Writing Pro-Tip: Eat and Sleep

I know it sounds obvious or stupid, depending on what kind of writer you are, but there is something amazing about eating. It may even be important to being a writer. I don’t mean a bag of sriracha popcorn in one hand and typing with the other hand. And I don’t mean ordering take out, bringing it straight to your laptop and eating while staring at your screen. On my good days, this is what I do. On bad days, it can be a solid 24 hours between meals. But just now, I did something revolutionary. I went completely against my norm as a writer.

I ate a meal.

I did not eat and facebook. I did not eat and talk on the phone. I did not eat and write. I ate with all focus on chewing and swallowing.

It started at 3:17pm with me about 8 hours into a writing frenzy. But the word count was not equaling the time spent. I wasn’t blocked, but I was definitely quicksanded. Then, I noticed that a stomach full of last night’s tacos and this morning’s coffee was not a good mix. So I ordered two meals from my local Thai restaurant (two because if I didn’t order the second, there would be no dinner). At 3:53pm, my delivery guy narrowly escaped a hug from me.

Now here is where something magical happened. Because I am introducing a new cat into the family, I stayed in the living room. My laptop and the new cat remained in the bedroom. Zeke and Henning, the pissed off resident cats watched me with disdain as I ate both appetizers and my ginger chicken like a woman experiencing her first orgasm.

The magic continued. My stomach filled, my cheeks warmed, my headache cleared, and I was having little revelations like popcorn popping in my head (Wow, it really was like an orgasm). I realized a quote I was laboring over was in fact quite easy to understand. I discovered my chapter’s structure. It just became….clear.

I am so happy, I had to share. And it reminds me of the video below, so I’ll share that, too. This is something I stumbled on a few days ago: John Cleese on writing and sleep. So, here’s revolutionary idea #2. Sleeping is not only an allowable offense for a writer to do, but in fact a productive act! Who knew????


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