We’ve all been writing mad for two and a half weeks. Counting words, counting days.
But can you count how many times you’ve been out of the house? How many times have you gone for a walk?
I totally understand that we forget to move because we’re so busy pounding out those words. But we can’t forget our health even in the midst of creating new worlds. So here are some ways to move and keep yourself healthy(er) while still writing.
- I’ll start with the biggies. Make a standing work station or floor desk. There isn’t a cardinal law against moving your laptop three or four times a day to different locations. Find a counter, dresser, etc. that you can stand at while you write. Find a low table to crouch or sit cross legged in front of on the floor. Basically: avoid chairs like the plague.
- The floor is your friend. When you take breaks(notice the when. Not if) lay on the floor and read. If you need to pause and plot the next couple chapters in a notebook; lay on the floor. Watching a tv show during Nano? Put your laptop on the floor and lay on your stomach to watch it. Kick your feet in the air.
- Find new ways to sit. Hopefully at your floor desk, but you can also learn to abuse your chair. Crouch, sit cross legged, sit with your legs like a V. Find a pillow to sit on so you won’t get sore. I stuffed a queen sized comforter into a pillowcase and sit on that. If you’re still sitting in a chair, pull one leg up. Sit on one leg. You can still manage to sit cross legged too(trust me, I’ve done it).
- Reach for the sky. No, seriously. Arch your back, throw your head back, stretch your arms up, and splay your fingers. Your hands shouldn’t have to suffer to make way for your creativity. Stretch your hands and your fingers until they hurt. Shake it out. Shake your hands and your arms, loosen up your muscles.
- Walk. Let your fingers and your brain rest a bit and take a walk at the top of every hour. If you can’t manage that, at least try to take one walk a day. For me, walking in the morning before I start writing works wonders. Plot, plan, work your way through writing problems while you move.
- Look out the window. Give your eyes a rest from staring at the computer. Even better, put your floor desk in front of a window so you can look up regularly. Focus on the farthest thing you can see. Even betterer: open that window.
- Reposition yourself as often as possible. When I’m sitting at my floor desk, it’s so easy for me to flop back on the floor and stare at the ceiling. My pillow-seat isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, so I’m constantly shifting my weight around.
Almost all of these things you can do while writing, and things like walking will still benefit your writing by stimulating your mind and getting your body moving. Don’t look for the best way to be comfortable. Comfort will kill you. Don’t be lazy just because it’s easy. Nothing ever worth having ever comes easily. Keep your health in mind this November and keep moving.