When I’m really deep into a writing project, I can sit at a keyboard for hours and not notice the passage of time, until some body part—usually my neck or shoulders—calls a time out. If I wait until that happens to stop, and then I stand up…ouch! My muscles are stiff and my limbs resist straightening. I have aches on top of my aches. That’s the point at which I usually call it a day. But what if I didn’t wait for my body to cry out in protest? What if I gave myself a break?
If I treated my writing time more mindfully, I would set an alarm for an hour max. At the buzz or ding or piano riff, I would take an energy break. An energy break might require water to rehydrate or a light snack, but most of all it would require movement.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to take an energy break:
- do a Tai Chi form
- do Qigong exercises
- do stretches
- take a short walk
- dance to a couple of songs.
An energy break should rev you up again, not wear you out or move you too far from your writing desk/tablet/notebook. It should re-oxygenate your brain. It should add a few new waves to the flow of ideas. Most of all, it should recharge your writing batteries so that you can write more pages.
Energy Breaks can also help…
- when you’re stuck
- when that *#! little ball starts spinning on your screen
- when you’ve been interrupted and can’t get back into the flow
- when the cat jumps on the keyboard and wipes out a whole morning’s work.
Think about it: when you have a “real” job in a “real” workplace, the government requires your boss to give you breaks. At the writing keyboard, you’re the boss. So give yourself an energy break, as often as you need one.
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Yep, I get those same aches and pains. I sit way too long. Thanks for the reminder to s-t-r-e-t-c-h.
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