Showing posts with label exercise for writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exercise for writers. Show all posts

Fitness for Writers || Tips for Action


Fitness for Writers - Tips for Action by Deborah Lyn Stanley
Fitness for writers includes: A daily writing practice to stay fit and physical exercise to support writing endeavors. As writers, we need both.

Let’s start with tips for maintaining physical fitness to support our writing time.
1)    Walk! Walking is a great exercise. We are after a refresh time, not a full-blown workout. 10-20 minutes is good.
        Listen to audio classical music or your favorite tunes.
        Listen to writing craft audio books.
        Record notes that come to mind & transcribe later.

2)    Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water! Soda, coffee and tea don’t count here—Chips and chocolate don’t count either.

3)    Remember to be realistic, watch your expectations and make adjustments. Create a plan that will work for you long term.

4)    Exercise in spurts. Spread the good through-out the writing day to keep empowering thoughts, ideas and typing.

5)    Promise yourself breaks; every 1-2 hours take one. Spend 10-20 minutes moving—Do you have stairs in your house? For your break, go up and down.
Avoid “a quick snack” and eat a meal. Your brain with thank you.

6)    Be innovative, use a standing writing desk. Even above your treadmill. Walk between 1-2 mph. You may find you are more creative and have less back and leg aches.

7)    Other ideas include stopping for:
       Several push-ups, pull-ups, squats, or sit-ups
       Use a balance ball chair. How you sit matters. Bad posture strains the neck and the spine.
       Place your computer screen at a distance to avoid strain with the top of the screen at eye level
       or slightly below.
       Move & Stretch regularly, make it a routine

Be proactive concerning your health and well-being.
Your writing will thank you.

Tips for writing daily, which is sometimes a hurdle.
1)    Stock the tools for your favored writing area, desk or office with all you’ll need. Include reference books, your goal plan, and project list.

2)    Write every day. Start with journaling for 10-20 minutes to get the wheels rolling, then dive into your specified project for the day. Make this your practice.
Also, use your journal to create a strategic plan to reach your goal(s).

3)    Include writing exercises. Write poetry or short pieces using a prompt.

4)    Free writing is a great starter. What are you thinking about? Start writing about it and let it flow. You just may find inspiration for a future story or article. Let your creativity bloom!
       *Free write with limitations, such as no ‘being’ verbs, or without using pronouns.
       *Use a dictionary or newspaper. Choose one word at random to start.
       *Use a line from a favorite poem or story as your inspiration.

5)    Create a Metaphor List to draw from.

6)    Use your Commonplace Book to jot down notes, any which way line breaks, in the margins--whatever, record ideas for writing a story or poem from a different perspective—note anything that comes to mind. You’ll remember as you read it later!

Have Fun & Keep Writing!

Deborah Lyn Stanley is an author of Creative Non-Fiction. She writes articles, essays and stories. She is passionate about caring for the mentally impaired through creative arts.
Visit her My Writer’s Life website at:   
Visit her caregiver’s website:

Mom & Me: A Story of Dementia and the Power of God’s Love is available:

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A Blank Canvas - Your Characters

The last couple of months have been spent packing and moving from our 'retirement home' in Phoenix to our new 'retirement home' in Minnesota. I'm well aware that's not usually the direction one goes to retire. My parents had left me a home and my husband and I decided that for the next however many years we have, we are going to spend them in the Midwest enjoying a slower pace. 

Moving into one's family home is a bit of a challenge. I remember well how my mother had arranged furniture and art. Each day more memories crop up and distract me. But each day, too, I'm working on creating a new and different home, one that reflects the people my husband and I are. Part of the decisions we've already made are to paint, carpet and change all the window coverings. Think blank canvas. 

A blank canvas allows you to find your own place in the world. 
A blank canvas encourages exploration. 
A blank canvas drives one to a new level of creativity. 

And a blank canvas might be the best place to begin when writing your newest character(s). Part of the enjoyment of writing fiction is the unknowingness of the process. You begin with a character or a scene, or maybe only a setting. Somewhere down the road you may know where you want to eventually end - the statement you wish to make with your story. But everything in between is yours and your characters to create. Allowing your mind to be open to your character's possible reactions and thoughts is one great way to keep your readers engaged. Readers like surprises - and if you are like me - you do as well. Creating characters that, well, act out of character is fun. And just like the blank canvas above, it will drive you to a greater level of creativity, it will push you to explore your options and finally, it will help you to create characters that will find their own place in the world of literature. 
D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, House of Glass, Book 2 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook

Stand Up for Writers

Panic tremors shiver down my backbone. My legs jerk and my feet tap the floor uncontrollably. Some part of my brain 
wonders pathetically if this could be considered exercise. Too little, too late. 

I am doomed to disability according to a new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.

I can do exercise classes twice a week, muck out my horse twice a day, diet on the odd occasion, but if I'm sixty years 
old or older, every hour spent sitting may well double the risk of becoming disabled.

"This is the first time we've shown sedentary behavior was related to increased disability regardless of the amount of moderate exercise," said Dorothy Dunlop, professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago,  and lead author of the study. "Being sedentary is not just a synonym for inadequate physical activity."

Dangers of Sitting

So it's the sitting that does it. And all writers spend most of their working day sitting or do they?

Do the new findings mean I can sit till I'm fifty-nine and 364 days? Till I'm fifty-five? Till I'm sixty-one if I exercise a lot?

All studies should be read with caution and Professor Dunlop points out that because the study examines data at one point in time, it does not definitively determine that sedentary behavior causes disability. "It draws attention to the fact that this is a potential problem." 

Animal studies have shown that immobility is a separate risk factor for negative effects on health. Professor Dunlop's study, co-authored with Rowland Chang M.D.,is the first to corroborate that data using objective evidence from over two thousand adults over sixty.

Stand Up for your Health

According to Pilates instructor Nina Cranmer, sitting is one of the worst postures for the human body. A new mother and nowhere near sixty. she parks her laptop on a high window ledge and always stands when using it. 

My mother was a great believer in Winston Churchill's dictum. When asked to what he attributed his success, he said, "Economy of effort. Never stand up when 
you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down."

I realize now she never followed this advice herself, being always on the move. But it was a great way to keep children at bay.

Now shall I wriggle about on my Pilates ball while I write or find a book to read in bed? No contest. I'm with Churchill all the way.

All tips to help writers avoid a sedentary lifestyle welcome in the comments below.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips from time to time at Slow and Steady Writers 

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