Wednesday, September 5, 2018

#IWSG for September 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

This month's optional question: What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

Years ago, I submitted to agents and publishers. That was the way to do it. But after two bad experiences with publishers, I gathered my nerve and decided to self-publish. Best decision ever. I love the control I have over my own career and the fact it's flexible. With health issues and stuff popping up, the only person I have to answer to is myself. Sometimes I'm okay with not making a deadline, and sometimes it's frustrating. I'm learning to be a kinder boss. Sure I have to do all my own marketing which stresses me out, but I still get the choice of what I want to do and when.

My insecurities: I need a new body. It's been a rough year health-wise, and it has immensely affected my writing and how much I can do at the computer. I feel guilty for being so far behind and not keeping up with all of you. I realize I must make a much better effort to take care of this old body. No more sitting in this chair for long periods of time. I need to move more and eat wiser. I have to do more than just waggle my finger at myself.

As a writer, how do you keep healthy? Any advice?

76 comments:

  1. Sorry it's been a tough year for you. Don't feel guilty about not keeping up with things! I feel like I've been terrible at keeping up with other blogs (and my own) lately. Sometimes it's difficult to get that motivation.

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    1. I'm digging for the motivation. Today I'll be visiting, though. :)

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  2. I'm glad self publishing worked for you!! I went with a small publisher. Not a good experience.

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    1. I had two bad experiences with smaller publishers. I like having my own responsibility. :)

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  3. Take care of yourself - your family needs you. Get up and move and eat better. That's my simple advice - eat better/less and exercise more.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. I know I need to get up and move more. Perhaps I should have myself a dance party every day and rock out! :)

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  4. Don't neglect yourself. You're too important :) I force myself to do several things everyday (get wood, painting mowing, cleaning a room thoroughly...) 'Exercise' isn't my thing. As to eating less, I find drinking tons of tea (unsweet) helps keep my mouth busy (I love to nibble) and fills the stomach a bit too. I still need to read your latest series...so don't write too fast? Lol!

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    1. I like to nibble too, and I try to drink lots of water. And I promise not to write too fast. *LOL*

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  5. I take a walk every morning after dropping the kids at school, and I also use my rowing machine. I don't have the perfect body, but these things help. I also make myself stand up and move around at least once an hour.

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    1. I'm telling myself to do the stand up and move around thing too. Otherwise I can sit in this seat for hours! My back does not like that.

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  6. Happy IWSG Day!

    Traditional publishing seems to really work for some, but I've had, and heard of others, bad experiences. I don't think it's something to discount, but I like that self-publishing is an option.

    I'm with you. I need to be healthier. I eat pretty well, but I am simply not active enough. Writing and blogging doesn't help with that. Its a matter of making time for being active. Need to get on that.

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    1. Oh yes, I'm the same way. I'm not a bad eater, but being active, well, that needs to change!

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  7. I hear standing desks are all the rage. For a time, I used my elliptical with a mount to read/write. Actually, I rewarded myself with exercise time coupled with reading time. It was how I could motivate myself. Now since the new baby, I'm struggling right along with you, but for writing, I've dabbled with the narration software out there. I write while driving or sitting in traffic or exercising. I'm not super productive because there are babies in the house demanding my attention, but hey, you have to start somewhere, eh?

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    1. I am considering making a standing desk. (They're really expensive!) That would really help with my back. You amaze me that you get any writing done with your full household. Cheese for you! :)

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  8. One of my goals this year was to get healthier. I love salty snacks... so I stopped buying them for myself. Instead I bought nuts. I cut back drastically on carbs, but I still eat them every day in small amounts. We also purchased an air fryer. It's awesome. One thing for me is I have to have more protein than I had been eating in order not to get so hungry. And plenty of water. I do still enjoy wine in the evening, though :)

    I found workout videos on YouTube then combined those with some ballet and yoga moves I already knew and made myself a couple of routines. One is shorter and one is longer. I try to do one of them at least three days a week. Or walk. Sometimes I make it every day and sometimes I don't make it at all, but it usually averages out.

    Both the scale and my doctor say I'm on the right path. But it's not easy. I think the motivation has to come from within. I wish you good luck.

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    1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips. I'm not a salty snack lover. I've got a rotten sweet tooth. If I just stop it with the cookies, I'm a pretty decent eater. More walking is definitely what I need to do.

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  9. The bottom line that I get from your post is not to give up. I like that. And we all need reminding. Even though I say I'm giving up, like all the time, I don't.

    So you've probably done this, but about four weeks ago, I decided to basically not eat desserts. The first week and a half, I felt like dying. I guess from the detoxing. I never deny my sweet tooth if I really want something, but I don't want "something" very often. The result are (of course) some weight loss, but I also have better digestion and a clearer mind. I eat fruit for the cravings.

    Teresa

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    1. I need to ditch the cookies, definitely. They're my one big weakness! Good to know it gets better after that first ten days. :)

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  10. First of all, I don't think I'm keeping healthy like I should. So I'm not a good one for that kind of advice. I try my best to keep a good attitude and stay optimistic, but darn life always presents an argument against it. Still, I persist.

