Monday, October 24, 2011

Energize Your Writing

Writers are so easily influenced by mood. Our disposition, with no matter what we write, will translate to the reader. For example, if we are tired, lethargic, or depressed, then it becomes more difficult to throw energy into our characters, let alone our words.

What's the solution?
Being of healthy body, mind and spirit will help our writing become more succinct, passionate and energised. Succinct because our minds will have a greater ability to maintain focus. Passionate because when we are healthy we care about our work and our stories. Energised because we will simply have more energy and that reflects in our writing.

Exercise: Writing is such a passive pastime that I can't say enough how important it is to exercise. 30 minutes a day isn't too much and that can be broken up into three 10 minute sessions. Tip: If I want to write action I'll get up and jump around for a bit to capture some of the energy needed for the scene.

Stretching: It's also important to regularly get up and stretch. If I'm not paying attention it's far too easy to realise two hours have slipped by and I haven't moved from my seat.

Diet: When we settle in for a writing session it's tempting to snack on treats. (I wish I didn't love chocolate so much). Eating good healthy foods and drinking plenty of water is key to staying fit and healthy, which in turn impacts our writing.

Practise positivity: It's easy to stress as writers. It's easy to let self-doubt take over. If we practise positivity then stress can be managed. Not only will we be less likely to give up on our dreams, but our positivity will pour into our words in the form of energised writing.

Can you think of other ways to energise your writing? What do you do to energise your writing?

57 comments:

  1. I visit a gym several times a week and eat healthier than most people I know. (Which really isn't difficult in the South.)
    I energize with peaceful moments, such as playing my guitar. The mind needs a break sometimes!

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  2. Oooh, I love the idea of jumping about before writing an action scene. Normally I use music, but I may have to give your suggestion a go!

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  3. My day job currently has me in the tired, lethargic and depressed sector. But the rest of the time, I run or walk on a daily basis and, like Miss Cole, I'll jump around before writing an action scene.

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  4. Totally agree. This is one of those thigns that is, for some reason, harder for me then it should be. I can be so lazy sometimes :) So reminders are good. Just need to get my butt in gear.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  5. I love your tips for regaining one's writerly mojo!! Healthy mind, happy mind, creative mind! Yay!!! Sometimes when I feel a slump coming on, I go crazy and enter tons of competitions! Or I go bloghopping like mad! LOL!

    Take care
    x

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  6. Your tips are always helpful and good reminders. One reminder I have is not to beat myself up if I forget to exercise properly or I'm lazy, or my diet has slipped back into its old ways etc.

    I like to play the piano, walk, watch a movie, go shopping, spend time with family, read, have some fun - activities away from writing which ultimately serve to energise my writing.

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  7. Alex, oh yes, breaks and peaceful moments are also crucial. And music has a huge influence too.

    Miss Cole, I meant to add music to the post, but totally forgot while I was typing it up. But I still recommend jumping aorund. Nothing beats energetic movement.

    M J Fifield, ah yes, I used to have a day job like that. It's good you exercise regularly.

    Sarah, I do agree that it's not always easy. When I'm feeling lethargic, the last thing I want to do is jump around, but it's also the best thing I can do.

    Old Kitty, I love your way of getting out of a slump. I should give it a go.

    Joanne, yes, not beating yourself up is also important. Totally agree. And I love your ways to energise your writing.

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  8. I agree with everything. It's so true that our current moods is totally reflected in our writing. Being healthy is the best way to combat the ickys too!

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  9. "30 minutes isn't much" always sounds nice theoretically but not practically :) I can never last for more than 10 minutes doing any exercise :))

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  10. PS green tea (drank or taken in capsules) does wonders for energy and feeling relaxed and enthusiastic! I swear. Orange, lemon and tangerine juice with honey does the same.

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  11. Since I started writing seriously, I've put on so much weight it's not funny. I'm finally back on the track to doing something about it, which mainly seems to involve grabbing fruit instead of chocolate eleventy times a day.

    Now to add the exercise ...

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  12. walking helps me relax and be more creative. I often work out plotting problems or character dilemmas while walking.

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  13. Great tips! Sometimes a simple walk outside, even if it's brisk (I do live in Chicago after all), can jump start my brain and get me going again. But just moving of any kind is a hugely important thing (especially for those of us that write for long stretches).

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  14. I love the idea of a writer doing certain things while writing certain scenes. Exercising to get energized before embarking on a scene.

