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Friday, June 3, 2011


Staying In Your Write Mind

As a writer, you already know the health risks that come with spending hours in a chair. Exercise is important to your physical well-being. There’s another part to that equation, though: your mind, that treasure trove of money-making ideas for the next bestseller.

Your brain is already getting plenty of exercise while you hammer out the latest draft of your book. There’s a theory that engaging your brain regularly with stimulating tasks helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. If that holds, we writers should expect to be sharp as a tack for the rest of our lives. But what about the burnout you get after spending all that time plotting how your hero and heroine will reach Happily Ever After? Just as muscles fatigue after hard exercise, your brain needs a rest after all that work.

Sleep is one option ... but don’t count on your brain wanting you to take a restful nap after it’s been running Mach two for eight hours. Your body needs a cooldown after a good run. Your brain needs one too.

Meditation is a wonderful way to eliminate the mental noise after you’re done working for the day. Simply sitting quietly and focusing on one thing, or shutting out stimulation altogether, can quiet your mind and indicate that it’s time to slow down. Try a candle, some music, or a pleasing object. Notice sound, shape, color, or movement. With only one thing to focus on, your brain will relax and ready itself for some much-needed downtime.

Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong are some other possibilities. These disciplines have the added bonus of relaxing mind and body at the same time. My local park offers free classes during the week. Do a search and find one near you, or borrow a DVD from the library on one of these methods. They’re inexpensive. All you need is yourself, some comfortable clothes, and room to move.

Lastly, don’t forget about real life. Talking with other people stimulates different areas of the brain, with the perk of training your ear for character dialogue. You can also turn to other creative outlets, such as painting or gardening, which will likewise switch your mental gears. Take a dog for a walk. Check out some local artists at a coffee shop. Sit on your porch and watch the world go by. After all that work, you deserve a break. The manuscript will still be there tomorrow, waiting for you to return to Mach two.

About Nicki Greenwood

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources. She found her passion in writing stories of romantic adventure, and combines that with her love of the environment. Her works have won several awards, including the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Contest. Her first book, Earth, debuted in 2010 through The Wild Rose Press.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. When she’s not writing, she enjoys the arts, gardening, interior decorating, and trips to the local Renaissance Faire.

WATER - Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press

Water Elemental Morgan Clifton has finally found somewhere to belong. As the chef at a bed-and-breakfast on beautiful Nantucket Island, she uses her gift—the power to manipulate water—to cook for guests, and even influence the weather. At last, she fits in...and then the bottom drops out. The property’s been sold, and the new buyer rattles her peace of mind from the first word out of his mouth.

Businessman Trent Williams lives on dissolving dreams—dismantling properties and selling off the pieces. When he arrives to buy the Seaglass Inn, the last thing he expects to find is a mysterious chef who won’t leave. The more they battle, the more intrigued he is...especially about the secret she’s hiding.

Trent believes in finance, not family. Morgan longs for the ties that bind. Are they running from each other, or are their clashes the first step to finding true happiness?

For more information on her books or upcoming events, visit Nicki’s website at


Jason Barret said...

Hi Nicki, Great advice on keeping grounded. The favorite in our house is Tai Chi.

Earth was great so I'm really looking forward to Water. Congratulations!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Nicki,

I recently got a puppy. I had forgotten how relaxing it is to walk a dog. My family and I have done more walking and talking this month than we've done since the boys were toddlers. So fun.

I remember hearing sections of Water in critique. It's a fantastic story. Good luck with it!

Grace Elliot said...

Lovely post! The main reason I write is because it diverts my attention from reality. I find writing a meditative process that takes me out of myself.
Good luck with your book, it looks great.
Grace x

Nicki Greenwood said...

Thanks so much everyone for your supportive comments.

Ellen, pets are amazing. Just petting my cat and dog brings me back to sane some days!

Jason, I am really enjoying Qigong. It focuses me when my thoughts are going in six directions.

Grace, sounds like you have the best of both worlds - getting the work done AND relaxing! :)