Writing can consume so much of you that you just want to curl into yourself and be like Silas Marner with his gold coins. You count your precious words, run your mind over them, polish them, count them again. A sort of obsessive compulsion takes over. So I’ve developed a few tricks to staying sane.
Exercise: I play tennis about four times a week. I could go to the gym, but I’m lazy, and any stint on the treadmill makes me feel punished. I don’t have the discipline to lift weights etc. But I’ll play tennis because it’s a game, not exercise.
Learning something new keeps the mind fresh and active. I’ve recently started taking belly dancing lessons. I laugh at myself as I try impossible feats like belly rolls and shimmies (Is that how they spell it?) Afterwards, I’m deliciously sore and feel invigorated and ready to tackle the manuscript.
Read! It’s always a good idea to keep up with your reading. Read a book in the genre you’re writing. Read another in a different genre. You’ll be inspired.
Nurture your relationships. No work is worth neglecting those you love. I now spend more time with family and call my friends. Loving others nurture your soul, so go for walks, go dancing, make love, have a glass of wine. And then write.
Any other ideas?