by Kris (K.Maze)
It's the end of the year, past NaNoWriMo and the holidays, and a good time to reflect on our success. I'm speaking of "success with intention."
I see "success with intention" like this: Even if your NaNoWriMo power streak broke as mine did, leaving me hopelessly short of the 50K goal, I still have more words to polish than I had before. And although my writing power streak broke, *I* didn’t.
It is important to me not to sacrifice my health to my writing.
All the success in the world means nothing if you can’t enjoy it.
Often, during the busy NaNo/holiday season, writers ignore their health. But, as I mentioned in my post about the Wellness Wheel for Writers, keeping your main writing tool — you — in shape is vital to any writer’s success.
As my New Year’s gift to you, I’ve provided five tips with resources to help you examine your physical well-being as we move into 2020.
Tao Porchon-Lynch, at 101 years old, teaches yoga and dances competitively. This award-winning indie book author, TED Talk speaker, Guinness World Record holder, and wine lover shared her secret to a well-lived life with CBS. Her memoir, Dancing Light, draws upon her creative experience, and does so with grace and balance.
After showing off twirls with her 26-year-old partner, Porchon-Lynch tells the reporter her snippets of wisdom.
“Never put negative thoughts in the mind, because they go straight to the body.”- Tao Pinchon-Lynch
Does your inner critic nag you about clunky or blasé wording? Are you concerned about cutting wide swaths of your beloved story or unsure where to start?
Do you have…
Guilt over not hitting your writing goals?
Perhaps we can relax knowing these concerns are part of what makes us dig in to perfect our writing. That feeling that our writing is not-there yet drives us to make better words. Words that inspire and teach.
Writers crave the flow of the creative experience.
When your writing feels more like dodging potholes on a gravel road, rather than zooming smoothly across the autobahn, consider these symptoms of your creative muse rectifying your inner drive.
“Know that the dance of life is inside you and that you should believe.”Tao Pinchon-Lynch
The Physical Section of Our Wellness Wheel
With so much time in the chair, this is the part of the wellness wheel that gives many writers the most trouble. I have curated resources for tired wrists and aching backs. Below are some quick short and long term fixes. Browse through. And maybe try a few out.!
#1 - Sample online yogis from the comfort of home.
Below are three YouTube Yogis I’ve found inspiring and helpful. There are others, so if the personalities or lesson are not at your level, do a search for other options. Most of these yogis have a homepage with more videos, where you can support their work by subscribing or making a one-time donation. There are literally thousands of exercises available for free to keep us limber while we write our next break-out novel.
- Yoga for writers with Adrian.
- This yogi has a casual style that enables anyone to access their creative flow. Here is a session she created for writers. Her explanations are easy to follow and modify.
- Yoga with Tim
- Don’t be fooled by the title: “Yoga for beginners.” His ability to communicate the physiology of each pose is helpful for doing them correctly. As a surfer, he also relates his videos to specific injuries. I like the way he orders the exercises in ways that don’t feel like work (until your muscles thank you later).
- Sarah Beth Yoga
- Sarah Beth is a writer favorite due to her short online sessions that you can pick by 1) time you have and 2) what area of the body or stress you want to address. This linked video shows a desk routine for writers.
This WebMD article explains how to strengthen each area of your hand with detailed pictures. Here is one of their quick relaxation tips:
If your hands and fingers feel painful and stiff, try warming them up before you exercise. This can make it easier to move and stretch. Use a heating pad or soak them in warm water for about five to 10 minutes. Or, for a deeper warmth, rub some oil on your hands, put on a pair of rubber gloves, and then soak them in warm water for a few minutes.
#3 - Play with clay.
Clay can increase your range of motion and strengthen your hands. Plus, it’s cathartic to revisit your inner child or to invite a kid or two to join you. You may reignite your muse while squishing little clay balls and creating long snakes.
#4 - Redesign your writing space to better suit you.
Ellen Buikema explored this in her post last week and the secret for her was Feng Shui. Not sure what your workspace needs are? This link will take you to an insightful questionnaire and a few experiments to try.
#5 - Create a desk exercise routine with these simple exercises.
Here is a graphic with everything you need.
Does your writing cause physical ailments? What solutions have you found to resolve them? What would you like to change in the coming year?
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Kris Maze is a writer of essays and speculative short fiction. Her YA sci-fi will be released in June of 2020. More information can be found at her website.
A recovering grammarian and hopeless wanderer, Kris enjoys reading, playing violin and piano, and spending time outdoors with her family. She also ponders the wisdom of Bob Ross.
- 10 Ways To Exercise Hands and Fingers
- What are the most likely causes of upper back pain?
- Sitting at your desk doesn't have to be a pain in the neck
- Deskercize: Upper Back Stretches
- 5 Physical Problems You Have From Sitting Still All Day, Solved
- Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master