Love Your Body, Hack Your Mind

Megan MorganNina Crespo welcomes guest blogger and author Megan Morgan, who will be wrapping up the Reader, Writer and Wellness blog event.

Writing is a desk job.

Sure, it differs from working in an office. Hopefully your view is better than three gray cubicle walls, your coffee is of better quality, and you don’t have to deal with annoying interoffice memos. You may also at times find a cat wedged between you and your keyboard or even draped across it. I’ve run into this malfunction a few times. Some things are the same, though: you sit, clicking away on a computer all day, there’s deadlines, stress, paperwork, and sometimes your boss is a jerk to you–even more so when you’re self-pubbed.

Being a writer means a lot of sitting on your butt. Though the mind is active, the flesh is an immobile, sometimes over-caffeinated, oftentimes junk food-eating lump. When you’re deeply entrenched in a scene and the writing is going well, but your stomach is all, “hey, remember me?” it’s much easier to cram a handful of chips or a slice of last night’s cold pizza in your mouth than make a healthy, balanced meal. Shut up for right now, stomach. Mama is trying to write!

A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Exercise has been proven to boost creativity, sharpen mental focus, and even alleviate the symptoms of depression. I get some of my best ideas when I’m walking. Fresh air and sunshine boost vitamin D. If you’re stuck on a scene, exercise can possibly help. Jogging jogs the mind!

Likewise, eating right is an important part of staying healthy and keeping your mind sharp. Fish, berries, nuts, and whole grains are all good for the brain. Healthy foods keep blood pressure down and maintain systems throughout the body. Energy and creativity come from putting the right fuel inside us. Sickness and disease make it hard to be creative. If you don’t believe me, try writing a story the next time you have a raging case of the flu. Although, if you’re taking enough cold medicine, you might just hallucinate the best plot ever.

Another health issue writers might face is consuming too much caffeine. Caffeine in moderation can be difficult. Yes, I put the words ‘caffeine’ and ‘moderation’ in the same sentence because I like to live dangerously. Personally, I could be hooked up to a coffee IV and live life in bliss. However, too much caffeine can be bad for you in many ways: raising blood pressure, causing indigestion, and sparking headaches. Caffeine can also make you jittery and scatterbrained. Water is good for you and can even have some of the same effects as caffeine first thing in the morning, as part of our grogginess is due to dehydration that happens overnight. I’m not saying stop drinking coffee–good gravy, no–but also lapping it straight out of the coffee pot like a dog dish is not the best idea either.

The same goes for the other writer’s drink: wine. Moderation is key. Although personally, I’ve never been able to write with alcohol in me.

The secret to being a productive writer is being a healthy person. Every once in a while get up (place the cat gently on a pillow to your left), go for a walk, make a salad, brew a pot of decaf (just kidding), and sit back down with a clear, refreshed mind. Your internal organs and new brain children will thank you later.

Megan Morgan is a paranormal romance, erotica, and urban fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump at night, she likes her fiction scary and sexy. She’s a member of the RWA and trying to turn writing into her day job, so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. Currently published with House of Erotica and Muse It Up’s erotica imprint Muse It HOT! She is also the author of a three-book urban fantasy series coming in March 2015 from Kensington.

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