Balancing Screen time – Writer Wellness
This week on the blog, I’m talking about screen time. It’s ironic really that I’m writing this blog post on a screen, but that’s really what I want to discuss – how we balance screens.
For me and probably most authors I know, technology is important for our business. We use our laptops or devices to craft our novels. We use also use screens for marketing or building our online presence – social media, blog posts, newsletters, websites.
Plus, these things can take time. Those minutes of trying to take that photo for Instagram, editing our novels or networking with other authors on Twitter are all important investments. However, they’re all also adding to time behind a screen. I recently shocked myself with when I looked under the wellbeing section of my phone to see how much I’d been on my phone that week.
So, here are a few tips for how we can still work but balancing not spending all of our time behind a screen.
1. Get up from your desk regularly
It’s easy to get lost into the zone when writing – and don’t get me wrong, this is a very good thing. It’s fantastic to be transported to the world of your characters and get lost into your own writing.
However, sitting at your desk for six hours because you got so into the writing zone probably isn’t so great. Perhaps take at least a couple of minutes each hour to get up and move around, stretch, have a drink of water, look out the window for a bit. *Gets up to take own advice!*
2. Swap the screen for pen and paper
No matter how amazing and advanced technology gets, I think I’ll always love the simple magic of handwriting. You can check out this blog post for more about why I love handwriting. I find it unlocks something in my brain, particularly when it comes to plotting or drafting early scenes. You could also use a notebook to plan your social media schedule or ideas for posts, so that when you go onto your apps you end up spending less time on them.
As well a this, it has the obvious benefit of the writer not looking at a screen! Why not take some time this week to give the screen a break and get back to handwriting?
3. Go for a walk
Not only is walking great exercise, it also means time away from a screen. Nature can often be inspirational, too. Sometimes I take a notebook and pen on a walk with me to jot down ideas that come to me. Not sure my dog is as excited as I am when that happens!
Of course, you can take your phone with you to take some photos of your walk for content for social media, especially as we get more into Spring. Although I’d recommend not doing that the whole time, though, because that would kinda defeat the purpose of the screen break!
4. Wind down for the evening
Another tip is to try to be behind a screen less in the evenings. I find this can be tricky as a lot of my Twitter interaction an happen in the evening, as it’s US morning and afternoon time so a lot of more conversations can be happening. There can be pressure to remain visible, especially with the way algorithms work that the more visible we are, the more visible we become.
However, although time building our online platforms is important, this needs to be balanced with our wellbeing. It wouldn’t be that healthy for any of us to try to keep up with social media 24/7. We need to take time to wind down for the evenings.
For me it’s also tempting to be behind a screen in the evenings, too. Watching a TV show can be relaxing, but sadly that’s even more time behind a screen! Why not build in a screen break by reading, going for a walk as it gets lighter, partaking in a non-screen based hobby? You can also set timers on your apps, which could be a helpful way of limiting time on your phone.
So those are a few tips of how to balance screen time! How do you balance your screen time? Any other tips that come to mind? Why not drop a comment to share?
Thanks for reading
Thanks so much for reading! You can check out my other blog posts here.
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Till next time,