The Healthy Writer & Healthier Mindset – Carol Harblin


When we hear the words “healthy writer” it seems a bit of a misnomer. We have always stereotyped writers as heavy drinkers or as recluse. This is not the case, by any means, just as stereotypes are always a misjudgment and are grossly inaccurate.

Writers are the messenger and voice of their world around them. It is the writer’s job to articulate whatever they need to address without limitation. It is important for writers to have a clear vision and untainted view of what is observed. Opinions and bias may be tolerated when in designated genres or sections of periodicals, but for the most part writers are there to create better versions of life and of themselves. It isn’t about “living your best life,” by frequenting lavish vacations, but “creating the best you” in your every day life. This means to maintain a constant state of awareness and observe the world all around.

We owe it to our readers to take care of our bodies.  Create the life we love and become better versions of ourselves.    We need to LOOK at the person and find their unique traits – the holistic way.  Embracing every moment by finding the beauty in each day by recording it all in our writing is the greatest step to unleashing the better version of who we are – only then can we find truth to are prose.

How do we break out of the mold and create that better version of ourselves?  When we take writing breaks, take a walk around the neighborhood or do twenty burpees.  Practice some meditation or yoga, if desired.  Pour yourself a pot of tea and drink cup after cup of tea (or hot water, according to Ayurveda).  Keep the body physically active between those writing stints; maintain a healthy mindset continuously. 

Instead of being a recluse, why not be in public somewhere, like a café or even a park?  Who says writing must be done at a desk?  A writer is someone that observes the world, so how observant can they be if they homestead within the confines of their own writing space?

There are two kinds of writers:  morning larks and night owls.  Either way we need to get the flow moving in a healthy direction so physical activity is essential.  Finding a routine that fits the writing schedule is key.  Morning writers require energy to gear up to writing; whereas, nighttime writers require a mellow day that builds their energy up gradually so that by nightfall they can be in peak form.  Gym memberships are not necessary.  Move in a way that inspires us to write.  Walking, biking, jogging, burpees, sit-ups, yoga – whatever works.  Going to the mall every day to walk through the corridors is inspired, too.  It gets us out and in the environment with people.  People are the source of our prose. 

Enter a green grocer or farmer’s market: Immediately upon walking within the confines of the area there are vibrant flowers, organic produce, and healthy beverages to maintain energy levels.  Like-minded healthy individuals scurry throughout the store gathering their healthy products.  Salad bars aren’t the way they used to be; now there are varieties of soups, curry, rice, masala, buffalo chicken, and pastas.  Prepared foods are easier to find with busier schedules, and those prepared foods are more nutritious. 

One of my favorite hot beverages is turmeric lattes, with coconut milk.  I enjoy green tea matcha lattes and peppermint tea, too.  Each of those beverages help me focus.  I cozy up to frequent hot mugs of tea throughout the day, especially when I write.  It isn’t easy to eat and write at the same time so I tend to eat food that is able to sit at my side for a while and it cannot be greasy or salty.  Grease and salt soils the fingers and stall the writing process because of the constant need of wiping the hands.  A veggie wrap that is sliced a few times, vegetable sushi rolls, unsalted French fries are all good writing choices.  Food requires concentration and two hands, we also have two hands to write, so we need to find an easy food that is easy to nibble while typing.  Even lightly buttered toast is optimal.  The carbohydrates of the toast will help surge our creative energy and it’s allowed to sit for a half an hour if needed.  Writing and typing should be done in increments, so after a few hours then a light meal can be consumed, if desired. 

Embracing moments and recording the days by becoming a literary photographer – remove the veil or shroud from our vision and learn to see what is in front of us instead of “seeing” what we think we see. How do we know the difference? Pay attention to all that is around us: conversations, interactions, and anything else that confronts us daily.