This post is something different for me – a collation of all the research I’ve done into how I can stay happy and healthy as a writer and editor. We live in a stress-filled age, and writing requires us to not be stressed, because stressed people aren’t creative, as I’ve previously explained.
All the “health” tips here are ones that I personally have tried and found helpful, so I hope they help you, too!
At BWF in the Burbs this year, Australian fantasy author Trudi Canavan gave us this invaluable tip:
“Look after your bodies. Writing is hunched over a computer, fingers working furiously for extended periods. It’s an unnatural position that soon leads to RSI if you do it for years on end.”
She recommended we take lots of breaks from the hunched, sitting position.
For her, unfortunately, RSI is a daily issue, which is inconvenient now that she’s a full-time writer (the dream!). Because of the pain, she can now only sit down to write for half an hour at a time before getting up from the computer again. She does that over and over all day, because she has to. (Gosh! It takes me at least ten minutes just to get into the swing of things with my story again after a break – imagine only having twenty useful writing minutes each time you sit down to write.)
So don’t make the same mistake as Trudi and let it get too late to avoid RSI. Get up and walk around. Pat the dog. Do some quick yoga stretches at your computer! I got into this when I was working a job that was 8 hours a day at a computer, and it worked wonders for my lower back pain.