How Staying Healthy Can Make You A Better Writer

By on August 25, 2016
How Staying Healthy Can Make You A Better Writer - Writer's Life.Org

Writing is a fantastic job, it’s creative, exciting and can be incredibly rewarding too.

However, there are also some downsides to being a writer, ones that perhaps you simply take for granted as being part of the job, but can have a rather detrimental effect on your health. Whatever job you have, it is important to stay healthy to do it well.

Being a writer is no different.

So here are some things to look out for - pay attention to them and make sure you don’t fall into an unhealthy writing slump!


If you write a lot, it is likely that the majority of your working day is taken up by sitting at your computer, typing away. Sitting for long periods of time at a desk (or curled up on one's sofa as I tend to be) can have a detrimental effect on your health. You need to get up, stretch your legs and walk around every couple of hours. Getting away from your computer screen at regular intervals is good for your eyes, your stress levels, and your body too. If you do have to sit for extended periods of time, think about your posture - make sure you are sitting in a sensible position otherwise a stiff back and neck awaits - and potentially more severe problems down the line too.

We writers love our coffee! Coffee goes hand in hand with those long hours where you are just completely immersed in your writing and don’t want to tear yourself away. Coffee is our life juice; it keeps us going.

However, too much of a good thing is going to have a knock-on effect when it comes to your health. Try switching some of those caffeine cups for glasses of water to make sure you keep hydrated and alert (not wild-eyed and buzzing).


Most writers have had their fair share of rejection over the course of their career. There is no other job quite like writing where you have to keep putting yourself out there and be able to cope with being told you aren’t good/creative/interesting enough - yet somehow find the strength and determination to keep going regardless.

Finding ways to deal with rejection and use it to your advantage are so important if you want to be in the writing game for the long haul.


Writers work when it suits them. This is one of the beautiful things about the job. However, if you find that you are most creative in the middle of the night, or the wee small hours of the morning, this can have a rather detrimental effect on the amount of sleep you get.

Try to pay attention to your sleeping pattern and find a way to make sure you get enough shut-eye to function like a normal(ish) human being.


Deadlines, marketing plans, grumpy editors, sleepless nights, being overly self-critical - the list goes on. It is fair to say that writers suffer from a good deal of stress from time to time.

It is important to recognise when you are feeling this way and have effective coping mechanisms in place to deal with stress. These might include taking up meditation, going for a massage, stomping around in the countryside or just having the night off with a glass of wine and a movie - whatever you do to unwind, make sure you make the time to do it.

Solitary working

More often than not, writers tend to be solitary creatures. While working alone may feel glorious to some, it is important to occasionally poke your head over the top of your computer and check that the real world is still turning out there. If you spend a lot of your day working alone, try to make sure you go out into the world and interact with other people too!

Making sure you stay healthy as a writer is so important. So try to always be aware of how you are feeling, and make the time to look after yourself - if you burn yourself out, then it will be your writing that suffers after all.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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