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14 Ways I Support My Writing Habit

freelance writing catYes, my writing supports me financially and quite well now that I’ve learned how to ask for what I’m worth.

This morning, however, I got to thinking about what I do to make sure I can keep writing and enjoy it as well as profit from it.

The ways I support my writing include:

  1. Good food – more and more organic and more and more vegies in my case. I often shop our local farmer’s market.
  2. Plenty of water every day – when I get to writing it’s easy to overlook.

  3. Regular chiropractic support – I’ve got some carpel tunnel and working with good chiropractors has kept me writing and out of surgery, and also taught me carpel tunnel starts in the neck! Who knew?
  4. Regular exercise – I walk, I also work out at the gym down the street.
  5. Daily stretching – well, daily is the goal. I go through periods when I don’t and always feel it. My stretches are an eclectic mix of yoga, tai chi, and who knows what.
  6. Demand reasonable deadlines from clients. If you want it in a hurry you’ll pay more if I even agree to do it.
  7. Maintain written goals, in my case combined with my calendar. Having both on the computer where I can keep track of what I’m doing makes a huge difference for me.
  8. Savings account with three month’s expenses – I’m not quite there, but even with a couple of months saved I feel saner than when I don’t have it. Savings also strengthens my hand when I negotiate.
  9. Only 20 hours of writing a week. Four hours of writing a day is about all I can do, and I do that only five days a week, sometimes four. Any more on any day ruins me for the next.

  10. A cat! I can’t prove that MzTiz is good for my writing, but I know darn well she is.
  11. A garden. I need to get outside often and a garden helps me do that.
  12. Clay – I work with clay for a couple of hours almost every week at Studio 6 in San Diego’s delightful Balboa Park. I’m about to try some Chinese brush painting. Something creative that isn’t writing seems to spark my writing mind.
  13. Kayaking when the weather is warm – with a Meetup Group from launching from Aqua Adventures in San Diego’s Mission Bay.
  14. Meditate – actually I read something spiritual then meditate – total process about 30-40 minutes six days a week.
  15. Time with friends and time with family – this is probably what keeps me reasonably sane and often informed about what’s going on in the world.

Whew – that’s more than I expected.

How do you support your writing habit?


Image from http://www.sxc.hu but it sure looks like MzTiz 😉

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Hmm. Sixty ounces is almost a gallon of water a day. It’s an urban legend that people need that much water every day. Eight or nine years ago, Dr. Heinz Valtin had his grad students search the literature for studies that arrived at that conclusion. There were no such studies. Your body knows what you need, and it’s pretty good at letting you know, too.


    Chinese brush painting is beneficial for writers, imho, since it’s a metaphor for good writing style. Writing that nails down every aspect, every nuance, every action of a scene becomes leaden. Writing, especially fiction, should be more like sumi-e and less like realism. Haiku, also, are good for teaching economy of words.
    jorgekafkazar recently posted..Watcher in the Night decipheredMy Profile

    • Thanks Jorge, I’ve actually stopped drinking that much water… and probably should edit the article. And I love the brush painting when I do it… 😉

  • Nina Lewis

    I do some of the same things (water, veggies, exercise). I also read, read, read to support my writing. I analyze what I read, collect phrases I like, and learn new vocabulary words as I encounter them in my reading.

    And, I read your newsletter and your blog!

  • Found this post via the popular posts listing. I love how you always give more than you promise with your lists.
    Re the number of hours writing per week, I always limit myself to scheduling more than five hours per day.
    .-= Jessie Haynes / JHaynesWriter´s last blog ..Formula Alone is Not Enough – A Freelance Writer is More than a Word Robot =-.

    • Anne

      ooh, thanks Jessie… glad you find posts here useful.

  • Great advice! I recently got back to hiking South Mountain in Arizona. I slacked off for awhile and did not feel good. Now that I’m back on the mountain, it seems I have clarity and continue to keep myself in shape.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Find Inspiration within Writing Groups =-.

    • Anne

      I find staying in shape a particular challenge in the winter, even in San Diego… short cloudy days make me want to take a nap instead, and this year we’ve got lots of rain.

  • Is that your kitty? She looks very thoughtful and adorable. 🙂

    I find time alone, music, and a well-organized set of folders in my PC go a great way to helping me feel refreshed and energized enough to keep writing.

    • Anne

      Jonathan, no that’s not actually MzTiz, but if I took a picture of her you wouldn’t be able to tell them a part. MzTiz is thoughtful, adorable and runs my home!

      Organized folders is not something I would have thought of but I think you’re right.

      Hey, I’m seeing some broken images on your website…might be my connection.

  • Anne,
    Your cat looks just like my two little kitties, Picadilly and Chelsea. I agree with you about excercise, water and limiting your time. I can get obsessed with writing. Since I run a full-time jewelry business, I have to remind myself not to get too engrossed in the computer. Thanks for the great tips and good luck on your future writing endeavors!
    Cheers, -elizabeth
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Online Freelance Writing Terms for Beginners =-.

    • Anne

      Great kitty names… yeah, a full time business plus writing is a full schedule.

      Does linking to your article on AC from your blog help your AC income?

  • My wife. Or more specifically, the adventures my wife and I take.

    One of the primary reasons we moved to Europe was to have the opportunity to live our lives now, while we have our youth, rather than being forced to wait until we were 60+ to have enough money to travel the world. Every single day when I get up, I look towards the trips we have planned together, and it motivates me to get on the elliptical, do my cross training, and sit down at the desk for a few hours to bring in the paycheck.

    When it comes to my fiction writing, it’s a lifelong passion that really doesn’t need any motivation. I love reading and writing about speculative fiction, fantasy, and sci-fi. After travel, it is the major motivator in my life.

    In 2+ years of doing this I haven’t suffered a single day where I lack for motivation. This is heaven for me. I get paid for my hobbies. What could be better?
    .-= T.W. Anderson´s last blog ..Exploitation of Writers: Fact or Fiction =-.

  • A glass of wine with dinner to help me unwind, an occasional square of dark chocolate and a walk on the beach (if you are lucky to live near the water)–the expansiveness of the ocean puts everything in perspective!

    • Anne

      yeah, the beach will do it for me every time… even more than chocolate.

  • I find regular exercising really helps keep me charged for writing.
    .-= Benjamin Hunting´s last blog ..Beware Online Auto Sales Scams =-.

    • Anne

      Yep, even yesterday when I was like some sort of slug at the gym… no clue why, but I feel pretty good today. Well, I don’t know how a slug feels, but I felt like one looks;)

  • Kaye Lynne Booth

    Great advice! Unfortunately, my cat likes to lay on my arm, so I can’t manuever the keyboard, so I don’t know how productive he is to my writing. I write gardening articles, so I can see how gardening helps, in addition to providing busy work that stimulates the thinking processes and just being generally calming. I had not thought of using other creative outlets to stimulate the writing process, but it makes a lot of sense, now that I have. Thanks.

    • Anne

      Kaye Lynn, I love my mental pix of you and your cat… and I don’t think of the other things as being good for my writing except in retrospect… if I don’t do many of them over time I get dull.

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