Today is another first as Fantasy Author Ty Johnston stops by for our first ever guest blog. Today will be a departure from the usual Indie Book blog subjects, and even from writing itself as Ty gives us some awareness of very pertinent issue that can affet people in our trade; writing and staying healthy. This is good stuff folks.
Now here's Ty:
First, the good part. David, I’d like to thank you for letting my take over your blog for the day.
Now the bad part. I’m not going to talk about writing, at least not directly. I’m also not going to talk about reading or books.
What I am going to write about here is health. Mainly, physical health. Don’t go away, you writers out there really need to hear what I’m going to type.
As someone who lives with congestive heart difficulties and has an internal defibrillator implanted in his chest, I believe I know a few things about physical health and some of its relation to writing. I learned the hard way. Hopefully other writers won’t have to if they pay attention to me today.
I was a newspaper editor for nearly twenty years, and the last few years I’ve been writing fiction for a living. All of that work over the years amounts to a lot of time sitting on my rear in a chair. And as a newspaper professional always on the go and facing constant deadlines, I rarely ate a decent meal but grabbed what I could when I could.
That is not a way to live. It is not healthy for the body. Ask my heart if you don’t believe me.
Finally after years, and almost when it was too late, I smarted up. As a fiction writer, I’m not under the consistent deadlines I faced as a journalist, so that helps some. I also have forced myself to eat better, which is easier nowadays because I work from home.
And then there’s exercise.
Everyone hates exercise, right? Well, maybe not everyone, but enough people do. We groan and complain about it. We feel guilt when we don’t do it, but then gripe about how tired we are when we do exercise.
The truth is, regular exercise can keep you feeling better and, more importantly, it can keep you alive. For some, exercise can add years to your life. For others, exercise can literally keep you alive from day to day. I know. I’ve been there.
Okay, so I’m a fiction writer blogging about health instead of chatting about writing. What gives? Why am I doing this?
For one very important reason. Writers as a group spend too much time on their tails.
There. I said it. And you know it’s true.
We are always saying we never have enough time to write, and when we do write we often spend hours upon hours sitting at a keyboard. And that’s when we aren’t fooling around on the Internet or playing video games.
With more and more people taking up fiction writing as a part- or full-time profession, I think it’s important we give a thought to what writing does to us physically.
I am in no way suggesting we should give up writing, but that we should take the time to work regular exercise into our daily lives.
For those who only write part time, this might not be as much of a problem, but it might be. For those of us who write for a living, who spend eight or more hours a day writing, we definitely need to consider our health.
Sitting too much, for extended periods of time, is simply not good for us. But don’t take my word for it. Check out a few of these articles or videos:
What can writers do about this? The specifics should be between you and your doctor. I know my cardiologist has suggested I walk more and get a recumbent exercise bike.
How much exercise do you need? How much activity should you have a day? Again, that’s for your doctor and you to talk about. I’m no health professional, so I don’t want to offer advice other than to suggest most writers need to be more active.
But like many people, I will admit I am looking for ways to cheat. I still plan on getting my allotted amount of exercise, but with a recumbent bike I’m practically sitting back almost as if I’m in a reclining chair. That leads me to wonder if I can have my netbook in my lap. To get some writing done, of course.
As a way of promoting his new novel Demon Chains, fantasy author Ty Johnston’s blog tour 2012 is running from February 1 through February 29. His novels include City of Rogues, Bayne’s Climb and Ghosts of the Asylum, all of which are available for the Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Johnston/e/B002MCBQRU/ ), the Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/ty-johnston ) and online at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow ). To learn more about Ty and his writing, follow him at his blog tyjohnston.blogspot.com.