What Makes a Happy Writer?

Are you a happy writer? A simple question at first glance, but when you look deeper... it's not so straight forward.

Does writing fill you with joy, even when your characters aren’t co-operating and the plot’s as knotted as only earphone wires can be after a sojourn in your pocket? Does the practice of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard warm your heart and soothe your soul? Does the act of not writing make it feel as though part of you has been taken away?

So are you a happy writer?

A simple question—but when you think about it, there are so many factors that contribute to how you feel towards writing. Some may make you happy, some may not, and the relative contributions of each can affect how positive, negative or indifferent you feel towards writing.

One of my Psychology & Storycraft posts, Cultivating Creativity: What Motivates You to Write?, focused on just one mental aspect of writing: motivation. What drives you to write can influence how creative you are and how much satisfaction you get from writing. Other psychological aspects to writing, like productivity, attention and concentration, are covered in detail in the Mind of the Writer series of Psychology & Storycraft.

The physical side of writing is often forgotten, however. What has writing got to do with physical stuff, anyway? All your body has to do is sit there. Your mind’s getting the real work out. But actually, the physical act of just ‘sitting there’ is often what causes writers the most discomfort.

Back problems, shoulder ache, neck pains, eye strain—all the result of spending long hours at the computer, doing what we love. We don’t want to taint the very thing we’re so passionate about with pain though, so how can we make sure writing is an enjoyable experience for both mind and body?

The former has received a lot of attention in Psychology & Storycraft so far. Yesterday, I gave the latter some much needed attention. Over at the Sprint Shack, the blog I co-author with two other lovely writers, I wrote an article called Be a Healthy Writer. The post tackled posture-related pain and eye strain and provided steps to prevent these two maladies before they cause you further dismay.

The physical side of writing is just as important as the mental one if you want to be a happy and healthy writer. That’s why I recommend you head over to the Sprint Shack today and make sure your posture and eyes aren’t causing you unnecessary, and potentially long-term, problems.

Click here to read the full article, Be a Healthy Writer.