writeafirstnovel

follow a rookie writing his first novel

Healthy body, healthy mind

I know, the title sounds like some dodgy fitness slogan from the 1960’s (the image in my mind is of some moralistic teacher banging on to us kids about the dangers of masturbation, but then that might just be me). The context here though is the health implications of the writing life. Let’s face it, sitting in front of a computer screen, frantically tapping away at the keyboard for hours on end is not a prescription for good health.

I have to then wonder, does it matter? Do I need to be in rude health to write well. Is there any link at all between health and writing output? There are plenty of examples of great writers who had debilitating illnesses but that does not necessarily mean that it enhanced their writing – we can never really know what they might have achieved otherwise.

There is a myth that great art has to come from angst and suffering, but it is a myth (see work by Richard Bandler if you won’t take my word for it). So what I would like to know is can enhanced health improve output? My initial thoughts are that yes, it probably does, if for no other reason than there must be improved concentration, stamina and general alertness. That being the case, do we as writers need to build in time for exercise in our lives, would it make a difference?

I would be interested to hear anyone else’s experiences regarding this. Are you a writing ninja or a creative couch potato – do let me know…

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4 thoughts on “Healthy body, healthy mind

  1. I can only speak from my own experience, and there have certainly been examples of great artists with disabilities — plus of course those who were addicts — but I find that regular exercise is important in my life (and in my writing).

    I’m no exercise nut. I’m quite (:ahem:) chunky, and the only exercise I get is walking, but I walk a lot, and it makes a big difference.

  2. On the one hand, writing can be an introspective, world renouncing and unhealthy thing to to – and i’ve spent a lot of time wondering if it is robbing me of my time on this earth. On the other hand, i’d go mental without it. As for “excercise”, i don’t have time to set specifically for it, and just have to hope that amidst running around between a full time job and at least seventy four kids who seem to be on split shifts of illness, i knacker myself out enough to count as “excercised”.

  3. I’ve also misspelt “exercise” wrong twice. See – i’m knackered!

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