    You present a great case for the self-publishing route. I understand your arguments for doing it this way. I guess it's different for some people, but if it's been working then that's good.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Definitely having a good attitude helps make a difference. My body and I do need a better relationship. :)

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  11. I prefer self-publishing too. And I feel you about the need for a new body. If only they could upload my consciousness somewhere...

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  12. I'm also making some changes to improve my health. I've been dragging a lot of late, and it's time to stop being tired all the time! So, I'm right there with you. :) It's affecting my writing, and I can't have that. I'm also with you on the publishing. The experience I had with agents made me hate writing. I found myself writing what they said they wanted instead of what I wanted, and that was never going to lead to any kind of success or good mental health.

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    1. Being tired gets to me too. I'm trying to make sure I'm in bed to get a full eight hours each night. Though the internet is so distracting! *LOL*

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  13. Steps! My husband has a FitBit and I use an app on my phone. I have to get 7000 steps a day no matter what. It's really forced me to move more.

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    1. My mom swears by her FitBit too. Maybe I'll ask Santa for one this year for Christmas. :)

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  14. Hi Christine - you've done so well with all your books and publishing, the illustrations and covers ... it's amazing.

    Re health- I'd say ... just do a little twice a day - as well as all the other things you do ... swing your arms, rotate your body, do some bends with the legs, toes etc ... just a few movements - gentle and easy ... to keep your bones and joints loose ... don't over do - and walk ten minutes, moving on to 15 etc ... and eat as much fresh stuff as you can ... take care and a little habit will make such a difference ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Making it a habit is key. I'm doing good so far with the little bits. The cat thinks I'm weird looking like I'm swimming in place, but it helps. :)

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  15. One huge down-side of being a writer is all that sitting. I find being in a chair one of my biggest challenges! Good luck with a new plan for health.

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  16. I'm so sorry you're struggling with health issues :-( You make a really good point about being your own boss when it comes to self-publishing and having to work with self-imposed deadlines which means you can be flexible with them when you need to be.

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  17. I've really struggled with my health, too. I keep on getting up and trying new things. Diet helps some, especially water instead of caffeine and more protein and greens, but I still haven't mastered it yet. I've also found that getting up and doing "something" every day for 20 to 40 minutes works better for me than trying some kind of crazy-hard workout that leaves me with sore to strained muscles after one session.
    I have an exercise bike in our house and I love it. I can get in some cardio while watching a favorite show or dreaming up plot lines. I also like to just go for a walk, but our road is slanted a bit (country road, no sidewalks) and that has taken a toll on my feet and ankles so now I have to drive to where I walk (downtown, even sidewalks or a trail).
    I also like to turn on the music and dance around the house for 15 minutes or so, it helps my mood even if I'm just dancing like a goofball.
    Anyway, those are my ideas, and I can't say that I've slimmed down into skinny jeans, but my overall health is slowly improving.
    I hope you find the right healthy living style for you!

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    1. Dancing like a goofball helps me too. :) Our neighborhood has no sidewalks and crazy drivers, so I have to go elsewhere to walk as well. Good job on slowly improving. That's fantastic!

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  18. I'm sure form our emails to each other, you do not want advice from me. LOL

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    1. *LOL* I'm sure you could probably pass on some recipes I might like, though.

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  19. One thing I like to do is to drink lots and lots and lots of water. It gets me up out of my seat to go use the bathroom, plus I also have to go refill my water. It's a little thing that makes me move more when I'm glued to my computer.

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  20. I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask, but I'll tell you this. Long walks by yourself are a great way to think about your stories and let your mind wander. Sometimes better than being at your key board. I don't know if this is possible with your health problems, but sometimes its better to stand while working at the keyboard.

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    1. I would love to construct a standing desk (as they're very expensive to buy). That would really help my back.

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  21. I love having the control, too.

    Sorry to hear you've been having a tough year, health-wise. I have to keep reminding myself to leave the desk chair and walk around the house/neighborhood once in a while...kind of makes me miss my day job where I was on my feet all day. But only kind of.

    Happy writing!

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    1. Thanks, M.J.! I do kinda miss your stories of your work days. But I like the books you write more. :)

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  22. I'm another individual with health issues and this year it's been especially difficult. For publishing, I too like being my own boss. I only have to answer to me. I'm still crossing my fingers that book 5 can be completed this year.
    Wishing you good health and inspiration. Walking has always been my go to health trick, but here in the high humidity and heat, it only makes thing worse, so I'm looking forward to the cooler temps of fall!

    Take care, but keep moving forward!

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    1. Oh yuck, I do hate the heat and humidity too. Bring on the fall!

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  23. Thanks for sharing your publishing experience. Keeping control of the process is a big issue for me, as well. Especially when it comes to deciding the best use of my time.

    As for health, yes, about two years ago I decided to get serious about taking care of mine. I'm caring for hubs, who has pretty limited mobility now, and two things are true. 1. I need to be healthy to take care of him; and 2. I need to be healthy to take care of me. And the truth is, it is amazing how great I feel when I eat right and exercise. And how lousy I feel when I don't. Good luck with your challenges.

