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 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 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 http://www.nickigreenwood.com.