Monday 8 October 2012

Part II - Life of a Writer - Staying Sane

Part II

In part one, I talked about the physical aspects of working (writing) from home and how it can be a challenge to get motivated to move your ‘butt’, once in a comfortable position and the ideas are flowing. So, yes, there is a way to stay active, healthy and fit. But that’s not the entire picture – there is more….

Another major issue with writing at home is the isolation and time spent on our own without the company of other adults or even adult conversation especially for those of us with small children. Feeling disconnected from living can be an issue for some, requiring a period of adjustment in the beginning. 

Some ways to ease the transition to your new schedule might be to adjust your day to incorporate some fun, family time, outside time and other personal space. In other words don’t get so caught up in the writing that you have nothing else going on in your life.

But, if you are a writer – your life is the story and everything you do is about honing your craft. I know, I live this way too and have for several years. However, I still have to remind myself to have, keep and maintain a life. Even if it’s the ‘life’ of a writer. 

This is where social media such as Twitter can be used to connect with other writers and adults for some conversation, ideas, information and ‘silly time’ conversing with people from around the world. Many of whom are in the exact same position as you!

There can also be the sense of how life is passing us by and we are not engaged in any of it. The sun may be shining outside and we are sitting at a computer, or worse, fail to even notice it! Therefore we must have other irons in the fire and various interests (besides housework and eating or coffee!). 

These activities can be vital to our overall well-being and health. It’s also nice to completely switch gears from time to time and use another part of the brain. While working away on a hobby, you will get new insights and ideas for your writing. Go Figure!

Here are a few things that I do (some reluctantly) to keep my brain and mind in working order;

Keep a garden or some other hobby you enjoy – even if it’s a few pots of herbs or an acre of oats

Paint, colour or draw – it can be squiggles, but it engages more parts of you and that is important in any creative process

Talk to someone your trust about your writing, or join a group – online webinars are something to consider as well, groups of like minded people discussing their craft

Get involved in your writing on a different level – if you are writing a novel about historic Prague, plan a trip or find someone who lived there and have a conversation

Keep a journal, yes, you write all the time, but how much of it is about you? Record your dreams, thoughts, moods, ideas and more – it is all part of the bigger picture of who you are. 

If suffering from writers block – get moving, drink some water, go outside and walk , change locations, use your other hand and write with a pen for 5 min, once you do something different you  can get the energy flowing again. 

Read – a lot. Novels, blogs, Twitter, newspapers, information – outside and inside of what you do for a living. There is so much to learn and know and so little time!

These are just a few of the ways I attempt to keep sane, keep going and try to live my life at the same time. Everyone out there probably has 10 more that work for them and because we are all different, we find different ways to cope. 

Would love your comments on the life of a writer….


Sunset in Leap, West Cork on Mabon 22 September 2012 

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