Strategies to Reach 50k: Stamina

The Runner.
The Runner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One often overlooked element of writing is stamina. Writing stamina is linked not only to attention span, imagination, and will-power but also to physical well-being. When you really get into a project, you may forget to take care of yourself. As a result, your writing stamina goes down and you start producing less.

If you have low writing stamina, a good way to quickly build your stamina is to resume (or start) a healthier life-style.

  • Food. If you plan to write, it makes sense to avoid foods that slow your mind. Simple carbohydrates (like in potatoes and white bread) make some people sleepy because of how their bodies break down the sugars, starches, and fiber. Fats (like in grease and fried foods) and red meats slow the mind down because the body has to divert extra energy into digesting them. Simple sugars (like in candy and pastries) may give quick energy but this “high” is followed by a greater “down”.

  • Sleep. Not just how many hours matters, but also how regular your sleep pattern is. Sleep is important for your immune system, your energy levels, your concentration, and your creativity. I am an advocate of naps but be careful that the naps don’t throw you off your sleep schedule!

  • Exercise. All the health benefits of exercise can be applied to your writing. And you can do brief exercises during your breaks to relievee tension and boost energy. Furthermore, you can choose a sport or martial art that can inspire your writing.

  • Breaks. I have struggled with guilt every tie a take breaks but of the ten writers I asked, all ten said taking breaks helped their stamina.

  • Recharge. Recharging means more than stepping away from your keyboard, typewriter, or notebook. Recharging means doing activities that will actually restore your energy, motivation, and fuel your imagination. Mind-numbing activities can provide a break from reality for awhile but for the most part they fail to do those three things.

This blog does not place an emphasis on healthy living but I thought a reminder of its relevance to your writing would be worth your time. Mind and body are intricately connected. Take care of both.

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