Thursday, March 12, 2020

Is Your Writing Making You Sick? By Patti Jo Moore

If you’re a writer who is struggling with a story at the moment—whether a weak plot, flat characters, or a sagging middle—you might read my blog title and scream “YES!!” Maybe you’re sick of your story at the moment, with the word “sick” implying that you feel aggravated, frustrated, and even ready to give up. *GASP* If that describes you, maybe it’s time for a break. Step away from your computer (or pen and paper), and do something else. But only for a little while. It’s so important to come back to the writing. Preferably within the year. 😊

Other writers might say they’re sick from their writing, but this type is physical. No, we cannot catch a horrible virus from the words we’re typing, but when we become so focused on our writing that we neglect our physical health, we pay the price. Yes, this is all common sense, but sometimes we need these little reminders (at least I know I sure do) of some small changes that might help us.

If you write on a computer, be sure to take care of your eyes. Staring at the screen too long is not good for our vision. Headaches? They might be due to the eye strain. Back pain? Maybe you need a different chair or even a simple change such as putting pillows for support behind your back. As we all know, staying seated for too long at a time is never good, especially as we age (ahem) and our bodies become a bit stiffer. Not a pretty truth, but still a truth. 😉

In addition to our physical health, sometimes our emotions need a boost when we’ve been so consumed with our writing. Often a change of scenery in our writing environment is exactly what is needed. I have many friends who take their laptops to a coffee shop and write. I’ll admit I haven’t tried this, only because I’d end up chatting with everyone around me instead of writing! But even if there’s not a convenient place for you to visit and write, changing to a different part of your home might help. I am a “window person”—I love a room with windows! Thankfully my office room has a nice window beside my computer, so I can pause when needed and look out at the birds and squirrels in my Elm trees. Even a few minutes of not staring at the screen can often provide the break we need.

Being productive in our writing doesn’t have to mean neglecting our health---mental, physical, or emotional. Here’s to healthy habits for happy writers! 😊

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3

Sadie's Dream

In a coastal Georgia town in 1900, a young woman prepares to serve as a missionary in Africa.

After being jilted the previous year, she's certain she's meant to remain single.

When she meets a handsome businessman from Savannah, she begins struggling with doubts.

Over time she learns that the Lord's plans are best, and dreams really can come true.

Patti Jo Moore is a retired kindergarten teacher and lifelong Georgia girl. She loves Jesus, her family, cats, and coffee, and is blessed to be published with Forget-Me-Not Romances. When she’s not spending time with her family (including her sweet grandbaby) or writing her “Sweet, Southern Stories” Patti Jo can be found feeding cats—her own six and local strays.

She loves connecting with readers and other writers, and can be found on Facebook at Author Patti Jo Moore or her personal blog at http://catmomscorner.blogspot.com


18 comments:

  1. I've been making a conscientious effort lately to do word sprints and get up when the timer goes off. Otherwise, I lose track of time and can sit for hours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great idea, Sandra! My daughter gave me a timer to use specifically when I'm writing, so I need to use it more consistently.
      Thanks for commenting! :)
      Blessings, Patti Jo

      Delete
  2. Thanks for the reminder, Patti Jo. Our health must take a priority.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara! Yes, you are so right---our health must take a priority. I've realized that even more as I've gotten older.
      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Blessings, Patti Jo

      Delete
  3. Good morning, Patti Jo.

    If I sit too long, I get so tired. I write in 15-minute sprints followed by 5-minute breaks, hopefully consisting of cleaning house. I do think this helps me feel better.

    If I don't take breaks, I need a nap.

    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Connie! That's a great schedule to follow---15-minute sprints with 5-minute breaks. :) I might have to try this schedule myself, because sometimes I do feel the need for a nap if I write too long at a time. Thanks so much for commenting, sweet friend!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  4. Great post, Patti Jo! I try to write, then get up and change a load of laundry, or take the dog out, or unload the dishwasher. Little productive things that break up the writing sprints and get my blood flowing. The older I get the more I understand the need to keep moving! lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sherrinda! Yes, isn't it amazing how we understand the importance of healthy habits and keeping our bodies moving as we get older, LOL. At least we're learning! ;)
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  5. Thank you for these important reminders, Patti Jo. The change of scene is good for me. I too haven’t tried coffee shop writing, but I love to sit on my patio...when it’s warmer...and use my laptop. Listening to the birds, gazing at the flowers, watching the butterflies.....all quite refreshing...for both my emotions and my words. Valuable post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sherida. Ah, sitting on your patio surrounded by flowers, birds, and butterflies sounds lovely! I'm sure that would be very refreshing. :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by, sweet friend.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  6. Great tips, Patti Jo. After staring at a screen all day at work, often the last thing I wan to do is come home and do the same. Still, the change of venue, change into comfortable clothing and a soft recliner vs. an office chair makes it all good. A cat in my lap can be a disadvantage, but the purr is great writing music

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy! I admire you for being able to come home and write after working at a day job. But I'm sure it does help being in a soft recliner and comfy clothes at home. Loved your comment about your cat's purr being great writing music! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  7. Great thoughts. I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi June! Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend! And no, you're definitely not the only one, LOL.
      Blessings on your writing!
      Hugs, Patti Jo :)

      Delete
  8. Patti Jo, it's nice to know I'm not the only author who has felt that way. My puppies are great stress relievers. Something about that unconditional love ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Terri, I think it always makes us relieved to know we're not alone in how we feel. I'm sure your puppies are great stress relievers---our pets can have such a soothing effect on us!
      Happy writing, sweet friend.
      Hugs, Patti Jo

      Delete
  9. Great post, Patti Jo. Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Laura! I'm so glad you stopped by (and sorry I'm just now replying to all these comments---but I've been out of town visiting my sweet grandbaby all day!).
      Happy writing!
      Hugs, Patti Jo :)

      Delete

We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!