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.
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.