Celebrated and award-winning comics/graphic novels author Ed Brubaker (CRIMINAL, VELVET, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE WINTER SOLDIER), one of my faves, shared some sage writerly advice and wisdom today in his latest newsletter From the Desk of Ed Brubaker, of which I must make note.
“If you are a writer, if sitting and thinking followed by sitting and typing is what you want to do for a living, I can’t urge you more strongly to get regular cardio and get up from your desk a lot and stretch.
I can’t stress enough how easy it is to fall into bad habits in this profession that can cause you major health issues. In my career I’ve had to deal with repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, chronic TMJ pain (from clenching my jaw when I get lost in writing) and lower back problems. And recently, while trying to get back into good cardio shape, I injured my ankle – the cause, having my foot bent weird while I typed.”
Actually, that’s good advice for anyone who works at a desk for long periods. He even provided this handy infographic.
As for writing work/life balance, something I know I personally struggle mightily with, the crime/noir-loving writer said:
“And work/life balance? That can be hard to manage, too. When I’m being good at sticking to my work routines, ideally I’m not in front of the computer for more than four or five hours a day. Kurt Vonnegut said no one should be required to be smart for more than four hours a day, so I try to follow his example. Then lately, after I’m done typing, I go for a 20 mile bike ride, and I’m starting to take some yoga classes. But I’ve had long periods of my career where I spent all day in front of a computer for months with no exercise, and I regret that a lot.
Writers are always writing in their heads, even when they aren’t typing or scribbling, so that’s one anyone in a relationship with a writer has to put up with. Even when they’re with you, they’re kind of not.”
The struggle is real. I know it’s a rather trendy and passe thing to say these days, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.
Mr. Brubaker’s words (and the source from which they come) are Copyright © 2016 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved. Mr. Brubaker’s photo is courtesy of Comics Vine.