3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Writing

What effect, if any, do you think the amount of sleep you get nightly at has on your writing? What about the food you eat on a day to day basis? And the amount of water you drink?

If you haven’t thought about any of those questions, you should.

I used to stay up every night finishing projects, completing articles, and posting on this blog. I was getting around five to six hours of sleep nightly, and then waking up and starting everything over again. I didn’t realize the cumulative toll it was taking because the individual withdrawals were so small.

Then about two weeks ago, I drastically rearranged my working schedule. I started going to bed earlier and averaging around ten hours of sleep a night instead of five. I started drinking two glasses of water a day and eating three solid meals consisting of good, wholesome food instead of quick snacks of chips and pizza scattered throughout the day.

And…

I was startled how clear my thinking became and how quickly I could now finish an article. A blog post that would’ve taken me about two hours now takes about forty minutes. With my mind and thought processes no longer clouded by the need for sleep and impeded with fatty foods, my writing kicked into overdrive. 

Now, I realize getting ten hours of sleep a night isn’t possible for everyone. One blogger commented on another post and told me she’s a nurse in the ER department of a hospital. She works a lot of overtime shifts, and gets little to no sleep on certain nights, which tends to throw off her entire week.

But as a general rule, creating the habit of healthfulness by drinking plenty of water, getting at least seven hours of sleep, and eating decent food is within reach of most writers. All it takes is a little tweaking of your current habits and suddenly you’ll see the results yourself.

I’m still slightly in shock at the change I feel in myself every day. I go to my computer and my writing business with eagerness now, instead of dread. I don’t fantasize about my pillow as often and can completely focus on the tasks at hand.

Give it a try and let me know how it affects your life. Or, if you know the effects a decent lifestyle can have on your writing from a first hand basis, leave a comment and tell me your how you did it. Or…if you completely disagree and vehemently protest that my experience is totally off-base, let me know and we’ll talk!

But I’m sure most writers wont argue the positive benefits. It’s the day to day routine, not the theory, that trips us up.

 

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9 Responses to 3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Writing

  1. maylawinter says:

    I completely agree that our lifestyle (especially what we put in our bodies) does make a difference on how we feel, act, and work. My mom is a NTP (Nutritional Therapist Practitioner) you should check out her blog; http://www.nutritionvermont.wordpress.com

    And I personally know how staying hydrated makes you feel better, I used to get medium/bad headaches at least twice a week, my mom was taking her NTP course during that time and when she learned how important hydration was she started making me drink more water ( you are supposed to drink your body weight divided by 2 in oz example; you weigh 120 you should drink 60 oz of water daily) within a week my headaches disappeared, and once in a while when I wouldnt drink enough water Bam! a headache. Water is definetely important!!
    Mayla

    • So I checked out your mom’s blog like you said I should.
      I just want to tell everyone, You need to click on the link above and visit this site! There’s tons of good advice and some superb writing. The modern parable post alone is worth the time you spend reading.
      Thanks for pointing it out to me Mayla!

  2. the2shulers says:

    This is good advice and insight. I consider myself somewhat of a poet. I like to do spoken word poetry, and I find that, definitely, when I’m well rested, not hungry or thirsty, my mind is clearer and I write my best stuff. I have to get back on the wagon in this type of self care though!
    -Stacey (of TheShuBoxx)

    • Spoken word poetry?
      As in slam poetry? I haven’t heard that term before and it intrigues me. I’m a big fan of oral poetry (Beowulf, Homer, Sandburg)…is that what you mean? I’m quite interested.

      • the2shulers says:

        From my understanding slam poetry is more quick and more emotionally charged, it’s common to be in a competition with slam …a “spoken word” is a step up emotionally from just reading a poem, one can add music to it, with or without music- it’s more hip hop-ish.

        What I like to do is memorize my poem (this free’s up my hands when on stage) and try to get the audience to connect emotionally with the content. Many of my works are like stories I’ve heard, my experiences, etc. 🙂 Here’s one example of an old one I did. I’d call it a mixture of a few styles of poetry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPH-OdUwS34

        -Stacey

      • So, quick technical problem and explanation – WordPress for some reason won’t let me directly reply to the comment beneath this one, so I’m trying to circumvent the system in this post.
        To Stacy: I respectfully want to hear more of your poetry! So much of the talent that used to find expression in traditional poetry has been transferred to the rap and hip-hop genre. I loved the expression you give your voice as you speak. Well done, and if you have anymore links, please feel more than free to post them!

  3. Freedomborn says:

    Hi Jordon, I do agree with you , your points for a better output are very good and have much Truth. What we focus on is also very important … rubbish in, rubbish out as they say but also we need to have a good foundation in our life, so our heart thoughts will lead to constructive and benificial actions.

    Many Blessing for the New Year from both of us – Anne.

    • An excellent point, and worthy of full philosophical consideration.
      Too many writers with talent believe that their gift allows them full liberty and opportunity to act as they wish, hurting anyone and everyone they touch. A solid foundation, a worldview, a philosophy, a vision of this world; all these are necessary for powerful writing.
      A timely reminder! Thank you!

  4. Freedomborn says:

    Hi again Jordan I don’t think your technical problem is caused by WordPress but someone using their controls, so it’s good you were able to resolve it.

    You may have discerned that I’m a Christian so when I talk about having a strong, good foundation it is a Godly one ( see below ) Thank you for your encouragement, hopefully we will be able to continue to share together.

    Philippians 4 ( 8- 9 ) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

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