Non-Writing Things To Do When Writing

1. Protect your wrists. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is not fun and – frustratingly – doesn’t go away completely if you give your wrist a short reprieve. That wrist will always be weak. Consider wearing a wrist brace if you intend to be doing many hours of typing every day and make sure your workspace is as wrist-friendly as possible. A slanting computer-fan-pan beneath a computer can help to make the angle your wrists sit at more natural.

2.Be selfish. If you really want to get something done, or want to dedicate a specific time each day to writing, it can be a real disaster to say yes to helping people all the time (especially with big tasks like doing house-renovations on a time-limit), so psych yourself up for saying “no” sometimes. Have a bare minimum of writing time which you will not give up and stick to it (even organising a funeral or taking care of someone’s toddlers does not require you to give up every non-working hour of your day, every day!). If your friends or family complain that it’s “Selfish” of you to want some time for something that’s important to you instead of doing something for them, just say “Yes, I’m being selfish” and close the topic, since they’re unlikely to respond well if you point out their hypocrisy.

3. Avoid exhausting tasks. While doing some exercise before writing can help to get the mind active, doing too much of anything exhausting (physical labour, household chores, soul sucking work, and emotionally draining situations) can leave you too tired to think or type.

4. Stop Reading. Reading is an excellent way to see what’s been done, get ideas (“why didn’t they do [blah]? This would be cooler with tyrannosaurs in T-4s!”), and discover new forms in the mechanics of writing. However, this also always leads to some bleed over (be it idea, tone, pace, or otherwise) and it is a good idea to stop reading about a week before you are actually going to start a project, so that your mind has time to digest and analyse everything from someone else’s work and then clear all that away to focus on your own stuff. Clearing the stage, so to speak.

5. Focus From Awakening. If you wake up and think about what you are writing about, then let your mind wander to the movie you watched yesterday or the big project at work that you can’t do anything about right now or the gossip from your friends and family, by the time you sit down to write your mind is no longer focused on creating and holding up a whole other world and you will get distracted by every little passing thought related to other things. If you check all of your usual sites on the internet rather than the bare minimum, hours will pass before you even start to write and there will always be one more thing to do on the net.


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