Spring has sprung

Hello all, I hope this Blog finds you well today. I myself have had a most invigorating day, it has inspired this very post.

When I wiped the cobwebs from my mind and realised today was in fact a Thursday and that I failed to post a blog yesterday and knew I had to write it today, I had no idea what to write about.

I went to work and then came home, wrote 900 words of my current work in progress and then popped out for a coffee. Today it was a glorious sunny day and I felt myself feeling that spring has truly sprung.

Though the temperature probably didn’t peak too far above ten degrees and it is certainly not quite warm enough yet for sitting in the park and drinking pims, summer is on it’s way. After the long and cold winter spring has a way of rejuvenating. Just like nature, with new plants springing to life and baby chicks and ducklings joining us in the world, writers too can let spring give them a kick up the bottom.

I have been a hard worker this year so far and I can happily say that I have not really let my writing slip too much in the winter I am sure I am an exception to the rule. When the nights are long and the days short it can seem like writing is the least of your worries. You need to get to the shop before it gets too cold, you need to cook dinner, pick the children up from some after school club. Perhaps you just want to snuggle up at home with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate? Whatever it is that takes your fancy I fully understand it can be hard in winter to dedicate enough time to your writing.

If the above sounds like you this year then maybe you can let spring, spring in you? Use the extra hours of light in the morning to get up early, put on the kettle and write 200 words before you go to work. Use the longer evenings as an excuse to stay up and get a little writing done.

For me the spring makes me happy, the warmth and the chance to go outside without a coat, the thought of long summer evenings to come. It all fills me with joy and when I am happy I am more productive, so perhaps just take the time this spring to do what makes you happy. You just might find that it inspires you to get back to work.

Ja Ne.

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Writer self care, guide and importance.

Lets talk about you…and me. Not me and you personally, not like we are getting into a strange relationship with boundaries we haven’t quite defined yet because we haven’t had ‘the talk’. I mean lets talk about writers and what people like us can do to ensure we are being the best we can be.

Now for once I must point out that I am not talking about writing better either, I mean taking care of yourself in everything outside of writing so that your writing doesn’t suffer.

A lot of you might be saying things like ‘I’m a fully grown adult Elliot, I know how to look after myself’ or ‘Don’t preach to me MOM’ but this seems to be a hot topic among writers on the internet so who am I to shun the suggestion. As a self respecting writing blogger I think it is my duty, neigh, my responsibility to touch upon the subject of ‘writer self care’.

So let me just get one thing straight before I jump into the meat of this issue. I do not personally think that writers are particularly delicate or in any other way different to any other type of person that might make us bad at looking after ourselves. With that being said I believe where a lot of the concern over a lack of self care comes from is the work involved in writing a novel. Writing a novel means sitting down at a desk, or in your car with a laptop or even in bed with your laptop for hours and hours each day. It also means spending a lot of time plotting and planning and trying to think of ways your hero can kill the impossibly tough bad guy without it being a massive cop out like ‘love’ being the secret *cringes*. Couple with that the fact that most first time novelists also have a full time job which may involve sitting down that adds up to one thing. A hell of a lot of time spent sat down not moving, maybe eating cakes and almost certainly not sleeping enough. Once all the work is done you are probably so tired you just want to sit down in front of the TV, not go to the gym or cook your five a day. So following are my top tips for staying healthy and happy when writing your novel.

1: EXERCISE, writers are just like all other people. Though we might be pale and indoorsy that is no reason not to exercise at least semi regularly. There are enough YouTube aerobic videos to keep you pumping and grooving until the day you die if you start now so the chances are you will find at least one or two you can manage to do. If you find my previous stereotype offensive and you are not at all pale or indoorsy then I suggest a good hearty run.

I know you’re stressed and you don’t think there are enough hours in the day for everything you need to get done but there are…and if there aren’t there is always tomorrow right? Realistically there are almost certainly points of your day when you are ‘working on your book’ that are actually just sitting in front of the screen not writing or even really thinking. This is the perfect time to bang in a few sets of squats or laps around the room. Sometimes getting your heart pumping will actually help you feel better and clear your head making the writing come more naturally.

2: READ. A lot of people have a tendency to stop reading when they are writing but that is really one of the worst things you can do. Reading is much more relaxing than watching TV even if it is a little more difficult. It has the added benefit that if you read physical books and write on a computer that you are actually letting your eyes get some much needed rest from looking at a screen.

You will remind yourself why you are writing, you want to write something as good as whatever you are reading and if you stick to it you really can.

I truly believe that you cannot be a writer if you have never read and the more you read the better you will get. People worry too much about ‘unconscious plagiarism’. Plagiarism is never unconscious, you will always know if you are stealing an idea and the chances are you won’t be doing it from the thing you are currently reading but some beloved childhood tale. 

3: HEALTHY SNACKS. This is a big one in my opinion, when you are sat down at a desk for hours writing you can easily fall into habits like having a cup of tea next to you, maybe that tea has some biscuits with it. Before you know it you have added several hundred or even thousand calories to your daily intake and if you can no longer fit into your desk chair you are probably guilty of this.

The only way in my opinion to combat this is to just not have junk food in your house. If you must snack buy carrot sticks or get some low GI berries, do not turn to the chocolate and the biscuits.

If they are there you will eat them when you are stressed so best to just not buy them in the first place.

Well that’s it for this week kids, if you have any subjects you want me to talk about let me know.

Looking forward to talking with you all again the same time next week.

Ja,Ne.