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  15. Oh, I agree. I walk three miles every morning. It's good for my body and my brain. And I feel less guilty for sitting in the chair writing for hours at a time. If I don't or can't walk some days, I always feel blah later in the afternoon, and my writing suffers.

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  16. I read another post similar to this recently - I'm so glad the warmer weather is here - I love to swim.
    A small container of almonds beside my computer is my healthy choice.
    Just getting out of the house energises my writing.
    Thanks for the reminder
    x

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  17. Southpaw, 'the ickys' I like that phrase.

    Dezzy, that's why it's good to do 3x 10min blocks. I will admit it's easier when we have a friend to go walking with too. Oh, and I do love my green tea and other herbal teas.

    Sarah, do it. You'll thank yourself later ;)

    mshatch, yes! Walking is a great thinking time.

    Susan, I prefer to walk when it's brisk rather than 30C (100F?). Looks like the indoor exercise bike for me today since it's a scorcher outside.

    Riya, and it helps so much

    Luanne, yikes! That's a lot. I'm impressed.

    Michelle, oh, I love almonds...and cashews, and pistachios. Yum!

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  18. The stretching one really speaks to me right now!

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  19. Good tips. I'm doing my best to follow a regular exercise plan for fitness more than anything else, but hopefully it'll have a positive impact on my writing (as king of procrastination, let's hope so!)

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  20. Trisha, reach for those stars!

    Jamie, hehe, I believe it will help. Good luck with your exercise plan.

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  21. Such great points, Lynda! I'll add that I take out my editing frustrations on the ol' punching bag from time to time. *grins*

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  22. Hmm, a punching bag...that sounds like a great idea! :)

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  23. I agree that readers will pick up of the mood of the writer.
    I work on the 12th floor of a skyscraper and walk up most mornings.
    Plus hunting waterfalls on the weekend gets me out and about!

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  24. Oh this has some excellent tips. I haven't found my niche yet as a writer. I haven't done it enough to know 'what works' for me. I don't have any habits which are either good or bad, apart from just not writing, procrastination is a mare! I get it from my father. I feel better when I've been out to Starbucks or just a walk around a market. I need bussle to take me out f my mind, so that when return, I'm more focused and my butts stopped no longer numb ;D Shah .X

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  25. I went on a college trip yesterday with my daughter - and we walked. Up hills, up stairs, down hills, across town and back. I had no idea how out of shape I am. I definitely need to do the 30 minutes. Or just 20.

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  26. For me, reading a similar movie helps me tremendously! Gets me inspired.

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  27. I am actually trying to put some energy back in my writing, so these were some awesome tips. Music is also a good thing, I think. Compiling a "soundtrack in progress" along with your "work in progress" can really get the muse's juices flowing.

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  28. Excellent points, Lynda. The only thing I would add is that sometimes you need to take a break from a project and work on something different.

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  29. I dance! Its the best combination of jumping around and music. Especially the way I dance, which is more attempting to jump around rhythmically, than actual dancing. I also like to run up and down stairs when I get board.

    I also walk, a lot and think about what I am trying to write.

    I've been trying to get back into running, but that's hard cause I like sleeping so much.

    I feel like I have to be over active to make up for the fact that I dont eat well at all. I know you need a balance, but I love pizza, and chocolate and tea too much.

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  30. I need to get my rebounder cleared off. Sad to say that it has become the junk collector.

    Bouncing on the rebounder several times a day is great exercise and a great way to get the blood flowing and help keep the mind clear. Thanks for all your great tips!

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  31. Amen! Your great comments already has energized me, thanks!

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  32. Great ideas. I tend to sit in one place for hours too, and then BOY am I stiff. I usually exercise 3 times a week for 15-20 minutes, but everyday would be better! More oxygen goes a long way to energizing us. :)

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  33. I hate how hard it is to be healthy when your job/hobby requires you to sit down a lot. Great post though, I'll definitely take that stretching/exercising thing into account!

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  34. oh, thank you for this encouraging and well-timed post, Lynda! I've been needing it. Feeling kinda funky, not really wanting to write b/c I was sure it would bleed in. Thanks for the ideas. I know they're all good~ <3

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  35. Al, wow, that's a good walk!

    Shah, yes just getting out and about will often help

    Tonja, it's scary when we realise how out of shape we've become. Any little thing you do will help

    Laura, um, I'm not sure what you mean

    Alyssia, yes, absolutely. Music is a wonderful way of energising the writing

    Angelina, breaks are also important--mini breaks and longer breaks.

