First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for their concerns and well wishes in regards to my latest health scare, and I assure you that while an acute myocardial infraction is nothing to sneeze at, I was fortunate that I live very close to a fire station with great paramedics. And I was also blessed to have one of our city’s premier cardiologist on duty when I arrived at the hospital. But they all tell me that it was my fast thinking in realizing that I was having a heart attack and calling 911. Always remember that all that glitters is not gold, and all chest pains are not “gas”. As my cardiologist was quick to tell me “time waits for no one”, so pay close attention to your health. Well, I feel pretty good, but lifestyle changes are in order and fortunately there was no damage to my heart muscle. With that said, I have come to the conclusion that writers put their health in jeopardy by sitting for long periods of time as medical studies have proven. And that combined with stressing out over lack of ideas, or spending a lot of time with no time outs cultivating ideas that requires a lot of research is a recipe for disaster. But as writers, research is “par for the course"most of the time when you're not sitting in your "think tank."
If you are one who makes a living as a writer, then stress is your middle name. There’s always a deadline to meet, or a certain quota to achieve, but the most stressful thing you have to contend with is wondering if your article or post will be interesting and cut the mustard with your readers, and if it does, can you continue to hold your followers attention? "Content"… that is the backbone of any writer, and to be placed under the gun constantly is no picnic because you have a tendency to not eat or sleep or go outside for a breath of fresh air in the name of content.Your brain starts turning to mush, and your backside starts to feel like you just took a 500 mile trip in an Army Jeep nonstop. Somehow a writer must establish some boundaries and and maintain some sort of discipline. I write as a hobby, and I enjoy it, and even though I don’t depend on my writings to make a living I still must remember to push myself away from the keyboard a little more often. In this day and age, the keyboard is mightier than the sword.
And believe it or not, writing becomes a lot more enjoyable if you take some time for a “keyboard time-out” during the day. Ideas require a fresh mind and body and as I have said before, carry a small notepad with you for those “light bulb” moments. There has been a lot of debates and studies about health problems associated with people who sit all day at their jobs and it all comes down to blood circulation. While I never stress out worrying about making a deadline, lack of exercise and sporadic eating habits put my body in the same dangerous category as a stressed out deadline writer. Lesson learned.
The last few months have taught me that first and foremost, listen to your body and take time out to smell the roses. That advise is not only meant for those of us who hammer the keyboard day in, and day out, but it’s also for anyone else who finds themselves pulling their hair out by the roots. Your doctor can prescribe many things for your health, but ultimately, it’s up to you to write your own prescription to relax and enjoy life. From now on, I will.