Even Writers Need to Live Healthy

exercise-coupleHealthy Tips for Writers by Janice Ernest

As a writer, I can travel from my office chair to many other worlds and live the vicarious lives of my characters. It is easy to get lost in the story and forget that I need to move also. Writing has the tendency to lead to a most sedentary lifestyle filled with coffee, liquor, lack of exercise, and a decrease in socialization. It can be the most lonely of experiences or the most exhilarating. It is up to the writer to care for themselves as well as their characters. Below are some tips to help keep you and your characters in shape, your creativity flowing, and your social life afloat.

Adequate Sleep—Allow yourself at least 6-8 hours of undisturbed sleep a night. The reason for this: Your brain needs to reboot itself, in order to accept new information or process new information it receives on a daily basis. A mind fresh and ready for thought is a much more efficient, contemplative tool for the writer to have, than a dulled, fuzzy one.

Ways to accomplish this:

· Sleep in a room away from technology, TV, or other distractions.

· Set up an area exclusively for sleep. It will serve as a cue to your body when you enter this area of your home.

· Take time to shower, meditate, or do some other relaxing activity prior to sleep.

· Maintain a slightly cold temperature for sleep, use extra covers when needed.

· Cue your body to a time for sleep. Setting a regular time will teach your body to follow through with your decision.

Adequate Exercise—Physical movement activates the lymph system, the cardiovascular system, the muscular system, and even the skeletal system, along with skin and internal organs. It helps move fluids throughout the body, contributes to creating the pressure necessary to give food to the brain, and makes the heart strong to withstand stress.

In the Morning

Take time to awaken and stretch up and out with arms. While sitting up on the side of the bed, inhale deeply, then exhale slowly seven times. It will bring oxygen to the brain and body. Stretching the muscles awakens them and helps the cardiovascular system to open up and prepare for the day.

Make exercise a daily part of your routine.

  • Take breaks at the end of each hour of writing to get up, move about, pick up, and organize your environment.
    • Change your environment altogether. Allow yourself to go for a walk, or go to a lake, or park, somewhere that will inspire your body and soul.
    • Give yourself the gift of a trip to the gym. Not a drudge trip which must be made daily, but make it a special gift you give yourself because you deserve to be the best physically and mentally you can be.
    • If you are stuck at your desk, practice some isometric exercises you can do right at your desk. Tighten and loosen your buttocks, do leg lifts, reach your arms up and out. Move your neck, look up, down, side, to side. Focus your view on a corner of the room. This will help to relieve the eyestrain that looking at a computer screen all day causes.
    • Sing to something on the radio, or even get up and dance for a few minutes. All movement counts and singing exercises the brain, the vocal chords, and the spirit.
    • Practice some form of movement exercise. TaiChi is my favorite. It allows me to do slow and controlled movements which will assist with my balance and stamina. I also let myself take time to walk each day. I cannot go far, but I go as far as my body will allow. Another good practice is Qi Cong. It is a form of bone washing that is composed of tapping upon the body to stimulate lymph movement and utilize various reflex points within the body to improve general health. Videos of both Qi Cong and TaiChi can be found on YouTube.

    Take Time for Your Spiritual Health

    · One friend I know takes a walk every day down a wooded road to a particular tree. On the way there she allows herself to take in all the scenery around her.  She allows her mind to wander and free itself for the day that is ahead. For me, I like to take a trip to a lake or park and observe and listen to all that is going on around me.

    · Some people read an inspirational book for several minutes, then stop and meditate on it, allow it to sink into their consciousness. I do this, then have a quiet time of contemplation. This helps to relax my mind.

    · Spend time with friends. You don’t have to have 100 friends to be happy. Maybe one or two good friends that you are close to.  Everyone’s spirit calls out for fellowship in one way or another. So, get off your computer, call up someone, meet up and eat, or play together. It will make a big difference in your writing and theirs. Social interaction is one of the most important aspects of learning. Allow yourself to listen and learn from other’s experiences.

    · Have hope. Choose Happiness, and choose life. Always allow yourself permission to know that not everything in life is fun or pleasant, but, know that all will pass and that inside all of your difficulties, somewhere there is something good to be found. Don’t miss the daisy among the fertilizer the world flings. (con. on pg35) Right for You

    · No one else can eat right for you. It is a gift you must give yourself.

    · Start slow and make better choices.

    • One less slice of bread today, or try a less calorie variety.

    Choose to eat fruit instead of cake today.

    Try a new vegetable every week. Become as adventurous with food as you are in your writing. Be creative.

    Drink lots of water. Maintain your hydration.

    Choose to eat with friends at least once every two weeks.

    Enjoy the good food

    More importantly, love well, laugh often, and share with one another. This is good for both spiritual and physical health

    It is my hope that you have found some of the above tips to be helpful. I am sitting here at the computer planning my healthful goals right now. Remember, you are the only one who controls your health as a writer or a human being.  Oh my, look at the time, 2:50 P.M. I’ve gotta go, gotta get some cleaning done in the next five minutes. Hope to see you moving around. Bye for now!




Being in business with yourself and for yourself is not always easy.

When you are self employed, it is up to you to schedule your time wisely, each day. Diligence and routine become important to the discipline of the writer, or any other self employed person.

Below are a few helpful hints for your business, so that it might prosper and not defeat you in the process.

1. Take time today to sit down and write measurable goals for your work. e.g.
I will write a novel in three months to finish on ***date.

2. Now under your larger goal write the steps it will take you to obtain it.
a. I will make time to write at least 1000 words every day as evidenced by the word counter on my computer.
b. I will create a writing space for myself to go as evidenced by a clean desk top and a working computer, as well as coffee when needed.
c. I will exercise at least 5-10 minutes every hour when writing so as to give my mind a rest and my body some energy.