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  36. Sara, oh yes dancing is brilliant (as is sleeping hehe).

    Susanne, a rebounder sounds like fun. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Wii.

    Mark, woot!

    Carol, really? But you also do other active things too so that balances out.

    Bethany, it is difficult sometimes.

    Leigh, yep exercise, positivity and being kind to yourself are good ways of removing the funk. I hope yours disappears quickly.

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  37. This is such a timely post. I have been needing a kick in the pants as far as getting energized. I can no longer count on consuming atrocious amounts of diet coke to keep me typing!

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  38. Oddly enough, my writing is at it's best when I am depressed, or even just a little sad. I'm sure it's my genre, psychological thrillers, but I find it easier to evoke emotion when I'm on the cusp. I take medication for a thyroid disorder which has a great effect on my mental health. I've considered, from time to time, stopping those meds just to have some desperation to feed upon in my writing, kind of like Hunter S. Thompson, who is no relation, by the way. Crazy? Yeah, probably, but when I'm digging deep, it's an option. For a week or so anyway.

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  39. I tend to get pooped out a lot by life - and you're right - it does show when I'm writing. It's always easier to write on a sunny day with something fun (TV or music) playing in the background!

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  40. I tend to write better/more after I take a nap. I make myself a flask of half caf coffee and head to my room to write. If I'm struggling I sometimes light a musky scented candle.

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  41. 'Writers are so easily influenced by mood.'

    A wildly ironic opener.

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  42. I'm going to print this post and put it over my desk as a reminder - I do the complete opposite of all these things and have been wondering what's up with me (doh - not too bright!)

    Thanks for stopping by - am now following
    Laura x

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  43. These are great tips... I find if I do something I enjoy, it helps to relax me too :)

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  44. These are wonderful tips! I really need to work on being more careful about what I'm snacking on. I never used to be much a candy eater, but now that I'm home all day writing, it's become a very bad habit.

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  45. This is so true! I am finally writing more upbeat work now that I am not so stressed about our life. When I exercise I have so much more energy and it comes through in my work.

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  46. Great and relevant tips! The exercise (and heart health, especially) needs to get more of my attention.

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  47. Jessie, yeah I had to give up coke.

    Nancy, that kinda makes sense for your genre. I'm not sure it's a good idea to stop the meds though.

    Jemi, yes! I love sunny days to write! It makes a huge difference.

    Sharon, naps are truly awesome.

    Suze, it IS ironic, ha.

    Laura, welcome! yep, I've been known to do the opposite as well ;)

    WritingNut, yes, for sure

    Susan, candy is too easy. It took a while to break my chocolate habit.

    Terri, amazing isn't it.

    Janna, I hope this motivates you to do more exercise because it will make a difference.

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  48. These are all great tips! Especially love jumping up before writing an action scene.

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  49. I need to improve in all four areas. I also think I should switch my Diet Coke with water.

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  50. Thanks for reminding me to stretch. That is something I always forget to do. I try to stay hydrated because I get really cranky if I don't

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  51. Oh, absolutely. I don't think I could write if I didn't hit the gym regularly. It keeps the blood flowing to my brain! (Though I will never give up my Pepsi Max, never!)

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  52. So true! There are rewards for staying healthy and positive and energetic. Whenever I'm under the weather and lagging, my writing suffers and I don't enjoy the process. Never good.

    I find that getting enough sleep is really important, too. It's so easy to stay up too late reading some amazing novel, but there is a price to be paid the next day.

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  53. This is all sooooo true! Great post.

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  54. Caitlin, getting active before writing an action scene works charms

    Medeia, totally agree about the diet coke. And water clears the mind.

    Melissa, yes, it's easy to forget to stretch

    Amie, aw, are you sure about never giving up Pepsi Max? Water is so much more cleansing...

    Cynthia, oh yes, sleep is a wonderful thing!

    Madeleine, thanks

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  55. Hi Lynda - my first time over at your place.
    Thanks for these gems. For me, music is both a source of inspiration and relaxation in writing.

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  56. I absolutely adored this post, even if you didn't tell me to drink more Diet Coke. Glad to have found your blog - following :)

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  57. Tasha, hahaha. I used to drink far too much diet coke :P Welcome and thanks so much for the follow.

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