The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – When Writing Hurts

The Writer's Pursuit of Health, When Writing Hurts, Serena Saint-Marceaux, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, health, writing, physical health, pain, dealing with pain

I could talk about how my writing and my emotional state (my mental health) form an interlocking and interdependent superstructure in my psyche, but. . . Well, I’ve already written that post. (Maybe from multiple angles.)

Instead today I’ll talk a little about the way my writing and my physical health interlock – which is not always such a positive foundation.

My physical health can be a tricky thing to quantify (but isn’t it that way for many people? health isn’t so straightforward as we might like, I think) from the easily-labelled (anaemia, RAD, hypotension and hypoglycaemia that when layered cause dizziness and fainting spells, old injuries, etc.) to the mysterious (trouble under direct summer sunlight, overly ‘stretchy’ tendons and slightly flexible bones, ‘migraines’ that black out my vision with no pain, systemic problems rooted in what could be an immune disorder, etc.). Sitting around for long periods is hard on even a healthy body! With one a little more banged up? Well. . . Continue reading

off-balancing act, creative balance, healthy boundaries, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, writing, writers, advice for writers

The Off-Balancing Act: All or Nothing

I think it’s somewhat appropriate that I’m writing this blog post from the backseat of my roommates’ car as we head out for a weeklong work trip. I could have written it this past weekend. I should have. Instead, I spent this weekend furiously finishing up a novel I’ve been working on since November 2014. I couldn’t do anything else until I typed “the end,” which I finally did Sunday afternoon.

This isn’t the first time other things have gotten pushed by the wayside when I work on writing. It probably isn’t even the hundredth.

When I’m writing, I’m writing, and I’m fairly terrible about doing anything else beyond what I absolutely have to. I tend to stay in rather than go out. I go longer between answering texts, I make even fewer calls than I normally do, and my email response time rapidly decreases. Basically, I become a writing hermit.

And then there are the times when I’m not writing, when I’m taking a break between projects or letting a draft cool off before I hop back into editing mode. This is when I take the time to bake bread and cookies, to read books, to write reviews, to critique stories for friends, to actually interact with people like a normal human being.

There isn’t any balance. There aren’t even baby steps. There’s just all or nothing.

Continue reading

Diary Entry: The Seasons of Writing

I’ll be honest – this post snuck up on me, and I’m so sorry if it rambles at times. I really thought I had one more week to take care of it, and with so much on my plate right now, I didn’t know when I would fit it in.

Well… I didn’t, really. It is nearly 10 pm the night before this post is supposed to go live, and I’m just starting on it. I’d much rather be sleeping. I spent 6 hours working in my garden today. My knees hurt, my hands are starting to hurt, and tomorrow is a busy day.

And I had no idea what to say to you wonderful readers here, because the truth is, other than my obligatory (and often, overdue) articles for Fantasy-Faction, I haven’t been doing so great on the writing front lately.

Some of it is that I simply haven’t made time to write – there’s always something else to do. Either something that needs doing, or just something else I’d rather be doing instead. But I’ve also started to notice some patterns to my lack of creative time.  Continue reading

H is for Hangover (From Writing)

H is for Hangover

H is for Hangover

It’s taken me a while to learn this about myself, but I am apparently just not one of those writers that can sit down and pour out a story onto paper until it’s done. Some people can, and that’s awesome. I, however, am just never going to be one of those people.

You see, I can write about 1,000-1,500 words with no problem. A couple of fits and false starts, sure, but eventually my writing will smooth out and I’ll get into the groove of it.

However, invariably, as I pass the 2,000 mark, things start to go a little awry. I’ll start to get physically tired. My mind starts losing focus, wanting to go on and work on other things, like catching up on my missed Supernatural episodes. Usually, this is the point where I give in to my distractions, having achieved a healthy word count for the day.

Sometimes though, (like during NaNoWriMo), I’ll push through. I’ll make myself write another 2,000 words. Or another 3,000 or 4,000. I can push myself up into a 7,000 word count day, and most of those words are good, usable.

The next day? I am nearly physically ill. I’m exhausted. I’m cranky. I don’t even want to hear the word “writing.” If I try to write, I get out 100, maybe 200 words, tops. And a lot of the time, those words are crap and all need to be cut out later.

It finally dawned on me–you can get a writing hangover.

Because I pushed myself so much in one day, trying to crank out word after word, the next day left my creative coffers nearly empty. My muse was dehydrated and craving electrolytes, as it were. I had a hangover from writing.

And just like binge drinking will cause a massive, day-ruining hangover, I’ve learned that binge writing can, too. And frankly, neither kind of hangover is very fun.

So I’ve learned I’m just not built to be the kind of writer that can sit and write 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 words until the story is done. Not without a major price to pay the next morning. I’ve learned to pace myself, and be okay with my 1,500 words days.

So what about you? Have you ever experienced a hangover from writing too much?

– Eris


Overcoming Writing Obstacles: When Life Legitimately Interrupts

Many times, the hardest part about writing is making time for it. We writers are fantastic procrastinators.

Sometimes, though, extenuating circumstances literally wrench the time out of our grasp.

This is what I have been dealing with for almost two years now. I won’t lie and say that I never procrastinate when I could, or rather should, be writing. But I’m also an introvert, and I know that I need time without commitments to recharge – including time where I don’t have to write.

But we’re talking about overcoming obstacles, not personality struggles, at the moment.

What are legitimate obstacles? Continue reading