Daily Habits to Nurture and Support your Writing

Judy Reeves posts “Ten Daily Habits that Make a Good Writer.” On an average day, I figure I hit five out of ten. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

1. I eat a fairly healthy diet. Most days start with fresh green juice made in my juicer. I eat fruits and/or veggies at every meal. Not much junk food. Rarely fast food. I do find that if I find myself indulging in more sugar or wine than usual, it can usually be traced back to not writing. It’s a chicken and the egg kind of thing though. Do I not write because I have been eating crap or am I eating crap because I am not writing?

2. I workout most days. A good, hard get-those-endorphins-flowing workout. And when if I don’t I feel sluggish, both mentally and physically.

3. I could probably use some more laughter in my life. I would say I laugh daily, but I’m not sure it’s always that deep belly laughter. I do have to say that our sweet dog has brought more joy, if not daily doses of laughter into our house.

4. I read. A lot. More than a book a week on average throughout any given year. Sometimes I think I read too much, hiding behind other people’s words rather than writing my own. I would like to read more classics.

5. I absolutely agree with this tip of experiencing other art forms. I just fail to follow it on any kind of regular basis. I’d like to do more collage, keep an art journal, play with photography and digital editing. I’d really love to play the piano.

6. When I take the time to meditate and/or do yoga each morning, i start my day feeling more grounded, more connected which gives me more of a grounded connection to my creativity.

7. I tried to pay attention through my three observations. I found that I don’t like sharing them online. I’d prefer to keep a small journal with me at all times which would encourage me to pay attention throughout my day.

8. Giving back is something I am working on this year. In fact, a book just came in the mail the other day called “The Generosity Plan.”

9. Blogs have made it so much easier to connect to other writers and artists on a daily basis.

10. I write most days.

One thing I would add is sleep. Sleep is crucial to our well-being and ability to focus. I usually get seven to eight hours during the week and eight to nine on the weekend.

Writing is demanding work. Physically, mentally and emotionally. We need to take care of our writer selves so that we are able to write from our best selves.

How about you? How do you take care of your writer self? Please leave a comment or post to your own blog and leave a link in the comments. I’d love to get a real “salon” type discussion going.

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11 thoughts on “Daily Habits to Nurture and Support your Writing

  1. I’ve really never thought about how to “nuture” my writing, but now that you write about it, I can see how it does make all the sense in the world!

    I do a few on the Ten Daily Habits, but not all. I take care of myself by maintaining my (almost) weight goal on Weigh Watchers. I’m no an overweight person, but I’m not where I want to be either. I don’t visit my treadmill, which is collecting dust, as much as I’d like to, but when I do, I come back to the computer strong, and with a whole new light on the story, which gives me 100% to “do this!”

    As far as laughter, my husband’s little e-mails throughout the day of the LOL Cats and random other oneliners, help keep me in a rather cheerful mood during the day.

    I try to read at least one book a month, though it’s not nearly as much as I would like, because for me, the more I read, the more I write…(Is it like that for anyone else?)

    I would like to say that I practice Yoga, but sadly, I don’t…though occasionally I’ll turn on my Wii Fit and follow the woman on the TV, but really, is that Yoga?

    Some say that I pay attention way too much, and that I’m too focused. They might be right, but I would like to think that I’m a “researcher” for writing how people act, how they speak and what they do.

    My mom says that I give back a lot. I am always around to help anyone out, even if at first I don’t want to, in the end, I feel better about myself.

    I have taken several online writing classes with Gotham Writers’ Workshop, and have met some wonderful ladies, some of who I still keep in contact with. I have a Facebook page for my pen-name and I blog, thanks to WordPress. 🙂

    As far as writing…the only way I can really get anywhere, is if I set a deadline for myself, as I’ve learned about two months ago, I thrive on them. My writing isn’t each day, as sometimes Writer’s Block decides to come for an unwelcome visit, but when it leaves, I’m also thankful for it, because the whole time, I’ve been thinking about what my characters will be up to…and almost always, they are dying to show/tell me when I return to the computer, and in a hurry.

    I really had no intention of writing such a long comment, and I thank you for making myself aware of these Ten Daily Habits, by Judy Reeves.

    • Isabella- Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I envisioned this as a virtual salon where we can share our creative processes. I find that so-called “writer’s block” appears to be unwelcome at first but ends up providing a much needed respite from the work. I almost always return to it with renewed energy and vision.

  2. Yes, in theory if honestly not always in practice as far as the exercise goes, to all of the above, especially the enjoyment of other art forms.

    When I started a blog – fairly recently – my aim right from the start was to showcase other arts, whether that was my husband’s original music on a short film we made, or painting I loved that provided a point of connection with my writing, or chic deco and vintage blogs that provided an accurate backdrop to my book. Widening my scope has been a thoroughly enriching experience, and it’s already brought together a wonderful and diverse crowd.
    (Found you on SheWrites – what fantastic site that is!)

    • Deborah- I love the idea of showcasing other arts on your blog. Can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I take my writing seriously, but it seems that lately I have preferred to edit and rewrite old stories instead of writing new ones. I really need to work on the eating well and exercising part. I know I’ll feel better. Finding the motivation to change my bad habits, well, that’s another story.

    • Yes, motivation can be elusive:) I think our writing is cyclical. Maybe you are in the editing/rewriting cycle for the moment. No need to judge it. Easier said than done, I know.

  4. Hey Kim,

    I loved this post! Unfortunately for me I don’t nurture my writer self as much as I would like. In fact, my writing side is usually the last part that gets nurtured. I’m a wife, mom, house keeper, pet owner, and I have a part time job to boot. (Trust me I would love to drop the last part like a hot potatoe ) but all of that eats up most of my time. So any time I do spend writing is usually scrapped up from remnants of my already full day.

    What I need to do is carve out a time each day that is all for me. But that is usually at the end of my day once the kids are in bed and I’m ready to pass out cold. Well heres to the day when I can pamper my writer self the way it deserves.

    Thanks!

    • I get it , Christina. We definitely wear many, many hats. When my kids were little I got up early to write but found myself anticipating them waking up at any moment so I ended up squeezingin time at night after they went to bed. Somebody famous said that she wrote in the “nooks and crannies” of her life. I always loved that.

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