Monday, March 14, 2011

I Think Writing Might Be Bad For My Health

I needed an epic writing day last week to launch myself into the third act of my book. So, on Friday I sent the kids off, turned the heat waaaaay down in my house and made a pot of coffee. Springsteen on repeat, no television - off I went. Six hours later, one phone call with Sinead to get myself out of the corner I had written myself into, a bag of carrots and half a loaf of raisin bread later - 5,000 words.

I was wired and exhausted, my head hurt, my heart was racing. I felt like for six hours of sitting I just rode adrenaline, which is crazy! I was eating toast and sitting, what did I need the adrenaline for?

After all that I turned on the news to see what had happened in Japan, and spent the next several hours crying. I went to bed in the clothes that I slept in the night before and that I wrote in all day. I couldn't fall asleep until three a.m. because of emotion and a brain that wouldn't stop.

The next day I still didn't feel right, so after our TRW meeting, I drank a bunch of beer to relax. That worked. But OH MY LORD! This is not good. This is not a healthy life.

At least once a book I have a day like this, I don't think it can be avoided. But what effects has writing had on your health? (As I write this, my back is practically bent in, we can start with posture!)

My prayers and hope are with everyone in Japan or who have loved ones there...what a nightmare.


Karen Whiddon said...

What you just said is EXACTLY why I started going to the gym. I make myself go. 30 minutes a day.

Because I do the same thing. Sit all day, drink beer to relax, lay in bed unable to sleep. If I don't exercise, the pounds start packing on, the blood pressure goes up, and I get blinding headaches.

But wow - a 5000 word day? Amazing.

Sinead M said...

That is amazing. 5000 words in a day is ridiculous.
There is no healthy to writing, either emotionally, or mentally.
We have to ensure that when we're not writing... what am I saying.
Let's try and workout to balance the drinking that the writing makes us do.

Maureen McGowan said...

I think the key is exercise, too. Not that I get any. Stretching helps even if I don't manage to work out. And congrats again on your epic day!!!!

Eileen said...

The ever-widening butt. The aching back. The carpal tunnel. No. Probably not the healthiest profession.

On the other hand, I feel like writing is often free therapy. I work out a lot of issues on the page. :-)

Stephanie Doyle said...

I need therapy a couple of times a year on the neck and arm. Works wonders.

But writing is such a profession that beats you up. I totally get Hemmingway and drinking now!

And when you're in full blown mode like that sometimes it just won't let you go.

Kristina Mathews said...

This blog is exactly what I needed today. Instead of working on the sagging middle of my story, I headed to my excercise class to work on the sagging around my middle. Strong abs equal a strong back.

On the other hand, if I don't get to my writing I am up all night and lack of sleep is worse than lack of excercise.

I hope you find that balance because I love your writing. I just finished HIS WIFE FOR ONE NIGHT, I won it on the SuperRomance Blog. Thank you so much.

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