Renee Conoulty: Are you a healthy writer?

Books

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Are you a healthy writer?


Hey Everyone!

Are you a writer, like me? More importantly, are you a healthy writer? Joanna Penn and Dr Euan Lawson have some fabulous tips on how to be a healthy writer. Here's the press release, book description and my book review.

Around 62% of writers have experienced work-related stress, according to a new survey from TheCreativePenn.com, a website for writers. Writing is considered a dream job by many, but is it actually killing authors slowly?



The study also reported other health issues among writers:
  • 58% experienced back pain
  • 57% reported weight gain due to their sedentary lifestyle
  • 55% experienced anxiety
  • 56% suffer from sleep problems
  • 37% experienced loneliness
  • 37% reported Repetitive Strain Injury
Other health issues reported by writers included eye strain, digestive problems, depression, headaches, and migraine.

Dr Euan Lawson, a British medical doctor and co-author of The Healthy Writer, said of the findings, “These are typical issues associated with sedentary work and writers are particularly susceptible due to the nature of their job. One surprising finding was how many writers reported loneliness. This makes it clear that writers groups, events, and communities are of great importance for support in what is essentially, a career spent alone.”

If writers want a long and healthy career, they should consider improving their workspace ergonomics, sort out sleep patterns, eat a healthy diet, and add movement and exercise to their life, as well as making sure they have friends and a social community.
Joanna Penn, award-winning creative entrepreneur and bestselling author of 23 books, talked about her experience of back pain. “I ended up in hospital at one point having scans for spinal tumours, but they didn’t find anything. In the last five years, I’ve moved to using a standing desk as much as possible with a Swiss ball for when I do sit, dictation for first draft writing, walking longer distances, and a regular yoga practice. I’m now mostly pain-free, and these changes have enabled me to become a healthy full-time writer.”

The Healthy Writer notes that the secret to being a successful writer is making time to write and committing to a regular practice. The secret is the same when it comes to physical health – a good diet, sleep, movement, breathing and regular exercise, getting outdoors in the fresh air, monitoring your moods and being kind to yourself, listening to your body, resting, being mindful, and spending time with friends.

But as with being a writer, you have to choose to make the changes to your routine in order to fix the problems in your life. Then you have to be persistent and repeat those practices every day.

There is good news though, as writing can also be beneficial to your health. It can help you process situations as therapy, help other people through sharing your story, make you more optimistic, boost your physical health, and enable connection with others.

So, being a writer can still be a dream job, but only if you look after your body as well as your mind.


The Healthy Writer: Reduce your pain, improve your health, and build a writing career for the long term by Joanna Penn & Dr Euan Lawson

Do you suffer from physical pain relating to your writing life?

Are you struggling with back pain, weight gain related to sedentary working, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, neck pain, eye strain, stress, loneliness, digestive issues, or Repetitive Strain Injury?

These are the most common issues reported by writers and if you struggle with any of them, you are not alone.

Writing is not a physically healthy job, but if you want a long-term writing career, then you need to look after your body.

I've been through my own pain journey over the last six years. I used to get crippling migraines that sent me to a dark room, and back pain so bad that I couldn't sleep, as well as stress levels so high that I wasn't able to breathe normally.

Now, my back pain, migraines and RSI have almost gone completely, and I manage my writing life in a far healthier way than ever before. I share my personal journey and insights with you in this book.

My co-author is Dr Euan Lawson, who shares his insights into how we can reduce pain, improve health and build a writing career for the long term.

The book covers:

Introduction and survey results from 1200 writers
Why writing is great for your health

>>> Part 1: The Unhealthy Writer

Stress, anxiety, burnout
Back, neck and shoulder pain
Writer's cramp and Repetitive Strain Injury
A personal journey to a pain-free back
Writing with chronic pain
Sedentary life and inactivity
Sleep problems/ insomnia
Eye strain, headaches, and migraine
A personal story of headaches and migraine
Loneliness and isolation
Weight gain or weight loss
Joanna's Letter to Sugar
Digestive issues and IBS
A personal journey through IBS with FODMAP
Mood and mental health
Writing with depression
Alcohol, coffee, drugs and other substances

>>> Part 2: The Healthy Writer

Build resilience
Improve your workspace
Find a community
Start moving
Sort out your diet
Sort out your sleep
Develop healthy habits
How to use dictation for healthier writing life
Lessons learned about writing from walking a double ultra-marathon
Breathing, mindfulness, and meditation
Yoga and writing
Longevity: writing for the long-term

It's time to be a healthy writer!


Hey! Here's my review.


A great resource with all the relevant health information in one place.

The title and subtitle pretty much wrap up what the book is about. The author surveyed 1098 authors in August 2017 and discovered that around 62% of writers experience work-related stress, 58% experienced back pain, 57% reported weight gain due to their sedentary lifestyle, plus a whole lot more health issues including physical and mental health. Does any of that sound familiar?

This book was packed full of sensible advice to help manage and prevent these issues. Prevention is better than treatment, so I found it really helpful to know what to keep an eye out for, and a good reminder of problems that are beginning to sneak in.

I read the book cover to cover, but it’s really designed to flick and skim through, reading the chapters that are most relevant to you.

★★★★★


  • Where: Advanced Reader Copy from the author
  • Format: ebook

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