Guest Blogger- Rhonda Lane: Five Ways to Keep Your Mystery from Killing You
Folks, help me welcome Rhonda Lane as our guest blogger today. We are talking about the physical aspects of writing. No, not the moments you see if you can really jump up onto the counter in a single bound or the times you’ve timed how long it took you to catch a bus so your bad guy won’t be able to follow your heroine. We are talking about YOU. What does it take to stay healthy when you spend hours with your tush tucked into the chair.
Rhonda Lane is neither a doctor nor a fitness expert, nor does she play either one on TV. She’s working on a suspense novel and writes the horses-and-culture blog The Horsey Set.Net, She lives in an oak grove on a hillside in Connecticut with her husband and their three spoiled cats.
Please put those fingers of yours to the keyboard and welcome her to Mysteries and Margaritas.
I’m not talking about terminal writer’s block. Or, researching what it’s like to ride drugged and bound in the trunk of a car by popping a couple of xanaxes, then having someone wrap your hands and feet with duct tape.
I’m talking about the actual writing itself. The butt-in-chair-for-hours part.
On Tuesday night, when my husband paused the DVR playback and took a call, I slipped off to check email. I dropped by the Poe’s Deadly Daughters blog and found a post written by author and former Army nurse Sharon Wildwind.
The gist of Sharon’s post, in which she references an article on The Scientific American website, is that one hour of walking/running/circuit-training can’t make up for sitting around for the rest of the day.
Even scarier? All the sitting around, even if it’s sitting required by one’s job, can be deadly. Let alone hazardous to one’s waistline.
Trust me – none of us want to hear that doing our work can be as unhealthy as an all-fast-food diet or chain-smoking. Let alone that hours of progress on our manuscripts has the same deleterious effects as cocooning for a “Burn Notice” marathon.
So, what can we do?
Sharon suggested just getting up and walking for five or ten minutes each hour. Every hour, we need to take a break to get up and move. We need it like air, food, and water. Come to think of it, forget the food, except for meals. Better yet, get a glass of water because we all tend to be a bit dehydrated.
Anyway, here’s a list of things we can do for five, maybe ten, minutes out of each hour. Believe me, I’ve been tapping this list myself.
o Walk on the treadmill. If you can, raise the incline to at least 1%. I also keep my mp3 player downstairs with the treadmill so I can listen to podcasts.
o Walk around the house, up and down the driveway or – better yet - up and down the stairs. Don’t start out running, though, unless you do that anyway. You want to be able to move again later.
o Five minutes of some weight work. Standing pushups from the wall. Access your inner Black Swan (you know she’s in there, waiting, watching … ) and pump out some plies. Some bicep curls.
o Remember those old moves from tai chi or qi gong? Or a sun salutation from yoga? Or just “wash the car/wax the car.” Make Mr. Miyagi’s car shine.
o What’s your favorite dancin’ tune? Boogie down! Just one dance, though, for now. For extra ooph – sing along. Just avoid the 5-inch heels unless your name is Beyonce.
I’m a binge writer. I love to dive into the world of my story or dig into research stories for my horse blog The HorseySet.Net. A “good day” used to mean that I’d surface hours later with a bunch of pages and a nice meaty blog post, as if I’ve been in a mad trance. And that doesn’t count my husband and me “watching our stories” on TV in the evening.
But I have to alter those practices a bit. Since I finished my first first draft last summer, I’ve gained weight, and the rise in my bad cholesterol has my doctors baffled. However, thanks to Sharon’s blog post, I suspect I can change that.
After all, I want to be healthy and, well, here. I do confess that I’ve jumped into the new hourly practices with a bit of gusto. I hope I can walk tomorrow.
The important point is that you must move. A little tiny something each hour is better than six hours of sitting and one blast of movement.
I wish all of you a wonderful New Year with lots of activity. Would you share with us what you do to keep feeling energized? I’d love to hear about your yoga, running, stretches, and whatever it takes to keep our bottoms from spreading too wide.
Cassy mentioned her WalkStation and I know will happily discuss that as well. So?? What does it take for you?
Thanks for having me today. Rhonda