Blog posts with the tag: "health"





I’m very happy that I live in a part of the world that has seasons, and anticipate each one greatly. I get bored of having the same weather after a while, so although I love the long hot days of summer, around this time every year I start yearning for colder, darker days; days when I can wrap up in jumpers and scarves, sip hot chocolate and enjoy cosy Sundays reading while it rains outside. I feel guilty if I’m not out in the sun, but truth be told, I’m only occasionally an outdoorsy person. Most of the time I’m a complete homebody.



After a stormy weekend, the air here has cooled a little, and today I fished out a lightweight jumper and made a jar of homemade, vegan hot chocolate powder for the colder weather. I used cacao powder, Natvia and salt. I added a spoonful of this to almond milk and heated it. Here is a link to the recipe, although I did tinker with it a little as I find myself incapable of following recipes properly.



I write much better when I’m wrapped up inside. The heat orĀ air-conditioning really puts me off for some reason. Also, I always associate this time of year with preparing to go back to school. I want to plan and schedule, clean, organise and buy a new pencil case and pretty new pens and notepads. I also take a serious look at my goals and what I need to do to reinforce them. It feels like a new beginning; a chance to start over. I love feeling motivated like this.



I’m intending on spending the coming Autumn working hard to sell my debut novel, writing another, studying again academically and working on my French and Spanish. I also want to start some kind of fitness routine to whip my sloth-like body into shape, as well as making lots of super healthy warming soups and casseroles.



What will you be doing?



Long gone are the days when writers were supposed to find inspiration in the bottom of a bottle of booze. If you have ever read some of the daily rituals of famous writers, you might be put off. I for one, like to read how people I admire have accomplished their goals but of course what works for one person might not work for another.
As I have said before, you often need to try different routines or rituals and see what works for you.


Here are a few tips on how to have a more productive writing day (without alcohol):


Stay hydrated: As much as I like to drink lattes and tea to keep me warm and alert, nothing quite refreshes like a cold glass of water, especially during the afternoon slump. Green tea is also a healthier option than the traditional caffeine hits.


Get enough sleep: Try and get plenty of sleep the night before so that your brain is in proper working order. If I have a restless night then I find that I have serious mind fog the next day. If you are seriously tired and its affecting your work, then experts say that downing an espresso and then napping for 20 minutes will help you wake up properly and be able to carry on effectively. Make sure you set an alarm though!


Eat healthy: You will have been living in a cave if you have not heard all of the media coverage on how bad junk food and sugar is for you. I certainly have trigger foods, such as bread, that make me feel sluggish after I’ve devoured it. Then there are the times when you are writing away so intently that you forget to eat. I try and have 3 healthy meals a day, that are fairly light – in others words won’t make me want to lie down and sleep, but that are sufficiently filling.


Get out: If you are tired or suffering from zombie brain then get out and get some fresh air, exercise and vitamin D. Plus, as a bonus, going for a walk isn’t technically time off from writing as you can think through plot ideas and character conflicts as you walk, and you might find inspiration along the way.


Look for ideas: Some people claim that they can’t write until an idea comes to them. If this were true of all writers, then I think a lot fewer would ever get anything done. Imagine ideas as clues on a treasure map that you must work to find. There are many different ways of coming up with ideas if you are stuck. Here are a few:


Visit a gallery or museum – does a painting or historical piece inspire you?
Read a newspaper, magazine or online articles. One little story or oddity could prompt an entire project
Write down any bizarre dreams you have
Do some free writing. Set a timer for ten minutes and write about the first thing that pops into your head
Go to a flea market or even just look around your home; are there any interesting objects or trinkets that could be integral to a story?
Take some books and open up a page randomly and pick a sentence. Could you write a short story with that sentence as a starting off point?
Write a list of things or places that are of interest to you
Go to a cafe and people watch. Be discreet and eavesdrop.
Go to your local library or bookshop. Are there any interesting nuggets of local history you could use?
Could you rewrite a story from the perspective of a different character?
Do you have any interesting information from your family history that you could use?
Look back over any notebooks you have kept and see if there is anything of interest there


The most important thing is not to give up. Try a writing exercise or just put a timer on and force yourself – it will come to you eventually.



Heather Blanchard

Welcome. Are you a writer, a bookworm, a daydreamer? Are you still clinging on to that magic that pervaded childhood? Pull up an armchair and get cosy. This blog is my dreamscape through an enchanted forest to a world of stories and the little things that make me happy; a chance to add a dash of sparkle to the daily grind. Here you will find the whimsical, the coveted, the Gothic and the romantic. Happy exploring!

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