How to Write Like a Professional

How to Write Like a Professional
6 Surprising Mistakes That Make Writers Look Like Amateurs... 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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