Another guest blog post and this one is all about hitting that Personal Best! To learn more about today’s guest blogger, Erika Bodden, keep reading! If you want to be a guest blogger, fill out this form and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
It is common knowledge that athletes undergo rigorous physical training in order to perform their best on game day. However, there are less obvious elements to athletes’ lives that are essential to their athletic performance such as nutrition, sleep, recovery, and accountability.
As writers, we can mirror our writing process with athletic training. I encourage you to implement the following five tips into your writing. You might surprise yourself with a Personal Record as you write your Work In Progress!
1. Make Sleep a Priority
Athletes aim for a full eight hours of sleep, and writers should do the same. Not only is this beneficial to your overall health, but the dreams you experience during REM sleep may ignite ideas for your creative writing. Keep a dream journal by your bedside. When your alarm clock goes off in the morning, instead of hitting snooze, jot down what you remember from your dreams. You can refer to that dream journal on days that you experience writer’s block. Give it a try!
2. Be Consistent with Your Training
Athletes have good days and bad days, but they press on through the unfavorable results. As a writer, you may have days when your writing seems to be going nowhere. Don’t quit! Maybe you a writing a novel and are struggling with plot development. Set the story aside and write about how you are feeling instead. You might just need to empty out your thoughts in order to take in new ideas. You can designate a separate journal for this purpose; I refer to mine as my Dumpster of Doubts.
3. Adhere to Proper Nutrition
Athletes ingest foods that fuel their fitness. Reading fuels writing, and writers should be readers. I know what you’re thinking…there are only 24 hours in a day, and I already told you that you need to sleep for eight hours! Stay with me here; it’s doable. Compare reading to eating; you can have a couple snacks and three meals a day. A chapter of a book can be a meal, and a poem or news article can be a snack. Choose your meals and snacks wisely; don’t ingest fast food or junk food! Refer to nytimes.com for best selling books, and write down titles from different genres. Then go to your local library and check out the books for free. You can find quality poetry online through the poetryfoundation.org; the site also features a Poem of the Day. Lastly, read an article from your local newspaper; it is always good to be in the know with what is going on in your community. The reading that you do might be just what you need to help fuel your creativity within your own WIP.
4. Set Aside Time for Recovery
Athletes schedule in rest days during the week. On these days they focus on active recovery such as an easy bike ride, a leisurely walk, or a relaxing swim. They may also incorporate mobility routines that help keep their muscles healthy and functioning properly. As writers, we put our brain through an intense workout each time we engage in the writing process. Treat your brain like a muscle, and give it a rest! You could pedal or take a stroll around the block, or maybe you should dust off those dancing shoes! Find what works for you, and let your mind rejuvenate.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
Athletes in training have their coach to keep them accountable to their lifestyle choices. As a writer, you also need someone to keep you focused on your writing. This accountability partner could be a friend, family member, or fellow writer. I also suggest that you to follow your local bookstores and library on social media, or sign up for their e-mail blasts. This will connect you with other writers and keep you in the loop with writing workshops and writing courses in your city.
And there you have it! Five tips to on how to PR your WIP! As you write your heart out, try to keep a growth mindset. It is easy to become self critical of our own writing, but fight against that negative thinking. Allow yourself to make mistakes; that’s where learning takes place! Also, try not to compare your progress with other writers. Your writing journey is unique to you. Write on!
More about today’s guest blogger: Erika Bodden
Erika Bodden was born in Bogota, Colombia and is also of Peruvian descent. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida; however, she was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Writing has been a hobby of Erika’s since her childhood. Molt and Fly Free is Erika’s personal blog, and it features various genres of her writing. Erika’s other hobbies include activities associated with nature, music, art, and fitness. You can connect with Erika on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter by visiting the links below.