35 Tips to a Healthier Writer You in 2022

It’s the holidays and your non-writing mind may be on giving gifts to others. That’s wonderful, but consider giving a writer-centric gift to yourself. Writers are often workaholics to their physical detriment. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of better health. There are 35 tips to make you a healthier writer in 2022 on the Writers in the Storm Blog. This is a sample of that post.

Image: for the blog post called 35 tips to a healthier writer you in 2022 this image Has:  sitting on the right corner of a wooden table top is a package wrapped in black paper and a teal blue ribbon. On the right are the words, Health is a gift that gives all year.

Please note that this is not medical advice. If you have symptoms of repetitive stress injuries or any chronic medical issues, consult your personal health care provider before changing your work environment or habits.

For Your Eyes

Focusing on the computer screen makes the user blink thirty to fifty percent less frequently than normal. This causes dry, red, gritty-feeling eyes, and eyestrain.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a lot to say about how to avoid eye strain. The essentials are:

  • Keep the computer 25 inches (an arm’s length) away from your face.
  • The top of the monitor should be at eye level.
  • Reduce glare by repositioning lights or using an anti-glare filter.
  • Give your eyes a 20-20-20 break. Every twenty minutes, look twenty feet away for twenty seconds.
  • Use a desktop humidifier or artificial tears.
  • Natural lighting is best. A combination of natural and artificial light will also work.
  • Adjust the brightness of your room (or screen) so your screen is less bright than the room lights.

For Your Hands and Arms

  • Find a keyboard that allows your wrists to be in a neutral position (not flexed). 
  • Your mouse should be in easy reach of your dominant hand. Or you can use a foot controlled mouse.
  • Try to keep your arms parallel to the floor.
  • Avoid resting your arms on the edge of the keyboard, desk, or table.
  • Elbows should be at 100 to 110 degrees. This means your keyboard should be slightly higher in the back of it, so use those little feet on your keyboards.

Please read the remaining 23 tips to a Healthier Writer You in 2022 on the WITS blog.

Image Credits

Top Image by Harry Strauss from Pixabay 

5 Tips For Staying Motivated

It’s the “lazy hazy days of procrastination” in Kansas. Motivation? It’s too hot. Focus? There are swimming pools and parties and picnics calling you. Not getting far on that project of yours? Here are five tips for staying motivated during the lazy hazy days of summer (or any time of year.)

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar

Get Started

There will be days when you don’t feel like working. Do it anyway. Take a small step. If necessary, take a tiny step. But do it. Once you’ve taken that first step, no matter how small, the next step is easier.

Can’t get started? Check out my post on creating the life you want. It discusses a 5-second rule that might change your life.

Starve your distractions. Feed your focus.


Reduce Distractions

This is a big one for me. And yes, there are some distractions (husband and kids and family) one cannot simple “reduce.”

When my son was very young it was difficult to find the time and quiet to write. Then, when he got a little older, I used a noisy timer. I’d set it for ten minutes at first. When he could hear the ticking he wasn’t supposed to interrupt Mommy. Of course he did. Inevitably, not five minutes into my writing session he’d come to my desk.

Son: “Mom, Mom, Mom…” Mom: “Is it on fire?”
Son: “No.”
Mom: “Is it bleeding?”
Son: shakes his head
Mom: “Is it dead?”
Son: “No.” usually accompanied by an eye roll or two
Mom: “Then it’s not an emergency, come back when the timer rings.”

Today, I my son is grown. Now I distract myself–a lot. The internet is my big distraction. From social media to web-based games to “research,” I’m quick to go down the rabbit hole. There’s web based software that helps control internet distractions. Some software blocks certain sites. One piece of software I use keeps track of the time I spend on the device (phone, computer, or iPad). When I see my time go up, I re-evaluate and usually learn I need to refocus.

Boost Your Energy

Play music that gives you energy. This is huge for me. I have a playlist of music I call high energy. When I’m cleaning house or exercising that’s the music I play.

I have another playlist that’s for writing. Those pieces are dramatic and emotional.

Find the music that gets you going. Don’t know what to play? Youtube is a great place to try out a wide variety of music. See what came up when I searched for energy boosting music.

The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

Neil Gaiman

Know Your Why

Remember where you started and why. It’s probably the best motivation you have. If you haven’t already, write down your reasons why you first wanted to do this thing that seems so hard now. Rekindling your passion will be the best motivation.

Looking down at two pair of feet on a patio with the words "passion led us here." One of five tips for staying motivated.

See the Big Picture

Make a visual, something that represents you achieving your goal. What will it look like? How will you feel?

Put that visual somewhere you will see it every day. Seeing your goal helps you reach your goal.

Tips for Staying Motivated

Quote on black background, "You didn't come this far to only come this far." 5 Tips for staying motivated

Summertime is full of distractions and heat and other things that can de-motivate you. Follow these five tips for staying motivated. Keep working toward your goals regardless of the procrastination season you’re in. Please share other tips or motivational tools that have worked for you in the comments below.