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  24. Sorry to hear you had some health troubles. I hope you are feeling much better. Happy IWSG Day.

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  25. Even with a traditional publisher you end of doing all of the marketing. lol

    I'm sorry you've been having health troubles. I struggle to be at my desk for long...with my back. Taking a walk in the evening when I'm done with computer stuff and before I relax has helped me get some exercise, though.

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    1. I have sciatica, and definitely walking helps with it. I manage to get to the local YMCA a few nights a week, but I don't do anything too intense.

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  26. Balanced diet has worked for me and if I fall off the wagon its all about moderation in all things. Be good to yourself. Especially when things let you down. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  27. Sorry that your health is not great. That can definitely affect productivity and energy and your life in general. Hope you feel better soon.

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  28. I've never been able to just sit at the computer for long periods. I get up frequently, walk, do mindless tasks, occasional ergonomics. All things I learned from years of office work. Writing is no different.

    Not that I exercise as much as I should, or eat healthy. Chips and dip are too frequent a snack when sitting at my computer, lol. Self discipline is the only way to keep the body/mind healthy as an author, as it is with almost any other aspect of our lives.

    Yeah, I'm not good at that myself. Its easier to know what to do than to actually do it.

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    1. Oh yes, I know what to do, but to get myself to actually do it...? I'm working on it. :)

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  29. I’m sorry you’re struggling, Christine. Aging does remind us to take better care of ourselves. Remember to be kind to yourself too. (((Hugs))$

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    1. Thanks, Gwen. I think I took for granted how healthy I was in my younger years.

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  30. Sitting in the chair for long periods of time is not good. I use an elliptical 4 or 5 days a week and never sit at my desk chair for more than an hour at a time. Take care of your health first.

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  31. I'm old!!!! You don't look old to me! But I do understand about sitting down and writing. After a writing session it takes time and effort to get my legs motoring. I used to stand and write, but that's not as productive for me. A good course of action is to set time restraints. Write an hour. Walk. Write. Walk. Or do some other kind of work that gets a body moving. Take Care of Yourself.

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina! You chase after those grandbabies, so you get lots of motoring. :)

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  32. There's this great feature on blogspot. You can schedule posts! So if you don't have a lot of time, like me, you can still be active. You'll just have to check every so often for comments and make sure to reply. You can also schedule Tweets on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing. That opens up some time later on to get out, go for a walk, all sorts of things. I'm sorry to hear about your health, I hope things improve soon. You could also just dance around your house if you don't mind freaking out the neighbors. ;)

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    1. *LOL* I don't mind freaking out the neighbors at all.

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  33. I also went with indie publishing. Ultimately, I wanted complete creative control, and many of my books are well outside of currently acceptable wordcounts (in spite of being perfectly normal for historical sagas like mine).

    Swimming is a great way to stay fit, as is walking. I've lost close to 50 pounds since last June, in large part due to both those activities.

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    1. Wow! Congrats on the weight loss. That's awesome! I do need to do more activity. I know that's a sore spot for me.

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  34. I was doing pretty well in the moving more and eating better department, for awhile anyway. Then stuff got in the way - or I let stuff get in the way?! - and that threw everything off. I need to get on a new/better track. Good luck to us both! :)

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    1. My summer got in the way and broke up my schedule. Trying to get back into now that school's back in.

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  35. I appreciate your verve in forging your own path to publish on your own. It's courageous, really. I've contemplated it; still unsure, though. I've had relatively positive experiences with both my publishers, so far. We'll see what the future holds.

    I'm really sorry about your health issues, but just like your writing - be easier on yourself.

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  36. You are a master at being the boss, so wise choice!

    I'm approaching fifty (ahh!!!), so I hear ya about taking better care of ye old body.

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  37. Elizabeth, I'm approaching that age too. (I had my kid late in life.) My ol' body needs naps these days!

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  38. I like the flexibility, too. With working again, I need it.

    When I wrote full time, I found working out easier to do. I worked with myself instead of against myself. I picked a time of day I didn't do much... turned out to be before lunch. Being back at work, I find it harder. My free minutes are so much more precious. We do have a gym at work, so I use it at lunch. I need to do more than 15 minutes to lose any weight, however. But some is better than none. I recently switched from the treadmill to the bike. The bike is harder, so I figure it's good for me. Plus there's a slot for my phone. I usually read on my Kindle app while working out. Makes it more pleasurable. My advice is, whatever changes you make, don't think of it as a diet or whatever, think of them as permanent changes. Go slow. Make decisions you can live with. Each success will lead to another decision. That's what worked for me.

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  39. You rock self-publishing and it's a great feeling to be in charge. Not sure what I can offer for health tips. I stopped driving, which I see as a boon, both for the planet and my health as I pick up my daughter from school, walk the dogs and walk to the shops. That's easier in a town where everything is in walking distance, though.

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  40. You've done very well with self-publishing. I think it's because you have a great online presence. And I agree, it's nice to be in charge of everything and not worry about deadlines.

    Hope your health improves. I read that one author has a cycling-gizmo set up at his desk so he can pedal while he writes. That may help. I make sure I either walk or run a mile or two every day.

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