We, as writers, have to be cognizant of our health: physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. One of the things that I was guilty of was living a mostly sedentary lifestyle. I would sit at my desk more than 60% of the day whether it be at work or at my home office. However, over the past year I have become diligent at becoming more active. I walk at least 1.5 miles, 4-5 times a week and consume no more than 1800 calories a day. I don’t sit for extended periods of time any more. Every hour I get up from my desk and either walk around, do 5-10 squats, or just stand up for a couple of minutes. These little bitty changes have been crucial to living a healthier life as a writer.
Writers must take care of themselves just as much as any other professional. We have to do it even more so because we tend to be alone at our respective “offices” composing works for hours at a time. Mentally we have to be strong enough to survive being by ourselves a lot. To that end, sometimes it can get very lonely. We have to remember, as writers, to keep our minds clear and positive. Falling into a funk of depression can easily happen. The question then becomes how to get out of that funk or avoid it in the first place. I wish I had an answer on how to totally avoid it but getting out of it is doable with help from peers, professionals, family and friends. Having a support system during your writer’s life is crucial because it wards off the feelings of loneliness and seclusion.
Socially writers tend to be loners and don’t like to be out and about spending quality time with others just doing simple things. But we cannot continue to be hermits pounding away at the keys of our laptops and shutting out the world. Human contact and socializing are important for everyone. Writers still need to be able to communicate with their outside world just as much as we do with the characters we create on paper.
As far as spiritually, time needs to be spent on this aspect of our lives just as much if not more than anything else. Our spirit man should be healthy so that we can take care of ourselves physically, mentally and socially. It starts with our inner man and who we believe to be in charge of our lives. Myself, as a Christian, I don’t go more than a couple days without tapping into my spirit through prayer, supplication and Bible study. It works wonders for every aspect of my life.
In conclusion, I must say that a healthy writer is a happy writer. But it takes work to get there. We cannot sit idly by as our lives past us sitting at our computers. Life must still go on and you never know, taking control of your health may lead to great story lines and better writing. So, if you were like me and lived a sedentary lifestyle where you don’t like to socialize, go to Bible study or listen to the advice of a good counselor, maybe you should start. You never know how beneficial it could be to you as well as your future readers.