Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Most Important Tip for Writers and Readers

Today I want to talk to you all about something authors rarely mention, but maybe the most import part of our job. Not promotion, Not sentence structure, Not developing your characters. Health.

Writers, and readers, tend to have a rather sedentary lifestyle. Now I know of course I’m not talking about all of you. I’m sure some of you are reading this while sprinting on a treadmill or climbing up a hill on your elliptical. But for the rest of us, living a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of work. Planning and cooking healthy meals, watching everything that you eat, making sure that you exercise. In our already busy lives, it’s just one more thing to worry about. With all the time we spend sitting, writing, promoting, we often do not focus on ourselves and our health the way we should.  But this is something we writers and readers can’t ignore. Too easily, we can forget about ourselves, and we can quickly become unhealthy. I know from personal experience.

For the last few years I’ve been on my own personal health journey. It all started  with the help of some other romance writers. The amazing Elisa Rome, organized a contest for other romance writers and readers to push each other to get healthier and see who could lose the most weight (our own version of biggest loser). That competition really kick-started my weight loss journey.

Fortunately the motivation just kept on coming. Not long after the competition ended, my brother got engaged, and bingo, I had another reason to lose weight. A bridesmaid’s dress and more pictures being taken of me than any other time in my life.  I’m now down 70 pounds, and I don’t think I’ve ever been a healthier and more balanced person. Not only does eating right, and exercising help me stay healthy, it’s helped me be a better writer and person. It gives me the stamina to write longer and the energy to keep going long into the night. It helps me release stress when deadlines are piling up on me, or I receive  a not-as-good-review. And feeds my mind, to allow me to expand and grow, my story lines and myself.  It’s given me the strength to overcome some tough knocks I’ve taken over the last few years, as well as giving me the confidence and courage to take risks, both in my professional and personal lives.

Being healthy is important to everyone, but even more so to authors and readers, since we spend most of our lives with our bodies still and our minds in faraway places. Though it can sometimes be hard to take the time from everything else we have to do to take care of ourselves, it’s important to value our health. In the long run, being healthy means we’ll have even more time to read and write the books we all love.

There’s no such thing as being too healthy, and I continue to strive towards being as fit and together a person as I can be. Do any of you have any weight loss or health goals? Share your stories, your aspirations and inspiration in the comments below, so we can all encourage each other towards a health and long future.


Tina Donahue said...

Wow, congrats on your journey to health, Willa!

I force myself to ride my stationary bike 40 minutes every day. Burns 200 calories which I use to eat dark chocolate. :)

Willa Edwards said...

Tina, you're love of chocolate is very well known ;). My weakness is potatoes, like French fries and potato chips. Yum!

Its not always fun to eat healthier food and exercise. But its so important. And helps your mind a lot too.

jean hart stewart said...

I can gain weight easily, so watch my diet carefully. I'm right where I want to be now, and want to stay that way. I've also gotten so I really prefer healthy food, although a Saturday trip to Jack-in-the-box is de rigeur for me and my daughter...

Willa Edwards said...

Good for you Jean. Its hard work staying healthy, but its definitely worth it. Though, you do have to let yourself indulge sometimes. Life is to short to always be good :)