Thursday, March 13, 2014

Take Your Writing Vitamins

Everyone knows that a healthy mind in a healthy body blah blah blah. So you take care of yourself, right? Riiiigghtt!

Exercise, eat right, take the supplements you need. So we go for balanced meals, cut out the fast food, and snack on fruits and veggies. And we ingest our calcium, krill oil, and multi-vitamin for Vitamins A, B, C, D and the rest of the alphabetic iteration.

But exercise? For some of us, that’s harder. Our job is to plant our seat (not seed) and let words flow forth. Umm. That didn’t come out (this is getting worse) quite right. But you know what I mean.

Our job is to sit there until we’ve met some pre-established objective--number of pages, number of words, working out a knotty scene, and so on. Getting to the gym or even taking a walk can be tough to schedule in. There’s always one more blog to write, one more set of Twitter postings, one more scene that’s really close to coming together-maybe, sorta, kinda.

Not much I can do about that, but during the writing process I can assure you that taking your writing vitamins will help you be more productive. Just as you want your body fit, your writing soul also needs attention. Here are your writing vitamins so you can crank it out.

One of the most important writing vitamins for accomplishment is Vitamin G. Setting Goals gives you a target, a focus, a raison d’etre for writing. Intermediate and long-term Goals keep you on track.

Using Vitamin L--Learn--probably happens naturally for you every day. But be more mindful of your Learning about your craft or writing business and share it on your blog. Let others know what you have found out about writing. Writing is a mode of Learning (Janet Emig). When you write about what you learn, you cement it for yourself.

Vitamin S may be the most important one. Show up for work. Yes, writing is your work, your job, even if a second one at this point. Without recognizing that commitment to job responsibility, you can easily find reasons to not write. Trust me, writing every day, without fail, will result in Vitamin G having its full effect.

Vitamin P must be taken with Vitamin S. Protect your writing time. Be ruthless. Bargain. Lie (oh, not really). Do what it takes for you to be able to Show up and accomplish your Goals.

Vitamin M will aid your production by making you more efficient. Move at least every two hours. The data about sitting is really devastating! We need to stand and move when possible. Set a timer (I have to because I lose track of time) and take a potty or beverage break. Walk around the house. Jog in place. Return phone call and walk around as you talk. MOVE!

And your last writing vitamin is Vitamin I. Ignore writing advice (except for this, of course). Should you plot to within an inch of the scenes or should you get “in the flow” and let it roll? Should you stick with one genre and get really good at that one or bounce among genres depending on your interests and the stories batting at your head? Ignore any advice that doesn’t feel right with this story at this time. That is not to say that you can’t read others’ suggestions. Sure pick their brains. But remember, there is NO one way to write a book. Or someone would have found it and everyone would use it. So ignore what doesn’t mesh. And incorporate what does.

What are your writing vitamins? Attend to your writing health as much as that of your body and mind.


  1. This was such fun to read. It also has great advise. Thanks for the delightful post.

    1. Thanks so much, Neva! It was fun to write, too. Thank you for coming by and commenting. Hope to see you again!