For most of us, the cold winter weather is coming to an end. Although as I write this, I hear wind howling outside my window reminding me that I might be overly optimistic about that right now… Anyway, with warmer weather comes the desire to get outside and move around (which is a good thing) but that can take a toll on our word counts. Below are a few tips to make your writing habits healthier and make you healthier:
To improve writing:
- Set a minimum word count and keep to it. It’s best to select a word count that’s on the lower side of what you think you can achieve. As time goes by, you can increase your daily minimum word count – maybe even challenge yourself with a new word count every month – but start off low so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Meeting and exceeding your daily word count is more empowering to yourself as a writer than is failing to meet an unrealistically high goal;
- Pick a project and stay with it. When the warmer temperatures hit, it’s easy to get hit with wanderlust. That’s great for travel and social activities but not so great with getting a writing project finished. Decide on a project that either interests you the most or is the closest to completion and dive into it and get it done;
- Set a deadline for yourself. Now that you will have a daily minimum word count in place and a project picked out, decide on a reasonable deadline. The deadline can be your critique group’s monthly submission cut-off or a submission date for an anthology or magazine. Having a goal to meet will help keep you on track with your spring writing.
To improve yourself:
- With all of the great writing you’ll be doing, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. If your location has room for it, a standing desk is a great asset to get you up on your feet and moving around;
- If you don’t have room for a standing desk – and sadly, I do not – then find something else to motivate you into moving around. I often do laundry while I’m writing and I get up and switch loads, fold laundry, or organize a drawer in between writing chapters;
- For others, a simple computer timer or watch activity timer will do the trick. Set your timer and then use it as a guide to take a break – go pick up the mail or make yourself a healthy snack;
- If you take a phone call while writing, use that time to walk around away from your writing desk.
Whatever works for you, enjoy a happy, healthy spring full of great writing and fun activities improving your prose and yourself!
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