Life span of a writer

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  • Life span of a writer

    Well I just read this, about Henry Bromell, who just died. I didn't know him, but was certainly a fan of his work. My condolences to his family.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar...omell-20130320

    65 is a young age to die, and Bromell died of a heart attack. I wonder about the very nature of our careers affecting our health.

    I'm not sure what stresses he endured, I can only speak about my own but are the stresses associated with being a writer making writers die young? It seems like a lot of writers die at this age or younger, or that I'm seeing more reports. This concerns me, because like a lot of you, I have children. Mine are new, one is 3 and the other 3 months. I want to be around for them.

    Do you all take care of yourselves, eat right and workout? How do you deal with the career stress? How do you incorporate these lifestyle changes into your day in relation to your writing?

    I'll share what I do if anyone's interested but would like to know your routines first, how it fits into and maybe even enhances your writing career.

  • #2
    Re: Life span of a writer

    Scott Myers has talked about sitting --

    Writers beware: Sitting is the smoking of our generation!

    I've read lists of things centenarians have in common. Some of them I recall are maintaining activity levels, having wide social circles, having restrictive diets. Practicing a faith might have been one of them -- but for those who don't, the equivalent might just be a commitment to quiet deep contemplation time. Seems like that would be a good stress management strategy overall.

    It just seems like you have to sleep and not be high-anxiety and keep moving. And... don't eat cake all the time. Darn.

    Keeping moving, though -- that's probably the hardest for us. Scott talks about setting timers. It's so easy for time to get away from a writer. Especially on a deadline.
    "You have idea 1, you're excited. It flops. You have idea 99, you're excited. It flops.
    Only a fool is excited by the 100th idea. Fools keep trying. God rewards fools." --Martin Hellman, paraphrased

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    • #3
      Re: Life span of a writer

      Originally posted by WaitForIt View Post
      Scott Myers has talked about sitting --

      Writers beware: Sitting is the smoking of our generation!

      I've read lists of things centenarians have in common. Some of them I recall are maintaining activity levels, having wide social circles, having restrictive diets. Practicing a faith might have been one of them -- but for those who don't, the equivalent might just be a commitment to quiet deep contemplation time. Seems like that would be a good stress management strategy overall.

      It just seems like you have to sleep and not be high-anxiety and keep moving. And... don't eat cake all the time. Darn.

      Keeping moving, though -- that's probably the hardest for us. Scott talks about setting timers. It's so easy for time to get away from a writer. Especially on a deadline.

      Thanks for the reply and link. I had considered getting a standing desk months ago, and didn't follow through. But on my next spec, I'm going to do it.

      I don't think this is something on a lot writers' radar, as evidenced by the number of replies. But I hate the idea of working so hard, only to not reap the rewards.

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      • #4
        Re: Life span of a writer

        Longevity isn't on a lot of people's radars until they land in the hospital in their 40s or 50s, so I don't think writers are unique here. We're certainly not the only group with desk jobs. Working writers actually have the advantage of a greater degree of flexibility, though. They can get up and move whenever they want, at whatever intervals they want. The difference is making it a priority.

        I'm pretty sure there was a Scriptnotes podcast, maybe one of the earlier ones, where they talked about health and fitness. The line "Don't be fat" or "Don't get fat" might have been in there, hah.
        "You have idea 1, you're excited. It flops. You have idea 99, you're excited. It flops.
        Only a fool is excited by the 100th idea. Fools keep trying. God rewards fools." --Martin Hellman, paraphrased

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Life span of a writer

          Aha, here we go: Scriptnotes, Ep 50: How to Not Be Fat - Transcript
          "You have idea 1, you're excited. It flops. You have idea 99, you're excited. It flops.
          Only a fool is excited by the 100th idea. Fools keep trying. God rewards fools." --Martin Hellman, paraphrased

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Life span of a writer

            Good diet and exercise, and try not to stress. Don't smoke, don't drink to excess. Then, hope you have good genes (health wise).

            I've got the no smoking no drinking down. Working on the others. Hereditary factors a done deal :>)

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            • #7
              Re: Life span of a writer

              Originally posted by madworld View Post
              Well I just read this, about Henry Bromell, who just died. I didn't know him, but was certainly a fan of his work. My condolences to his family.

              http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar...omell-20130320

              65 is a young age to die, and Bromell died of a heart attack. I wonder about the very nature of our careers affecting our health.

              I'm not sure what stresses he endured, I can only speak about my own but are the stresses associated with being a writer making writers die young? It seems like a lot of writers die at this age or younger, or that I'm seeing more reports. This concerns me, because like a lot of you, I have children. Mine are new, one is 3 and the other 3 months. I want to be around for them.

              Do you all take care of yourselves, eat right and workout? How do you deal with the career stress? How do you incorporate these lifestyle changes into your day in relation to your writing?

              I'll share what I do if anyone's interested but would like to know your routines first, how it fits into and maybe even enhances your writing career.
              Cool that you are thinking about this, Madworld! Our kids are 24 and 28, and I would like to be around to see their grandkids. I think regular brisk walks are priceless for a writer, for you can both exercise and think at the same time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Life span of a writer

                Originally posted by madworld View Post
                Thanks for the reply and link. I had considered getting a standing desk months ago, and didn't follow through. But on my next spec, I'm going to do it.
                I stapled a long, flat box to four empty tissue boxes (two on each side) and created a little platform that I put on my desk periodically so I can stand.

                The long flat box was what our faucet came in. It was the perfect size to fit a keyboard and mouse. And then I just tilt the screen up (lots of monitors have a tilting option) and viola -- high tech standing desk!

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