Pacing Myself

So this week I officially started drafting a new MG (although I made a last minute switch from the contemporary I was considering to a fantasy).

I’ve done a lot of drafting recently, and by the end of the first day, I noticed I was already falling back into my less-than-healthy patterns.

See, I like to draft quickly. Like, get the whole first draft done in about a month, quickly. Which doesn’t leave a lot of time for distractions. I’ve gotten pretty good about limiting my social media time while writing, and perhaps too good at limiting everything else.

I wear a fitness tracker to count my steps, and while my goal is 10,000 steps a day, my average on a work day sits closer to 8,000. On a day when I’m drafting, it’s more like 4,500 – about the distance to take my kids to school and back, plus however many steps it takes to make dinner.

Which really isn’t healthy. Thanks to my concussion, walking is about the only exercise I’m allowed to do (everything else sets off migraines), so it’s important I keep up the pace. Plus I tend to get my best ideas while I’m walking, and fresh air and computer breaks are good headache busters.

So I’ve started trying to add in a walk in the woods near my house in the morning before I start writing for the day. It doesn’t set me back, time-wise, too much, and it helps with inspiration because my MG is set in a magic forest. Even better, it gives me a chance to indulge in my hobby of photography.

On the first day I tried, I hit 5,000 steps by 9am. (My total step and word counts for that day were thrown off a bit by having a kid sent home sick, but I expect them to rise as I go.)

My goal is still to get this draft finished by the end of May, but to do it without sacrificing my health.

What about you? How do you balance work with health? Let me know in the comments.

 

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