence. You’ll cut back on sleep, you’ll drink more coffee, you’ll cut back your time spent exercising or worse, you’ll just cut out the exercise all together.

Put Yourself First

This is a really hard concept for moms and for writers. But every single one of us needs to be reminded to put ourselves first. Get up. Stretch your back, stretch your arms and your legs. Go for a walk. Eat a healthy dinner. Meditate for an hour. Take a hot bath. Watch a favorite television show. Get sleep. Now if you’re initial reaction is “But I could spend that time writing! I can rest later!” I’ve been there, but here’s the problem:

You create too large a deficit in sleep, exercise and relaxation and you’re going to get sick. Who does the writing and look after the kids then?

It may seem like that thirty minutes you grind out a few more words is worth far more than thirty minutes spent walking, playing or relaxing, but your body won’t think so. Take care of you; nurture yourself so that your muse isn’t stymied by stress. If you write at a computer non-stop throughout the day (as I do when I’m copywriting or working from home), you should get up and move around for a minimum of five minutes for every forty-five you spend.

The better you become at taking care of you, the better your manuscripts are going to be. So, tell me, what do you do to relax? To laugh? To exercise?

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