The Healthy Writer: Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Health, and Build a Writing Career for the Long Term Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Do you suffer from physical pain relating to your writing life?
Are you struggling with back pain, weight gain related to sedentary working, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, neck pain, eye strain, stress, loneliness, digestive issues, or repetitive strain injury?
These are the most common issues reported by writers and if you struggle with any of them, you are not alone. Writing is not a physically healthy job, but if you want a long-term writing career, then you need to look after your body.
I've been through my own pain journey over the last six years. I used to get crippling migraines that sent me to a dark room, and back pain so bad that I couldn't sleep, as well as stress levels so high that I wasn't able to breathe normally. Now, my back pain, migraines, and RSI have almost gone completely, and I manage my writing life in a far healthier way than ever before. I share my personal journey and insights with you in this book.
My co-author is Dr. Euan Lawson, who shares his insights into how we can reduce pain, improve health, and build a writing career for the long term.
Part 1: The Unhealthy Writer: Includes stress, anxiety, burnout; back, neck and shoulder pain, sleep problems, weight gain, IBS, depression, eye strain, headaches, migraine, loneliness and isolation
Part 2: The Healthy Writer: Includes how to sort out your back pain, sleep, diet, movement and exercise, as well as how to find a community, walking, running, and yoga as well as well-being and mindfulness.
Find practical tips as well as inspiration and ideas to help you become a healthy writer.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 11 minutes|
|Author||Dr. Euan Lawson, Joanna Penn|
|Narrator||Caroline Holroyd, Joe Penn|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 13, 2018|
|Publisher||Curl Up Press|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #432 in Exercise & Fitness Injury Prevention |
Top reviews from the United States
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As a writer myself, I know I found a lot of these topics to be incredibly relatable. Back pain? Not getting enough exercise? I’ve so been there. And so have many others. One of my favorite parts of the book is all the personal stories it contains. While writing The Healthy Writer, the authors sent out a survey asking people to share their personal health struggles and triumphs. The book then intersplices quotes from this survey throughout each chapter. Reading through these experiences, as well as Joanna and Euan’s own personal narratives, really made me feel as if I wasn’t alone.
The Healthy Writer, as you may have guessed from the wide variety of subjects covered, is more of a general overview than a deep dive into specific topics. Yes, certain chapters, such as the one on setting up your workstation to prevent RSI, do go into more detail. But others provide more general advice, such as trying out yoga to treat back pain. This means that if you have a specific problem you’re looking to tackle, you may need to look further than just this book (maybe even to your doctor). The writers do make sure to provide further resources in each chapter, from books to smart phone aps.
In addition, because this is an overview, a lot of advice presented here can feel pretty obvious. But given the amount of people (myself included) that need to eat healthier, and spend more time moving, I don’t think that retreading the basics is necessarily a bad idea.
More than anything else, The Healthy Writer is a good wake up call, a gentle reminder that while we may spend most of our time in our own heads, creating stories and writing words, that our bodies are important too. And it’s only by taking care of ourselves can we hope to have a long and happy career.
For many of us, writing means sitting on our backside for hours. It's simply not good for us - physically or mentally. My hips are aching as I write this because I've been writing in bed on my laptop for a couple of hours, so getting up and MOVING is going to help me in so many ways.
That's the simple and important message that Euan and Joanna share. They each move in different ways, and they urge us to find the ways that we like to move. The benefits to their writing and creativity are inspiring to read. I know it, I've experienced it and now I just need to put it into practice on a regular basis. Do I want to be an aching, overweight writer for the rest of my life? No, I do not. And this book helps with many resources and ideas to help me be the healthiest and most productive writer I can. Time to move!
Top reviews from other countries
Joanna Penn is a successful writer of both fiction and non-fiction having been a pioneer of indie publishing. As I read her very personal accounts of her health struggles, and those of her husband (who also deserves thanks and praise for allowing his experience to be included), I felt that what the book has to say resonated so much more with me. Her "Letter to Sugar" brought a lump to the throat of even cynical old me - and very little gets through my defences!
Euan Lawson, British GP and co-author, is a refreshingly open kind of a doctor - he readily accepts that science doesn't yet have all the answers, particularly when it comes to diet (except when it comes to sugar).
The book begins by setting the scene - looking at all the reasons why writing is good for us and then listing the challenges. Euan's description of back pain hit a chord with me and Joanna's account of her challenges with food also hit the nail on the head. The second part of the book gives practical suggestions for counteracting the sedentary life. As they acknowledge, this isn't rocket science, but it's very useful to see it applied specifically to writers and to have it all together. My only criticism is that I felt the book could have been longer - I got to the end of some of the chapters wanting to know more. There are links for further reading, but I was enjoying the way the information was being presented and could have done with a little more depth.
Overall, though, the book is wonderful - not least because it helps reassure me that the struggles I have with exercise and diet (in particular) are common and also that the actions I'd already taken (standing desk, more walking, cutting carbs) are the right ones.
This should be read by anyone embarking on a career in writing - or any desk job.
That is what I love about Joanna Penn’s books on the craft of writing – she always manages to put things in perspective in such a way that I feel capable and confident in my own ability to accomplish something by the end of the book. Her words arm you for the journey ahead.
And this one is no exception. The Healthy Writer doesn’t have much to offer in the way of new information. Most of the advice in here is stuff that you’re likely to have heard before in some form; but Joanna frames the advice in a way that makes it click, makes it seem much more reasonable.
Joanna’s anecdotal entries mixed with the more knowledgable voice of Dr. Euan Lawson makes for a good combination, as the book isn’t overloaded with just tedious medical information or just the personal experiences of one author, but instead the perfect mix of both.
I wouldn’t say this book is anything exceptional in the field of healthcare or writing, or even that it’s an essential read for every writer. But if you are a writer who feels bogged down by the health issues discussed in this book and you want to improve your quality of life and the sustainability of your business, but you don’t know where to start, then this could definitely be helpful to you.
I really like joanna penn, just not this book.