My weekend of writing started at ten Saturday morning. After I fed the cats and ate a bowl of oatmeal, I locked myself in my office. Despite the cats scratching at the door and meowing to be let in, I worked until four in the afternoon, when my stomach said it would not tolerate being ignored for another minute.
After a quick lunch, I ousted the cats from my office, closed the door and returned to the edits. As I became engrossed with the story, I lost track of time. When I finally returned to reality, it was after three in the morning.
I emerged from the office with a nagging feeling that I had forgotten something. As I climbed into bed, I realized that I had forgotten to eat. By then, I was too comfortable to care.
At sunrise, the cats were not as understanding. They did not care that I was snug under the covers or that I had just crawled into bed three hours earlier. They wanted to be fed and were determined to get me out of bed.
When a rousing game of tag, in which they ran across the bed, did not work they decided walking across my body would help. When that failed, they resorted to jumping on my stomach, smacking me in the face with a tail and standing on my chest. Since I was just as determined to stay in bed, I simply rolled over and ignored them.
As anyone with a pet knows, animals can be just as demanding as children. Determined to get me up, my youngest finally resorted to a method that had yet to fail in getting me up. She dug two sets of claws through the blanket into my leg.
Once I had gotten out of bed to feed the cats and apply antiseptic to my leg, I decided I might as well get back to work. This led to another session in front of the computer that did not have me turning it off until one in the morning. The good news was I completed the edits and returned them to my editor. The bad news was, I had to get up to go to my day job in five hours.
Now, though I enjoy writing and also believe success will not come unless I work at it, I also realize that twelve hour plus sessions in front of the computer are not ideal. When building a career, whether it is writing, finance, acting, etc., it is important to care of one’s health. At times, it may seem impossible when there is a day job, family/pet commitments and other obligations demanding one’s attention. However there are steps that can be taken to remain healthy.
During the weekend, I should have stuck with the eating schedule I adhere to during the week. Instead of eating two large meals a day, I should have eaten smaller portions every three to four hours. Also, at least once an hour, I should have stood and stretch.
Besides eating right and exercising, I should have set a limit on my computer time. And, I should have tried to get between six and eight hours of sleep so I did not have to start my week off groggy.
Hard work is necessary when building a career. However, taking care of one’s health is just as important. Brains that are not fed or well rested do not write properly. It is also difficult for someone to enjoy success when she is rundown.♥
Ursula Renée is the President of RWA/NYC. She recently sold SWEET JAZZ, a historical romance, to The Wild Rose Press. When she is not writing, she enjoys photography, drawing and stone carving. Visit her at www.ursularenee.com.