So grab that cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy. 🙂
♥ ♥ ♥
In a past life, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a wellness educator and stress management instructor. I still teach a few classes here and there, but this background has actually been quite helpful to me in the publishing industry (shocking, I know!). So with NaNoWriMo kicking off, the holidays coming up, and deadlines galore year-round, I thought I’d share some quick and easy tips to help you all reign in the sanity and keep your Zen pools half-full.
Get up and move at least 10 minutes every hour. Ugh, I know I’m saying this as I’m nagging authors about deadlines, but hear me out. Sitting for hours on end without getting up to walk, stretch, or do other activities puts you at greater risk for a heart attack, spinal issues, and chronic pain. Recent studies have shown that even people who work out regularly are at risk, too.
So set a timer for yourself to get up and do some yoga, go for a brisk walk around the block, or even one try of those super-fast exercise DVDs that can be done in 10 minutes. Buy yourself a pedometer and get at least 10,000 steps every day, or rig your treadmill with one of those snazzy desks so you can walk while you write. Just find something you can stick with that will make you want to get up and move.
Feed Your Mind and Body
What comes in must come out, so fill your body and your brain with nothing but the good stuff. At the beginning of the week chop up veggies, fruits, and other goodies so they’re easily available. Fruits and vegetables actually increase heart and brain function, which is essential when you’re in the midst of deadline hell. Avoid anything that comes premade in a box or that you can get from a drive-thru window—this stuff is actually going to hurt rather than help.
Something I’ve done in the past is once a month cooking. You can check out the various cookbooks and websites, but the concept is simple—shop for your food one day a month, spend the next day preparing and freezing, and simply thaw and cook it each day. My family loves this!
Make time for yourself to read, take a class, or veg out with a great movie. I think we all know what it’s like when the creativity well is drying up, so it’s important that we fill it often enough that it stays at least somewhat filled on a day-to-day basis.
Spend quality time with your friends and family, and get out of the house here and there. Such a tough balance! On one hand you have to cultivate these relationships because they’re so crucial to your mind, body, and spirit. But on the other, you know you have deadlines to meet and promo to do, so it’s essential to create boundaries and stick to them.
I’ve worked from home for about the last year and I know how it is when your loved ones call with the belief that working from home equates to endless free time. So I’ve had to create set work hours and be a complete hard ass about them or the work will never get done. During my set non-work hours I chat with friends, do homework with the kids, and just hang out with the fam. And yes, there are exceptions to every rule—just be sure you think hard about when you really need to break them.
I hope everybody has fantastic success with NaNo, deadline hell, and whatever else you pursue in the meantime. Good luck!
About Libby Murphy, Associate Editor
Although she holds a BS in public health, Libby’s true love has always been books. She writes urban fantasy for adults and young adults, has a minor in writing, and has worked as a freelance writer and editor.
Libby would like to see submissions for adults and young adults written with a killer voice, and she especially loves quirky characters and plots. She loves sci-fi with aliens, robots, and high tech; urban fantasy and time travel; contemporary romance; women’s fiction with a strong romantic element; and suspense and mysteries. She craves humor, anti-heroes, and underdogs, and strong, capable heroines are a must.