HEALTHY WRITERS—LESSONS FROM SCHOOL

Hi SEers! What does it mean to be a healthy writer? Do you eat lots of broccoli, run marathons, or write a lot? It’s mixed in there somewhere. To find that balance, I looked to a time when things were planned out for us or those school days from childhood. Here, I’ll stick to a more traditional school day over homeschooled. Although, I would imagine there would be a schedule similarly set.

What does being in school have to do with writing? Let me take you through a day and show you.

  • First, there is a set time to get up. It is necessary to get dressed, eat breakfast and maybe make the bed. There is a plan in place for lunch to either buy or bring one. Teeth brushed, hair combed, and all necessary grooming down; there is a rush to greet the day. Writers need to prepare themselves to write in the same fashion.
  • Once prepared for the day, the student would hop on a school bus, get a ride, or walk to school with friends. It’s here that this student will catch up and socialize with other students, or even parents. Communicating with other writers is very beneficial and adds a necessary support system.
  • Arriving at the destination and hear that bell ring. Time to get to class where the student learns and works. Do they spend all day doing the same thing? No. The day is broken into many subjects that include English, Math, History, and Science. Writing is composed of different parts with writing, editing, research, and experimenting.
  • Is the whole day spent at that desk learning? No. There are snack breaks, lunch, art, music, and the best part, recess. Back then, we took care of our mind and body. We played and interacted with our friends again. Writers should make sure they eat, move around, and feed that creativity.
  • When the final school bell rings, time to put away that day’s work and head home. Usually, there’s homework to attend to, but not before a nice snack and a quick cartoon or a bike ride. Even if there is more work, writers need to take breaks. It clears the mind and can be inspiring.
  • After a long day, the student cleans up, brushes their teeth, and winds down by reading a good book. This winding down period is essential after a busy day for a writer, whether with a book, a phone call, journaling, or zoning out watching TV.
  • After such an accomplished day, sleep should come easy for the student and writer. It can take them to new worlds to be explored in their dreams.

This is how a day can be set up for a writer like a school day when personal interactions, learning, playing, physical activity, and nutrition were important. Writers need similar components in their schedules with a variety of topics, writing, exercise, social media, education, research, and a few good writing buddies. All these put together just so make for a healthy writer.

How about you? What’s a part of your writing day?

66 thoughts on “HEALTHY WRITERS—LESSONS FROM SCHOOL

  1. This is really great advice. I am doing really badly with interacting with other writers. I do read numerous articles by writers though. The problem for me with putting this advice in practice is that I’m writing while at university and with a part time job. I however draw inspiration from these parts of my day but cannot prepare as meticulously as full time writers, but I do try to do so.

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  2. A great scheduling!;-) I love the new offer from our postal service, getting very early in the morning an email with a reminder on later arriving letters. So I can get annoyed from seven o’clock if the wrong letters will arrive. Lol Than the nine to five hurdle jumping is in sight. Best wishes, Michael

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  3. An excellent comparison, Denise. Something for me to strive for as my day is a complete frantic multi-tasking mess. Ha ha. I always say… “As soon as I finish this or that, I’ll eat something or stretch a little,” and I never do. I promise I’ll do better in October! All kidding aside, this is a very important message. Thanks for the reminder.

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    • Thanks, Diana 🙂 I say the same thing and another hour or two flies by. Either its just one more chapter or I need to just finish one more thing. I am getting better about standing while writing. I think its a reminder we all need.

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  4. Great analogy, Denise! I especially like the point about giving ourselves a break. It’s not healthy to sit in front of a computer screen all day and become sedentary. Everyone has to find what works for them, but my mind goes into full creative mode when walking or using a piece of exercise equipment. I love to exercise earlier in the day and then try to ride that creative wave.

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    • Thank you, Pete 🙂 Yes, so important to give ourselves a break and move around. I try to alternate sitting and standing while at the computer. Exercise does inspires me. I love how you describe it as riding a creative wave after. Walking grounds me after writing or I can be inspired if I need to write.

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    • Hi Priscilla:) That’s perfect you have that morning movement scheduled in your day. It does make all the difference. I used to use the elliptical and come up with ideas, plots, or just day dream too. Then I’d walk later in the day to wind down and ground myself after writing. Still trying to get back into that routine but so worth it.

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  5. What a fabulous post, Denise! This is such a great analogy and comparison. I loved school, especially elementary school. I thrived on that pre-planned structure. As an adult, some days often don’t have a lot of structure, and on those days I flounder. This is a wonderful reminder about priorities and to always save a little room for play and exercise. Thank you for this! I truly needed it!

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    • Thank you, Jan 🙂 I find I do better when my time is limited and I’m forced to plan. Although I do tend to forget the moving around and playing part, which I need! We allneed that balance.

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  6. Pingback: Stop by and say hi! #HEALTHY #WRITERS LESSONS FROM SCHOOL. #StoryEmpire #writingcommunity #indieauthors #authors #writing – Author D.L. Finn

  7. Wonderful analogy, Denise! Over these last few years, my daily routine has shifted a bit. Imagining a school setting puts time/place/goals in perspective. Thank you! 😊

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    • Thank you, Gwen 🙂 I find my rountines are always shifting as life does. Trying to find thst balance though is always a challenge and I noticed kids know how to play and work.

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    • Sorry, Harmony. I had some good and bad experiences back then. Now, I look at it through the eyes of my grandkids and get their joy of school and lessons to be learned. I agree balance is do important for each writer and person.

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  8. This is a timely post for me, Denise, as I’ve transitioned from working full time to becoming a full-time writer. I’m learning my way around, so to speak. Good comparison about school being different subjects and writing not being just writing.

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    • Nice to make that transaction , Joan! Congrats:) I would image it will require some new and fun approaches to the day. Yes, writing is so much more than just writing, which makes it so interesting and a challenge.

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  9. I loved this comparison between our old school days and writing, Denise. It brought back wistful memories of childhood.
    Because I work full-time most of my writing is done on weekends, with a few other hours grabbed here and there. I am horribly guilty of not getting up and moving around when I do write. I used to take regular breaks and need to get back in the mindset of doing that again!

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    • Thanks, Mae 🙂 It is fun to think of those youthful days of school. It does make us want to use every hour devoted to writing, to write, when on a limited schedule. I’m like you, and forget to take breaks to move around or even rest my eyes and I pay for it later.

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  10. For years, my writing life was like the plate-spinner on the old Ed Sullivan show. The tradeoff between work and writing went round and round until something came crashing down. Thankfully, I’m passed that stage of life. Here’s hope for those still amid balancing activities—the chops earned while plate-spinning are paying great dividends!

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    • Trying to balance it all does seem like balancing those plates, good comparison 🙂 A plate will fall here and there. Glad to hear you are past the balancing act and took away the lessons from it, Grant.

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