4 Writing Activities That Have Nothing to Do With Writing (but boost productivity in no time)

Amanda Clark-Rudolph

There's more to writing than writing. These 4 non-writing activities rest your mind and improve your craft.

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Writers do so much more than recite grammar rules, read Hamlet, and score A’s in creative writing.

Most take frequent breaks from the keyboard to do something that doesn’t involve dotting i’s or fixing comma splices.

But what? These 4 activities will help your writing and have nothing to do with it.

1. Running

After a five year break, or 10, who’s counting? I took the plunge and got back into running. I knew this choice would increase my physical energy, but I didn’t predict how it would also increase my mental strength.

Since I began running again, my focus, productivity, and ideas have improved. So much so that when I’m struggling to find words, I shut the laptop, put on my tennis shoes, and go for a jog.

I’m not talking 6-minute miles here, or even 8 or 10…, but after hitting the pavement, the words flow like lava.

This new habit helps me crank out at least 500 plus words a day!

2. Socializing

When I became a freelancer, I vowed to not confine myself to a bubble.

Whether it’s with other mamas at the playground, remote workers at Starbucks, or lunch with a friend, I actively make sure to socialize.

Since the spread of COVID-19, my socialization has changed to Zoom meetings and socially distanced get togethers, but the effort is still there, perhaps more than ever.

How does this impact my writing?

Two or more brains are better than one. I can quickly get lost in my thoughts, but I can’t count the number of times that an interesting conversation with someone else sparked a unique story.

And you don’t have to talk to them about writing. A conversation about your friend’s experience protesting could get those wheels turning and relate to a story that’s already brewing in your mind.

Ideas multiply.

3. Meditating

I’m no yogi, but I agree with the National Center for Complementary and Integrative health, which suggests “that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia.”

What does this have to do with writing?

I don’t know about you, but when my blood pressure skyrockets, I’m way less productive than when I’m calm. And after listening to 10 minutes of Headspace (the mediation app of my choice), I’m ready to take on the world, or at least my journal.

Helping your bowels — an added bonus :)

4. Cleaning

One of my biggest obstacles as a work from home mom: housework. No wonder the Harvard Business Review found evidence on how a messy workspace undermines persistence.

If toys cover my floor, dirty dishes creep out of the sink, etc., I cant write.

So, instead of freaking out about this dilemma, I get up and clean.

Low and behold, a 20-minute cleaning session boosts my productivity.

The Bottom Line

So, if you find yourself in a writing funk (it happens), consider one or all of the activities above. Your words will roar out of you in no time.

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Hi, I'm Amanda - a freelancing mama who writes about family, travel, holidays, and more! In addition to freelancing it up, I'm a Content Coordinator for neighborhood magazines. My favorite pastimes: Writing, slurping lattes, and playing freeze tag with my two sons.

Ocala, FL
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