Physical, Emotional Health and Safety Rules For Writers.
of the rules most writers need reminding about and many which
we, in our headlong rush to get something down on paper, forget.
have a well lit space in which to work. As the years go by
your eyes will thank you.
and have a particular place in which to write that is yours
and will remain in the same state in which you left it.
Difficult with families, I know.
sure you donít work in unventilated fuggy stale air. Your
brain needs oxygen as well as inspiration to work
healthy regular meals. Donít graze on junk and too much
coffee or, heaven forbid, cigarettes and wine. The shelves
are full of biographies about artists and writers who died
too young because they didnít take care of their physical
a word not used a great deal these days but think about it.
After years of sitting at a computer or desk, unless you are
very diligent, your neck will begin to curve into what used
to be called an Ďaccountantís humpí or Ďdowagerís
humpí. Even worse, you can develop extreme problems with
the vertebra of your neck; causing trigeminal neuralgia
which is I assure you, is MOST painful.
above. Physiotherapists say that half an hour at a time
working at your computer is enough and then you must change
position, stretch or better still, get up and walk around.
Set an alarm to remind you if you have to because it is too
easy to begin during daylight and suddenly look out of the
window and assume there has been an unexpected eclipse when
actually the sun has set and that gnawing feeling in your
stomach isnít excitement, it is hunger. Dogs are even
better than alarms; they wonít let you work past their
time while doing mundane jobs to work out plots, dialogue
etc. It makes the mundane more exciting.
forget the people in your life. They need to know you
donít live entirely inside your head. Your writing canít
give you a hug or laugh at a joke with you.
become so obsessed with your own work that people you mix
with and talk to (or is that at?) feel trapped and
suddenly remember appointments they had completely forgotten
about and henceforth hide behind bushes when they see you
organized. Writing for an hour a day will get you much
further than talking about writing for four hours a day.
writing advice books etc by authors you admire. You will
learn more because you understand the books they are talking
your feet on the ground and your emotional and mental health
tip top by reminding yourself constantly that there are many
occupations in the world just as important to the human race
as yours. I.e. growing food.
you have attained a measure of success, donít become a
Prima Donna overnight. That path leads to narcissism, self
absorption, and selfish behaviours and makes you a complete
pain in the neck to everyone. Pedestals are notoriously
unstable things to sit upon.
some of the writers you know who are shy or perhaps not as
quick and verbally articulate or Ďforcefulí as you may
be but may have written expression and insights superior to
you own. To quote from the Desiderata,í listen to the
dull and ignorant, for they too have their story.í They
may after all, not be so dull.
you do become involved with agents, editors and publishers
treat their opinions and advice with respect. They are the
professionals who will help you achieve your goal. If you
get a reputation for being a difficult writer, the waves you
make will spread quickly across the relatively small pond in
which they swim.
and remember to use at least 80% of the above rules all the
time and remember the old quote
because people don't understand you, it doesn't
automatically make you an artist."