"Wherever men have lived there is a story to be told." Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, January 7, 2010

For the New Year and the Long Haul

As we start a new year, we all have resolutions. A very common resolution is to ditch the candy, pies, cakes, and cookies that surreptitiously attached themselves to our waists, bellies, hips, and thighs during the Christmas season. As writers, or anyone who spends a lot of time at the computer, it's important to take good care of our backs, eyes, and muscles. If you're in your twenties or thirties, you might not be experiencing problems, but by the time you spend thirty years at a computer, trust me, you will.

This year you might want to take a ten-minute break at least once an hour to give your body and eyes a break. Stretch, walk around, look out the window at something far away in the distance. Don't let a minor annoyance, like a sore back, or that tingle in your fingers, go unattended. It could become severe, even incapacitating. I know how easy it is to get caught up in a story or a book deadline and before you know it the entire day has passed and you haven't moved from your computer (except to grab a cola and a few cookies to tide you over until dinner). But this year, resolve to take better care of yourself for the long haul so you will still be able to write those wonderful stories when you're eighty.


Deb@RGRamblings said...

Excellent advice Linda. It's far too easy to neglect ourselves when we're busy at the screen and my goals involve a lot more time spent there. Thanks for the reminder!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Thanks for the reminder. It's so easy to lose track of time and get caught up in the writing. I'm gonna go stretch right now! :)
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asabourova said...

Good advice. And just because you're away from your desk doesn't mean you still can't be "writing"! I love to plot new ideas and work out characters on long runs and during yoga sessions (I've never been very good at meditation!)... Here's to the new year!

Linda Sandifer said...

So true, asabourova! I'm not good at meditating either because my mind always starts filling with my characters' dialogue, or trying to figure out the latest plot detail. Good luck with the future marathons!

Will Edwinson said...

Good advice, Linda. I'm not quite eighty yet, but gettin' darn close, and I feel the creak in the bones when I sit too long.

In my pre-writing days when I was operating tractors on the farm, I would spend 10, 12, or more hours at a time in the tractor seat, but cain't do that no more. :)

Linda Sandifer said...

Oh so true, Will. When I first started writing and had deadlines to meet, I would write for 14 hours straight. I paid for it with back issues and eye problems. I've gotten wiser.