How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Common Writing Mistakes That Make You Look Like an Amateur Author... and How to Avoid Them

Monday, September 13, 2010

Balance for Writers

In yoga, one gains strength, flexibility, concentration, relaxation, and BALANCE.  I think I need Yoga for Writers.  I found a few websites.

  • Yoga for Writers explains how to do desk yoga - for writers and other desk-bound professionals.
  • Another Yoga for Writers, in New York, offers a course that helps you free your writing and creativity.
  • Yoga for Writers by the Zen Peacekeeper, Marianne Elliott, offers a $30 yoga course specifically for writers.  She is a writer and a yoga instructor and knows the postures that writers need to practice.
  • Yoga as a Therapy offers a course for writers that focus on carpal tunnel, back pain, vision, and more.
  • The Yoga of Writing is probably the most-matched to what I would personally need.  It offers yoga therapy workshops to help you apply the principles of yoga to the craft of writing.
And here I thought I was being original.  The one I think I most need is balance in my life.  I'm either focused on writing and not much else.  Or focused on church and not much else.  Or focused on mommy-hood and not much else.  A few weeks ago, it was all about the writing.  Last week, it was getting organized for church, as I am now doing something different there.  Today, well, let's just say that today lacked any kind of focus.  I guess I needed some down time.  I watched one TV show.  I played a computer game for an hour or so.  I helped my son with his homework.  Dinner was spaghettio's and cereal (one for each child).  When I am really in the writing groove, I am tuned in, focused, and zoned out from the rest of the world.  During WriteOnCon, I didn't even want to take a lunch break, or a bathroom break.  That's how I get.  I'm starting to think it's very unhealthy, but I think I don't know how to control it.  If I could just find a way to have more balance in my life so that I can actually get into the writing zone and get something accomplished, AND be in the real world for the rest of my life, then I will finally have a good thing going.  Until then, I'm stuck with my extreme highs and lows of productivity and focus.  Perhaps the following tips may help me:
  • Take a full-hour lunch break.
  • Have a deadline.  When 3:30 rolls around, no more writing (until after bedtime).
  • Stretch more.  Exercise more.  Get up once every hour for 5 minutes.  Drink a glass of water.
  • Make goals and plans for other aspects of life.  Write it down.  Stick to it.
  • SCHEDULE down-time, such as games with kids, TV (which is really rare for me, actually), outside time, exercise, etc.
  • Make a to-do list each evening and prioritize ahead of time.
  • Set goals and take specific actions daily to work toward them.
  • Take time off between projects.  Allow the down-time.  (Maybe that's what today was?  AND all weekend.  Since I just sent out a big writing project...) 
Anyway, balance is a delicate thing to manage.  And for me, I believe it is mostly a balance of my time, and a bit of commitment.  Now I just need to COMMIT to BALANCING my time.  

How do each of you manage this?

2 comments:

  1. I'm really bad at balancing my writing. Some writers have trouble getting their butts in the chair. Not me. I have trouble getting it out of the chair. And not because it's too big.

    I've made a promise to myself that once the kids were back to school, I wouldn't just write (and read). I would actually clean the house. I started off well last week (when I took a week away from my wip), but something times me that won't happen this week. I want to finish it so I can sent it to my beta readers . . . then I can do some cleaning before I start my next wip. :D

    I do make sure I run (or exercise) everyday. I used to do yoga. Maybe one day I'll take it up again.

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  2. I actually don't do yoga, either. But I have done it. And I own a couple videos. I "used" to run. I miss it and keep telling myself I need to get back into it. It seems like the only time I run is when I'm working toward a goal (i.e. training for a race). It gives me such a high.

    I'm with you. No problem here getting butt in chair. But I need to learn balance so I can get it back out. Mostly, I just sacrifice my sleep. I just know if I would go to bed at a reasonable hour, I would actually get MORE done. The problem is making myself actually do it!

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