3. Once you have set this initial plan, and established the interventions it will take to get there, it is time to assess your small steps(interventions)

So, you weren’t able to get 1000 words in a day. How many words and how much time can you spend? Reevaluate and set yourself a new set of small steps to reach your goal of a novel in three months.

Just as above mentioned, evaluate all your steps every so often and readjust as needed. Never be sad when you are not perfect, just set yourself up for success one more time.

As an independent sales person I take at least one day a month to set and reassess my goals. It has helped my performance and enhanced my income. Also, life is a lot less stressful as I get more done with a plan.

Pronouns, I’m All For Them


thumbs up man


Pronouns, I’m all for them.

Pronouns are words which masquerade as nouns hiding in plain sight and indicating meaning to the reader. They substitute for specific nouns and are known as the noun’s antecedent.

An example would be:

When the bird warbles, it is happy. (It is the pronoun acting as the antecedent)

Sometimes pronouns will act as adjectives modifying a noun.

An example is:

This pig is the cutest one. (The word ‘this’ is acting like an adjective describing which pig)

This all sounds easy enough—but wait a minute—did you know that pronouns can be: personal, possessive, intensive and reflexive, demonstrative, indefinite, and reciprocal? Continue reading


The cock crowed, the sun rose, and I with my coffee cup sat at the computer thinking about writing. Telling a compelling story is terrific. Writing pages and pages is great, but…am I writing right?

Bound and determined to answer this question I started a quest to review basic grammar over the next few weeks. Today’s lesson:  Nouns

So what are nouns? That is easy enough to answer: Nouns are names of persons, places, things and ideas. Some examples are as follows:

  • Name: John Doe
  • Place: England
  • Thing: dog/ table
  • Idea: democracy/anger/joy

Many nouns are proceeded by articles such as ‘a’, ‘an’, and ‘the’.

A good example would be: The dog sat on the porch.

Now we know how to recognize them, how are they classified and used?

According to A Writer’s Reference, by Diana Hacker nouns are classified as:

  1. 1.     Concrete vs. Abstract
  2. 2.     Proper vs. Common
  3. 3.     Singular, plural, or collective.

Looking at these classifications one by one we see that nouns can be concrete or abstractConcrete nouns point to definite, particular items such as: church, roadway, or orchid and are preferred in most writing since they create a brighter and clearer picture for the reader.  Abstract nouns refer to ideas or qualities such as justice, joy, idealism, or dignity.

Proper nouns refer to specific persons, places, or things and ideas and are capitalized. E.g. Names of gods, Religions, Religious Followers, sacred books, family relationship titles used as names, particular places, nationalities, and races/tribes, languages, educational institutions, specific departments, governmental departments, organizations, political parties, events, documents, months, holidays (does not include the seasons), time periods, degrees, and historical movements. Nouns which are not capitalized are considered to be common.

Last, but by no means least, nouns can be singular, plural, and collective. Collective nouns are nouns such as family, class, troupe, which name a class or a collective group. They usually distinguish the group as a single unit and can be treated as singular nouns. E.g. The jury debated the verdict. Jury in the previous sentence refers to the jury as a unit and therefore is treated as a singular noun.

Jury can be used as a plural noun simply by implying each juror debated. E.g. The jury is debating the verdict amongst themselves. (In this sentence we imply that each jury member has a say in the verdict, so the noun jury becomes plural in order to represent each member of the group.

 Nouns can also be possessive and require an apostrophe.  When nouns indicate ownership, such as Jan’s cards, or Jack’s paper, they are possessive and require an apostrophe. A good test to see if an apostrophe is needed is to turn the phrase into an ‘of phrase.’ For instance using the examples mentioned above in this paragraph:  Jan’s cards would be ‘the cards of Jan’ and Jack’s paper would be the ‘papers of Jack’ and thus would need an apostrophe.

What started out to be a leisurely stroll through basic grammar has already shown me that there is much to learn. It is nearly noon; my sandwich and soup are calling. Think that afterward I’ll pick up some already completed writing and circle all the nouns for practice. That will keep me busy until next week when I post: Pronouns, I’m all for them.


On The Write

As an aspiring author, the desire to be published often blinds the new writer as they navigate the pathway to publication. They find themselves impatient and willingly fall in with the first publisher who makes them an offer. Lacking knowledge of the publishing business, and not having investigated the many options available to them, they are often sucked into regrettable situations.

Thankfully, for the new writer, and old, there is a website www.preditorsandeditors.com which offers information regarding many publishers and gives the following list of rules for spotting a ‘Scam Publisher’.

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Life: How Time’s Spent

“Come and sit by the bed would you? And bring a box of Kleenex; we’re going to need it.”  Her fragile hand reached out to me in the darkened hospital room, beckoning me nearer. Moonlight streamed in through the window, highlighting the white hair on her head and deepening the creases in her once beautiful face. I sat down beside her and handed her the box of Kleenex which she held close to her chest, as she
pushed the button to raise her head up. “I want to talk to you about something really important.”

Laugh, Write, Type

Several years ago, a few ladies volunteered at the church to come in one day a week and help fold the Sunday programs. On this particular fall Tuesday afternoon they sat chatting and folding when the pastor rushed into the room and commanded, “Stop! Immediately!”

He then stomped out of the room. The ladies were shocked.

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Celebrate New Baby Website!

I always thought building a blog or website called for the genius of a small child or a grown child with an IPAD.  Without either, the need for a website could only be fulfilled in one way.

More and more the need was upon me. My internet clock was ticking and the world of the web was moving on without me. Somewhere out there, in the cloud, the idea first occurred, radiating down until it became a gleam in my eye. I want to have a website and blog before my internet clock stops ticking. I want to do ecommerce tonight; I want to politicize the world.

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